The only trees that can grow indoors as bonsai trees are tropical and subtropical trees. These trees need high, stable temperatures all year and have no dormancy period in the winter. Indoor bonsai trees can be described as easier to care for than outdoor bonsai because you can control more variables indoors. All bonsai trees are easy to care for, but some are easier to care for than others. The bonsai we will be talking about in this article are Ficus, Carmona, and Crassula trees.
Ficus Bonsai Trees
Ficus bonsai trees are the most popular bonsai trees and the easiest to care for. Some of these trees can even produce flowers. While there are at least 800 varieties of the Ficus, the two most common are the Ficus Retusa and the Ficus Ginseng. Ficus Retusa is often seen with a S-shaped trunk with dark green oval leaves.
Ficus Ginseng have thick trunks and are commonly grafted with microcarpa leaves.
Positioning Ficus Bonsai
Ficus bonsai trees need lots of sun and consistent temperatures. They prefer high humidity but can survive in low humidity due to their waxy leaves.
Watering Ficus Bonsai
Water these trees as you would any other bonsai tree. This means watering only when necessary, never on a schedule. Ficus’s can stand occasional over- or under-watering. Mist the leaves daily to maintain humidity, but don’t do this to much as fungal problems may occur.
Fertilizing Ficus Bonsai
Feed every week or two in the summer, and every two to four weeks in the winter if growing does not stop. Solid or organic fertilizer can be used.
Ficus Bonsai Training Techniques
Prune regularly in order for the tree to maintain its shape. When 6-8 leaves have grown on a branch, prune back 2. Large wounds can be covered in cut paste. It is easy to wire thin and medium strong branches because they are flexible. Check the wiring regularly as the wire can cut into the branches very fast. Wire strong branches with guy-wires because they can be left on a tree for longer.
Ficus Bonsai Pests and Diseases
Ficus trees are very resistant against pests. Leaf drop can occur if the light intensity is low or if the air is dry. If spider mites or scale occurs, you can use an insecticide to get rid of them, but you will also need to improve the plant’s conditions. Artificial lighting and leaf misting will help.
Our Top Ficus Bonsai Choice
This Ficus bonsai tree is a great choice for the bonsai collector who wants an aged tree, or if you are trying to give a gift that is actually meaningful and rare.
If you’re interested, our how to care for the Ficus Bonsai Tree article can be found here.
Carmona (Fukien Tea) Bonsai
Originally from China, the Fukien Tea bonsai was named after the Fukien providence in Chinese Fuijan. It is also common Australia, Indonesia, Japan, and Taiwan. Carmona Bonsai Trees have dark green, small leaves. On the top of these leaves are small white dots, and on the bottom are hairs. White flowers can sometimes appear all year round and can sometimes produce berries.
Positioning Carmona Bonsai Trees
This tree needs lots of light directly in front of a South facing window. The preferred temperature for these trees is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. To increase humidity, place a humidity tray filled with wet gravel under the pot. Do not expose Fukien Tea’s to frosty air.
Watering Carmona Bonsai Trees
Keep the soil moist as this tree does not like droughts, but don’t water to often because this tree does not like its soil being wet. Water as soon as the top soil gets dry.
Fertilizing Carmona Bonsai Trees
Use organic, solid fertilizer because of their sensitive roots. Feed from spring to autumn.
Carmona Bonsai Training Techniques
Prune and trim this tree regularly. Young shoots are easier to prune because of the flexibility and tenderness. Use caution when wiring mature branches.
Pests and Diseases of Carmona Bonsai
Scale, spider mites, and whiteflies can occur in inadequate conditions. Insecticides will get rid of the pests, but in order for the plant to fully recover, humidity and light conditions must be improved. Treat Chlorosis with iron fertilizer.
Crassula (Jade) Bonsai
The Jade Bonsai Tree is a woody shrub or tree that can grow up to 10 feet tall. Its thick trunk supports thin branches and thick, green succulent leaves. The trunk is soft and green when the tree is young and becomes reddish brown as it ages. White flowers can appear in autumn but only when the tree has gone through a drought during that season.
Positioning the Jade Bonsai
This indoor bonsai tree needs lots of light. When the tree is receiving enough sunlight, the tips or edges of the leaves will turn red. Keep this tree above 41 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
Watering A Jade Bonsai Tree
Allow for the plant’s soil to dry out between watering. In the winter, these trees can be watered as little as once every three weeks when the tree is kept at a low temperature. This tree is not particular about over-watering. Check the plants soil daily and water when needed.
Fertilizing A jade Bonsai Tree
Feed once a month from spring to autumn. This is the Bonsai Fertilizer we recommend.
Jade Bonsai Training Techniques
These succulents carry water in their branches and trunk which causes them to bend from the weight. Crassula bonsai trees handle pruning very well, and this should be done regularly to force branches to grow lower on the trunk. Do not use cut paste as this will cause rotting. The Jade’s bark is soft, so watch over the tree when wiring as the wire will bite into the bark fast.
Jade Bonsai Pests and Diseases
So long as this plant is cared for properly the plant shouldn’t have any problems. The common succulent pests and diseases you should look out for include bacterial soft rot, powdery mildew and black ring disease. These diseases are easy to identify and can be treated or dealt with when they are discovered.
These are some of the bonsai we suggest for indoor decoration and cultivation. They thrive indoors and also will last a lifetime if cared for properly. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check out our other bonsai articles!