An indoor bonsai tree is the perfect tree for you! These trees are beautiful and easy to care for. Most bonsai trees are kept indoors, but certain trees are particularly able to thrive indoors. While there are thousands of species of indoor trees, this article will go over the most common indoor trees. We will also discuss the differences between indoor and outdoor bonsai trees, and how to care for your indoor tree.

Best Indoor Bonsai Trees

Indoor bonsai trees are popular for being generally low-maintenance. The top three trees that we will be talking about in this article are the Ficus, Carmona, and Jade bonsai trees.

There are between 800 and 2000 species of Ficus bonsai trees. Of those species, the two most common are the Ficus Retusa and the Ficus Ginseng. The Ficus Retusa has dark green, oval shaped leaves and an S-shaped trunk, while the Ficus Ginseng has a thick trunk, with roots similar in size. These trees may also grow flowers.

The Carmona, or Fukien Tea, is most common in China, but it has become increasingly popular in Western countries. These trees have dark green, shiny little leaves. On the top of the leaf, there are little white dots, and there are hairs on the bottom of the leaves. Red-yellow or dark berries may also grow on these trees.

Finally, the Jade bonsai is a succulent plant, which means it holds large amounts of water in its trunk and branches. Its thick trunk supports thin branches and green oval-shaped leaves. These trees may produce tiny white flowers, but only if the tree has experienced a drought in the last season. Its bark is green when young and ages into a red-brown color.

The Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Bonsai

The main difference between indoor and outdoor bonsai trees is the dormancy period. A dormancy period occurs when a tree stops growing in order to survive the winter and prepare for spring. Outdoor bonsai go dormant during the winter, but indoor bonsai do not. Outdoor bonsai trees need to be exposed to the seasons and go into dormancy in the winter. Without a dormancy period, outdoor bonsai trees will not grow properly, and they may die. Indoor bonsai trees are either tropical or subtropical, meaning they do not have these dormancy periods; they grow consistently all year.

Caring For Indoor Bonsai

The care guidelines for indoor bonsai trees are different from those of outdoor bonsai trees and regular potted plants. Here we will go over everything you need to know to properly care for your indoor bonsai.

Watering and Fertilizing

bonsai care

Watering is a crucial part of the bonsai growing process. One big rule in watering is to never water on a routine or schedule. Watering on a daily basis may be too much for some trees, and this can lead to over-watering. Watering on a routine may also cause under-watering. Over- and under-watering are both big bonsai killers. Water your bonsai tree when the soil gets slightly dry. Water generously until the water stops dripping out of the drainage holes, then repeat.

Use a balanced, liquid fertilizer all year. Apply as much as the packaging directs.

Humidity and Temperature

(Sub)tropical trees need high humidity all the time. The humidity levels in your home may not be high enough for your plant. To increase humidity, try placing a humidity tray filled with water underneath the plant’s container. Make sure the plant’s roots do not touch the water as this will rot the roots. 

Indoor trees also need high temperatures. The temperatures in your standard living room will do just fine. Subtropical trees, however, prefer lower temperatures in the winter.

Light

All bonsai trees need lots of light to survive. Indoor bonsai trees in particular need lots of light all year, no matter what the season is. In order to get the highest light intensity possible, place your tree directly in front of a south facing window at all times. Your plant won’t die immediately if it does not receive enough light, but its growth will decrease and can eventually die. If your plant is not receiving enough light, you can add artificial lighting for around 10 hours a day.

Indoor bonsai trees are perfect for every bonsai grower: beginners, experts, and everyone in between!