Indoor Bonsai Care tips! Learn tips to grow Bonsai in your house!


Welcome to our Indoor Bonsai care page!

As our society progresses, the desire to grow indoor bonsai trees increases.

Today, living spaces are smaller, and specific lifestyles, such as apartment living, can reduce the types of Bonsai that can be grown. Some tree species will grow readily and easily inside your home/apartment, but some (mainly tropical) will require special heating, lighting and humidification equipment.

Indoor Bonsai care can be much more involved than outdoor.

If you desire to grown Bonsai indoors, be confident in your knowledge of indoor Bonsai care, and the different species.

Before reading on, ensure you have a quick look at our Tree Species information….. If you have a tree or have one in mind, it is always best to know which category it fits into!

Let's have a look at Indoor Bonsai care!

Before we start, maybe you're wondering why indoor plants need more attention than outdoor?

Well, indoor Bonsai trees consist of a wide variety of tropical and sub-tropical trees that are accustomed to thriving in their natural environment.

When they find themselves transferred into a new environment and climate, they can wilt, languish and die.

Imagine taking a tropical 'Nemo' Clownfish from it's natural warm water environment and chucking it in a household aquarium of cold water!

Let's face it, it was bad enough when Nemo ended up in an aquarium altogether!

Many indoor species thrive in temperatures ranging from 15-37ºC (60-100ºF), with a humidity range of 70-100%. Western households have an average temperature of 15ºC (60ºF), and only 50% humidity. This means that the need for indoor bonsai care will be higher than outdoor.

Ok, so with all that in mind, lets look at the 3 varieties of indoor Bonsai.

Houseplant Varieties

For most plants, the indoor environment can be alien. Light levels are mostly never enough, the air is different and the humidity levels inaccurate.

Some tropical plants however, can handle large amounts of shade and therefore can be grown indoors. Species of Ficus and Schefflera have been developed as houseplants, and have been known to thrive.

These species do not require lighting or humidification and can make indoor Bonsai care easier.

There is a downside however……

The range is limited and many houseplant varieties actually look like ordinary houseplants, even when you've spent months shaping and creating an authentic Bonsai!

Tropical Varieties

Many tropical varieties will only grow in their native temperate conditions. Tropical varieties generally require humidity, heat, light and a great deal of indoor Bonsai care!

If you attempt to grow them in your normal household conditions, you will most likely find you have wasted your time.

If you want to grow these types of trees, you need to treat them the same as if you were keeping tropical fish (yep, Nemo reference again!). You will need to invest in specialist equipment, such as lighting, heating and humidification machines. This can be quite pricey, but, the display of these trees inside will be worth it for some…..

Semitropical Varieties

As we stated earlier, tropical and semitropical trees sit nicely between 50ºF to 100ºF. They vary in light requirements, from super-shady to super-sunny, and require humidity levels from general room conditions to 100%.

This is where things can become tricky.

There is no 'rule of thumb' in growing these trees. Once you have provided the right room temperature, you must try and mimic the tree's natural environment with humidity, light levels and watering.

Indoor Bonsai care will require watering, exactly the same as with outdoor.

........ a word of caution

Many indoor Bonsai enthusiasts kill their plants by letting them sit in pooled water for days on end. Due to their tree residing inside, many people like to sit their pot in another pot, to stop water escaping onto benchtops etc. Bonsai soil needs to drain and without proper drainage will become waterlogged.

If you absolutely must catch the leaking water, use a shallow plate or bowl and remove when the pot ceases leaking. Alternatively, move your tree when watering (the kitchen sink is a good place).

Indoor Bonsai Care Checklist

• Know what tree you are buying! Research it's optimum growing conditions, note temperature, humidity, light, rainfall etc

• If sunlight is an absolute necessity and there is no way you can have the tree outside, find space near a window or on a window ledge

• Consider buying lighting rigs. Artificial fluorescent lights or metal halide lamps usually suffice and provide the plant with it's light requirements. Try having the lights set up behind the tree, with the front facing a window

• Consider humidification

• Do not let your pot sit in another pot immersed in it's own drained water. Waterlogging kills! Move your tree to water or use temporary methods of catching the draining water

Leave Indoor Bonsai Care and head back to Indoor Bonsai Trees!