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Bonsai Care

Bonsai Care

Do Bonsai Trees Need Light

DO BONSAI TREES NEED LIGHT? Absolutely! This is how you take care of your bonsai tree and ensure that it gets the right amount of light.

Sunlight is essential for the growth of any given plant. The light, especially the ultraviolet rays, will positively affect the growth of a plant. This definitely means that a bonsai plant requires sunlight. It should be placed in a sunny location.

Light Requirements for Indoor Bonsai

Taking care of an indoor bonsai tree is totally different from the care given to other potted plants in your house. This is mainly because they are trees that are destined to be big but were planted in small pots. This limits their storage space for both water and nutrients. Most of them are actually tropical trees. They are used to a lot of light as well as humidity. This makes some of the circumstances difficult for the tree’s existence inside the house.

One of the greatest problems with a tropical indoor bonsai plant is that the amount and intensity of the light available in the house are really low compared to that on the outside. Even thou the tree will not die instantly, but its growth will be affected and it will be decreased.

For this reason, place your bonsai plant at a bright spot, but not in direct sunlight. To be specific, place the tree near one of your windows. Let the tree get lots of indirect sunlight.

Artificial Lighting For Indoor Bonsai Trees

Being in the 21st century, it is not surprising that we have been able to mimic some forces of nature, including light. Artificial light can now be used to grow bonsai trees. It has had tremendous success and adding a light where you keep your bonsai will ensure that it thrives.


There are three types of artificial lighting that are suitable for growing bonsai trees. The lights are mostly used when there is a deficit or total absence of light where you keep your indoor bonsai.

The lights are:

  • Fluorescent Lights
  • LED Lights
  • CFL Lights

Light Requirements for Outdoor Bonsai

Contrary to the common misconception about bonsai trees (that they should only be kept in the house), some of the trees need to be placed outside in order to thrive. Here they get exposed to the environment in all the four seasons. They are exposed to the temperature changes throughout the year, as well as high humidity.

Outdoor bonsai trees can be kept in the garden or on a balcony. However, before you get a bonsai tree for yourself, it is important that you consider which species will thrive well under the conditions which you can offer to it. Some species have to be protected from intensive sunshine
and heat, but will do well outside with indirect light.

Most of the outdoor bonsai trees need to be exposed to some sunlight for several hours a day.

Conifers, for example, have to be placed in full sunlight so that they grow well and stay at their healthiest.

Where you place the tree mainly depends on where you live. However, keep in mind that the tree requires to be placed outside all through the year. This is because the annual cycle is a crucial process for the health of your tree.

If your outdoor bonsai needs direct sunlight, place your bonsai tree at a bright spot that has a lot of light. During the summer, watch it closely, as you may need to provide some kind of shade for the tree.

Bonsai Care, Indoor Bonsai Trees, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

What’s A Bonsai Tree?

beautiful bonsai

What Does Bonsai Mean?

In Japanese, bonsai is written like this:  盆栽
“Bon” is a thin bowl or dish.
“Sai” is a growing plant or tree that is planted.
Therefore, “Bonsai” means “a tree which is planted in a shallow container”.

What Exactly is a Bonsai Tree?


A bonsai tree is a tree that is grown in a small container in order to restrict and redirect growth. Special training techniques such as wiring and pruning branches and pinching buds are also used to redirect
growth. Despite what many may think, bonsai trees are not genetically dwarfed trees. They are, however, commonly kept very small at about one meter in height. Almost any tree can be grown as a bonsai tree, so long as they have a woody trunk or stem, can grow true branches, can be grown in a container in order to restrict its food storage, and have small leaves.

What Does a Bonsai Tree Represent?

The art of growing bonsai trees has been practiced and refined over hundreds of years. The main qualities that are seen in bonsai trees are harmony, balance, simplicity, and age. Keep in mind that bonsai trees are interpreted differently by every person that observes the tree.

Harmony – Harmony is a very highly valued part of Japanese culture. Japan’s culture is very anti-conflict. This is seen in their laws and customs. People typically want to live in a harmonious place. A common theme in bonsai growing is the representation of harmony in nature. The aspect of co-existing with elements is seen in the bark’s curves and the branch’s fine lines. Jagged edges and crooked corners often symbolize hard life moments.

Balance – One very prominent feature on bonsai trees is the element of balance. The triangle is used in the bonsai design because this shape symbolized stability and strength. Specifically, the isosceles triangle is used rather than the equilateral triangle. Isosceles triangles’ sides are unequal and thus creates the look of asymmetry. This is valued in Japanese culture. Asymmetrical triangles provide a
sense of movement which symbolizes life’s continuation.
Simplicity – Simplicity is another feature that is evident in Japanese culture and the bonsai tree itself. Art, architecture, homes, offices, and more all have elements of simplicity in them. The bonsai tree’s container is very simple so that it does not draw attention away from the tree itself. The color should be earth toned and fairly plain. All bonsai trees have elements of simplicity to them. Every tree is beautiful all on its own, there is no need for extravagant designs or decorations.


Age – Bonsai aesthetics often include different portrayals of age. The tree’s characteristics, such as the trunk, branches, and roots, can manipulated in order to depict age. Exposing the tree’s roots can be used to look like the appearance of age. Youth can be seen in a smooth trunk with no blemishes. On the other hand, scarred trunks can symbolize old age. A dead piece of trunk placed within the tree’s composition can represent the evolution of the tree. Drooping branches can be seen as old, while branches growing upward can be seen as young. Youth can be depicted in full leaf growth, while sparse growth can depict old age. The elderly in Japan are treated with great amounts of respect. Three of more generations often live under one roof. This is often portrayed on bonsai trees with some aspects
of youth and other aspects of older age that complement each other.

A bonsai tree is a trained tree that grows in a small, plain container. Bonsai tree’s fertilizer is restricted in order to redirect growth. While the literal translation of bonsai is roughly, “tree in pot”, bonsai’s have many other meanings. They often portray different aspects of harmony, balance, simplicity, and age. All of these elements are highly valued in Japan. Every element of a bonsai tree means something. Nothing is added “just because” or without careful consideration. The bonsai tree often depicts the future. But most importantly, a bonsai tree is whatever you want it to be!