Indoor Bonsai Trees For Beginners
Taking care of a bonsai tree is not as hard as one may think. It can be even easier if you grow a low maintenance tree. Low maintenance bonsai tree’s usually don’t need a strict amount of light, don’t need a lot of water, and need only occasional fertilizing and pruning.
The ficus bonsai is by far the most popular tree for beginners. This tree has somewhere between 800 and 2000 different species. Ficus’s are grown in all tropical regions and are best grown indoors.
Ficus bonsai’s like to have lots of light throughout the year. Placing the tree outside in the summer is not necessary, but can be done if temperatures remain above 60 degrees. They like high humidity, but they can survive in low humidity just fine.
Watering your ficus is like watering all other indoor bonsai trees. Do not water on a routine. Instead, check the bonsai’s soil once a day, twice during the summertime, and water if the soil is dry. For more detailed information, please check out our article on watering bonsai tree’s here.
Fertilizing should be done every week or two in the summer, and every two to four weeks in the winter.
Pruning is crucial in keeping up with the shape of the tree. Once 6-8 leaves have grown on a branch, two should be pruned. To reduce the size of the leaves, pruning can be used. To thicken the trunk, simply leave it alone for one or two years.
The easiest, most flexible branches to wire are thin and medium-strong branches. Wires should be regularly checked as they can cut into the branches very quickly, which can scar the tree. Branches that are strong can be wired with guy-wires as they can be left on the tree longer.
The Jade bonsai tree has oval green, thick leaves on thin branches with a thick trunk. It’s bark is soft and green at first, when the tree is young, but as it ages it becomes red-brown. White small flowers can appear if the tree goes through a drought during the season.
This tree needs full sun and high temperatures. It can be grown outdoors with full sun, but it is best grown indoors with lots of light. The tips of the leaves will turn red if the tree is getting enough light.
Jade bonsai are able to store lots of water in their leaves. Scarce watering will work well, allow for the plant to dry out between watering. You can water the plant as little as every three weeks in the winter, but only if the tree is very cold. Water as soon as the plant dries in the winter. Over-watering is not a big problem as it is with other plants.
Fertilize once a month during the spring and autumn, it’s growing season.
This plant can be repotted every three years in the spring.
Jade bonsai respond quite well to pruning. This should be done regularly to force the growth of branches lower on the tree. Cutpaste can lead to rot and should be avoided. Wire will cut into the tree very quickly, so you should watch over the branches carefully.
The Fukien Tea Bonsai, also called the Carmona, has dark green small leaves with little white dots on the top and hairs on the bottom. Sometimes white flowers occur all year and can even produce berries.
The preferred temperature for these trees is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). The tree should be placed in front of a south facing window where it can receive the most light possible. Artificial light may be necessary. This tree also does well with high humidity, which can be achieved with a humidity tray under the pot.
This tree is rather picky when it comes to watering. It does not like to be very wet, but it also doesn’t like being dry. Once the top soil has dried, it should be watered.
The type of fertilizer the Carmona prefers is solid organic. Fertilizer should be applied spring to autumn as often as it’s directions calls for, but less often in winter.
Fukien Tea’s respond well to pruning, which should be done often. Young shoots are easier to train as they are flexible and tender, while mature branches are hard and may need different tools to prune. Use caution when wiring.
The easiest bonsai tree’s to care for are the Ficus, Jade, and Carmona. Any of these trees are excellent choices for beginners. They are all relatively low maintenance but still are very rewarding to care for.