Bonsai Tree Care Basics, Indoor Bonsai Trees

Bonsai Trees That Can Grow Indoors

indoor bonsai on desk

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.

Ficus Indoor Bonsai Tree – 20 Years Old; 18″ to 22″ Tall with Decorative Container


If you’re interested, our how to care for the Ficus Bonsai Tree article can be found here.


Carmona (Fukien Tea) Bonsai

carmona bonsai tree

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

Small 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!

Bonsai Tree Care Basics, Uncategorized

How Hard Is It To Grow A Bonsai Tree?

When you are new to the world of horticulture, you are probably amazed at just how fascinating this pastime can be. There are so many different varieties of plants and trees that it could take several lifetimes just to get through it all.

One particularly fascinating example would be the Bonsai Tree. First of all, the Bonsai tree doesn’t refer to just a plant, but this is an art form that has been cultivated for several centuries. The main purpose of the Bonsai is to create a miniaturized tree that is cultivated to grow in a small container and is designed to appear like a much larger tree.

Bonsai trees were originally called dwarf potted trees, and this is a tradition that dates back to a thousand years or more. Indeed, the earliest known reference to a Bonsai creation was in a Medieval art scroll from the year 1195. If you are interested in this discipline, then there is a lot you need to know about it.

Keep these considerations in mind:

There are many different types of Bonsai trees and they have several different scientific names. Examples such as the Ginseng Ficus, Oriental Ficus, Brush Cherry, Chinese Elm, Norfolk Island and a multitude of others all indicate an endless amount of choices for you to consider. When it comes to scientific names, Bonsai families such as the Vervain family, the Bromeliad family, the Cedar, the “prunus” variety, and the “Succulents”
variety and many others are all categories that have been delineated by scientists.

Appropriately caring for Bonsai trees is a must. One of the things that you will quickly learn is that the Bonsai can be a very delicate plant! However, as long as you know the basics, you will be able to properly maintain the plant and keep it healthy for as long as possible. Here are some things you need to know:

Watering Your Bonsai

There are many factors that go into watering your Bonsai tree appropriately. The first thing you should do as a beginner is to thoroughly observe each of your trees INDIVIDUALLY before you water them. Avoid watering your Bonsai trees at a set routine. Instead, you should only water your Bonsai trees when you notice their soil has a slight dryness to them. Additionally, you should incorporate a soil mixture that holds in more water and use a watering tool that consists of a fine nozzle.

Fertilizing Your Bonsai

When fertilizing your Bonsai tree, it’s all about Nitrogen! The quantity depends on the season and there is a rating that you will need to pay attention to. Generally, a high NPK rating of 10:6:6 should be utilized in the spring, a balanced NPK rating of 6:6:6 should be considered in summer, and a lower NPK rating of 3:6:6 should be used in the fall. Of course, these guidelines only apply to outside Bonsai trees. An inside example will generally only required the balanced NPK fertilizer, but it will be used year-round. Many Bonsai enthusiasts swear by the Biogold brand for their fertilizer.

Pruning Your Bonsai

When it comes to pruning, you must keep the following goals in mind: you want to ensure that your tree always emulates a fully-grown and lifesize version and you want your Bonsai to be healthy and have as much eye appeal as possible. Usually, the best time to prune your Bonsai tree is when it is showing signs of new growth. This is the perfect time to begin styling your bonsai.

Wiring Your Bonsai

Bonsai tree enthusiasts use the wiring method to reposition the branches. This practice can be done on a year-round basis for Bonsai tree species. You can use either annealed copper wire or aluminum wire. You can easily find bonsai wiring supplies on amazon.

Repotting Your Bonsai Tree.

Repotting is important in order to keep your Bonsai growing correctly. Of course, this all begs the question, how frequently do you have to repot your plant? It depends on the size of the pot and the species of the tree. Species that are younger have a tendency to grow faster, thus they will need to be repotted often even once a year. A good rule of thumb is to simply check and see how the roots of the tree are holding up. If they are starting to wrap around the soil, it is time to repBonsai ot your tree.

Bonsai Pests

Finally, there are pests we have to contend with. Aphids are the biggest problem as they can eat away at the underside of the tree. However, simply spraying them off with a hose or placing lacewing larvae will remove all of these aphids.

Keeping all of this information in mind is sure to help you have a Bonsai tree that lives and prospers for a long time.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

Your First Bonsai Tree: A Few Things To Consider

Starting your first bonsai tree is the first step of a satisfying process for a beginning grower.
The amount of effort you can put into growing your bonsai, whether you will grow it inside or
outdoors, and the maturity of your first tree are three important things you will want to
consider as you plan to cultivate your first tree.

  1. How much effort do you want to put in?
    Think about how much time you have to spend on the basic care of your growing plant. You
    will want to allow sufficient time for mindful and frequent observation of your tree. Keeping
    a bonsai healthy means keeping an eye on a few key things.
    Since the tree grows in a shallow dish, the soil can dry out fast. You will need to monitor
    the soil regularly to maintain proper moisture.
    As you get to know your bonsai, you’ll need to monitor its health. Through close and
    careful observation of the tree, you’ll learn to spot any scars or blemishes on the skin that
    require your attention. You will need to spend time making careful corrective actions, such
    as repositioning branches or wire.
    As a beginner, you’ll be eager to spend more time on the process as you watch your bonsai
    respond to your care, so make sure you allow for plenty.
  2. Will you be growing Indoor or outdoor bonsai?
    Are you going to grow an indoor or outdoor bonsai? Knowing the true difference between
    the two is helpful, as many people have a misconception as to what the terms really mean.
    Indoor trees.
    Typically, an indoor bonsai means a more tropical species that will likely require certain
    adjustments to the environment in order to do well. You’ll want to consider this when it
    comes to selecting the right indoor plant for you. Tropical bonsai need intense light for
    a significant number of hours each day, so where you place the container is an
    important factor. A bright spot near a southward-facing spot is ideal. But even in areas
    with a sunny, southern exposure, artificial light is often needed to bring the intensity up
    to sufficient levels for bonsai to thrive. It probably goes without saying that tropical
    plants need warmer temperatures, as well, so adjusting heating conditions will be
    Ficus, Jade and Fukien Tea trees are a few examples of popular indoor bonsai, but there
    are many more.

Learn more about indoor bonsai trees [INSERT LINK to read more on our “indoor bonsai

Outdoor trees:
Temperate trees that go through a yearly growth cycle and require a dormancy period in
order to prepare for those cycles are outdoor trees. Be sure to consider the conditions
where you live in order to choose a bonsai that can thrive in that particular environment.
Certain varieties have sensitivities to intense heat or light; others shouldn’t be subjected to
frost conditions. Be sure to read up and understand what outdoor bonsai will do best in the
climate where you live.
Some examples of outdoor bonsai include gardenia, Chinese elm and dawn redwood. Learn
more about outside bonsai here. [INSERT LINK to read more on our “outdoor bonsai

{Insert pictures and examples at Amazon}

  1. What are you going to start with?
    Now that you know what type of bonsai you wish to grow, you can choose the form or level
    and maturity level of the beginner tree that you are going to work with. Think about the
    level of effort you are going to dedicate to the process as you decide. There are a handful
    of options for starting a bonsai – three to be exact.
     You might begin with a pre-made bonsai scape
    A pre-made bonsai scape is a pre-potted tree in a container-garden environment, such
    as you might find in a nursery or flower shop. The plant is already aesthetically arranged
    in the pot and soil mediums in which it is intended to initially live. The shaping process
    has already been started and the tree has already been partially trained. As the new
    owner, you will take over this process, continuing to shape and direct the bonsai as it
    Your pre-made bonsai scape will continue to develop as you continue to sculpt and care
    for it. There may be an advantage to working with a tree that is already accustomed to
    being pruned and tied. But a new bonsai gardener might want the learning experience
    of participating in the training process. Keep that in mind when choosing your starter

Learn more about pre-made bonsai scapes here [INSERT LINK to read more on our “pre-
made bonsai scapes page”}.
{INSERT examples with pics and links to them on amazon)

 Another starter option is a pre-bonsai tree
Pre-bonsai is a young tree that’s already growing and ready to train. Part of your job
will be to give this young tree a new home, in an appropriate shallow container and soil
medium. As its first and primary trainer, your care and devotion is critical to the
development of the young tree, as well as to the development of your skill and ability as
a bonsai grower. Click {insert link to “pre made bonsai scape page} to learn more about
growing prebonsai.
Make sure you have the proper materials and techniques for sculpting and positioning
your plant, which will involve three basic things: pruning, wiring and repotting. Click the
links to learn more about caring for your bonsai. [LINKS]

[insert three examples and links on Amazon]

 Your third starter option is to begin your bonsai tree from seed.
Growing a tree from seed to shoot to a tree that is ready to form and train as
bonsai is a longer and more involved process than the previous options that are
mentioned. As a beginner, this is where the learning curve will be at its greatest,
as the steps involved in raising a tree from a seed require a greater length of
time and know-how. All of this must occur before getting to the process of
sculpting the actual tree. Study up on the process before getting started. You
can learn more here trees [INSERT LINK to read more on our “pre bonsai scape
As you know, bonsai is a process and a journey, rather than a destination. It
takes take a few years to successfully grow a seed into a tree that you can sculpt,
and the growth is part of the process. [INSERT LINK to read more on our
“premade bonsai page”}. In the meantime, you can make sure that your
fundamental knowledge of the art is solid. Learn more about growing and
nurturing a bonsai here. [insert LINK)

Whether you choose to grow an indoor or outdoor bonsai, and whether you
start with a premade bonsai scape, a starter tree, or to grow a tree from seed,
there is so much you can learn and gain from caring for a bonsai.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

How Often Do You Water A Bonsai Tree

You may be wondering how or when you need to water your bonsai tree. Well, we are here to help you with the information you need.

The most important part of taking care of your bonsai tree is watering it. How often a tree needs to be watered depends on factors like the size of the pot, time of year, soil mixture, climate, size of tree and species of tree. It is impossible to indicate how often you should water a bonsai tree. However, some claims have stated that more bonsai trees die from too much water rather than little water. Understanding some few basic principles will help you to know when your bonsai tree needs to be watered.


When watering your bonsai tree, you should not water when the soil is still wet but only when it feels slightly dry. You could use your fingers to check the earth at a centimeter deep. Do not let your tree dry entirely because it could affect its growth. When you get more experience with the tree, you should be able to see instead of feeling the soil when the tree needs water. Pouring a few drops of water in the corner of the container will destroy the balance of the plant and also the surface features. The surface of the bonsai tree is essential as that will help preserve the tree.

For each watering, the soil should be saturated, and the simplest way to achieve that is to use the immersion method;

  1. Try misting the surface features, soil, gravel and moss with a misting spray. The mist helps reduce the surface tension between the surface components and the water during immersion and prevents the moss, gravel, and soil from washing away.
  2. Immerse the whole container slowly into a basin of water. Try and ensure that the water level covers the base of the plant trunk. You can wait for all the air to have bubbled out of the soil. The bubbling is the stale air which gets replaced with fresh air as the soil drains. You can wait for another 10 minutes to ensure that the soil is saturated.
  3. Remove the plant slowly from the basin. Fresh air will be replaced and drawn into the soil as the container and soil drain out which prevents anaerobic bacteria development.

The draining should be visible, and there should be free flow from the drainage hole made on the container. If it doesn’t flow, it either means the soil is too dense, or the holes created on the container are too small. This method assures safe watering without any disturbance of the surface feature.


The right soil mixture also determines how often the trees need to be watered. For most bonsai trees, a mixture of pumice, akadama and lava rock mixed in a ratio of a quarter to a half and a quarter respectively should be excellent.

You can also make use of a mixture that retains more water by even potting compost or using more akadama when you cannot water your trees regularly. With the combination of a well-perforated container and a good soil mixture, you will have no difficulty over watering your bonsai tree, and you will be offering it a more comfortable growing environment.

Make sure the whole body of soil is homogeneous to allow a proper drainage system. Soil that retains water will place most plants at high risk of root rot, but it can be considered when you don’t water your tree regularly.

The soil should contain no more than one third by volume of loamy soil, and the rest should be one-third rough surface of grain size of about 1mm to 3mm and one third a mix of peat and compost.

Repotting is necessary and essential to ensure the soil remains good. It is usually done at intervals from a couple of years for young plants to five years plus for more established plants. Repotting can become brutal when ignored for too long.


You can try to be observant when it to your tree. So you can avoid watering it daily until you’ve learned how the plant grows to know when it comes needs watering.


A bonsai container should have a proper drainage system. Your bonsai container should have the following three characteristics.


It should be able to drain completely. Stagnant water will eventually attract anaerobic bacteria that are bad for the roots of your tree. Little hollows, most importantly those that occur in warped pots where there are often indents inside the container. So in summary, drainage is very much important.


The drainage holes made on the container must be adequate, not smaller than 10mm and 15 mm-20mm is appropriate. Mesh is also required for covering the drainage holes to prevent soil spill. There should be at least one such hole for each 75cm square base area.

CONTAINER FEET                                                                                                              

The bonsai container should have feet that lift its base above the surface it stands on. It allows air convection current to circulate through the soil when it heats up. It will enable cooler clean air to come through the holes. Another significant effect of the feet of the container is the aesthetic component which gives the bonsai an airy floating world kind of feeling that contributes to the illusion one is trying to create.


A good environment is a primary key to a healthy bonsai. The bonsai variety may thrive outdoors or indoors. The outdoor species would require a season of cold weather and would become dormant. The outdoor bonsais are likely to die when kept indoors for a specified period.

When the season becomes milder like summer and spring, the bonsai tree should be brought indoors for a week. Well, for an indoor bonsai tree, it must be kept at temperature levels between 50 and 80 degrees. In milder seasons, they may be kept outside, but remember extreme cold will cause it to die and so it should be kept indoors.

 Many bonsai enthusiasts chose to create their soil mixture. A store-bought potting mix can also be used. The significant difference between the potting soil mixture and the bonsai soil is the reduced amount of fertilizer.

The moisture of the soil should be carefully observed to avoid it getting over or under watered. The bonsai tree should be watered frequently in hot seasons like summer. The bonsai plants need fertilizers for optimum growth.

The compost should contain Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium which would be given to the plant at the right time of the year.

The potassium protects the plant against disease and encourages flowering. Nitrogen enhances the growth of stems and leaves. While the Phosphorus contained in the fertilizer ensures the plant attains healthy roots and stimulates budding. A bonsai tree has a healthy growth cycle like any other plant. So generally, a bonsai tree is expected to live as same as its parent. The lifespan of the bonsai tree also depends on the species, growing condition, climate, pests, etc. The most important thing is how you take care of the tree.

It doesn’t matter what time you water your bonsai tree. But I’ll advise you to avoid flooding with icy water in the afternoon when the soil has been warmed up by the sun. When watering, ensure the entire root mass is wet.


For a healthy and flourishing Bonsai plant, these above tips will guide you on all you need for a successful Bonsai grooming. We’ll be happy to know if our suggestions were helpful, let us know the outcome of these tips in the comment box below. Thanks for reading through.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Tree Care Basics, Indoor Bonsai Trees, Uncategorized

Can You Keep A Bonsai Tree Indoors?

While it is true that you can keep bonsai trees indoor, this is only true for certain trees. Before placing your tree indoors, you should first figure out what tree you have. Tropical and subtropical trees are the only ones that can thrive indoors. These trees need high, stable temperatures all year round. This can be achieved outdoors only in certain climates.

Indoor vs Outdoor trees

As mentioned before, indoor bonsai trees need high, stable temperatures consistently all year. Outdoor bonsai trees, on the other hand, need to be exposed to the changing of the seasons. Outdoor trees experience dormancy periods in the winter and another small one in the summer, indoor trees do not. This dormancy period is completely natural in outdoor trees, but very unnatural and unnecessary for indoor species. If outdoor species do not receive this dormancy period, they will grow weak and can die. 

Caring for an Indoor Bonsai Tree

Taking care of bonsai trees is different from caring for a regular potted plant. Bonsai trees are planted in shallow containers in order to limit their nutrients and water intake. Indoor bonsai trees are also used to lots of light and high humidity, which can be hard to emulate in your household. 


Light is one of the most important factors in caring for a bonsai. These trees need lots of light with as much light intensity as possible all year long. This can be hard to accomplish indoors, but it can be done. Placing your tree directly in front of a South facing window will ensure the tree will get as much natural light as possible. That being said, it is still very possible that your tree still isn’t getting enough light. Adding artificial lighting for around 10 hours a day will help significantly. 

Humidity and Temperature

Indoor bonsai also need high humidity all year round. Your tree needs higher humidity levels than the ones in your household, especially when using air conditioning and heating. Circulating air from outside by opening a window during the daytime will help. To increase humidity, you can try placing a humidity tray filled with water underneath the tree’s pot. Be careful not to let the tree’s roots soak in the water, though, as this will cause the roots to rot.

Tropical trees also need high temperatures all year, close to the temperatures in your living room. Subtropical trees, on the other hand, thrive in a low temperature winter. These trees like temperatures lower than your average living room.

Watering and Fertilizing 

Another very important part of caring for a bonsai is watering. How much water a bonsai tree needs varies from tree to tree, but there are some general guidelines you can follow for every tree. The first being that you should never water a bonsai tree on a routine or schedule. Check the soil’s moisture levels every day or a few times a day in the hotter months. You can check the soil using your finger, a chopstick, or a moisture meter. If the soil is dry, water generously until the water starts dripping out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Then repeat this process once more. Do not water your plant when the soil is already wet. This can cause root rot and will eventually kill the plant if left untreated.

All bonsai fertilizers contain the elements Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). Each element serves its own purpose. For indoor bonsai trees, balanced fertilizer should be applied consistently all year round because they lack a growth period. The packaging should tell you how often to apply the fertilizer.

Caring for indoor bonsai trees isn’t as hard as one may think. So long as you care for your tree properly, your tree should grow healthy and strong. The tree should receive as much light as possible during the day. Constant high humidity is required all year round, and temperatures should stay relatively high for tropical trees, lower for subtropical. Water your tree when it needs to be water, never on a routine. Fertilize constantly all year round. In time, you will learn your tree and will be able to care for it much easier.

Bonsai General Info, Uncategorized

What Does Bonsai Mean?

bonsai forrest

What does the word “Bonsai” mean? That’s a question that many beginners to the discipline of Bonsai might wonder. In the Oxford dictionary, “Bonsai” is defined as a “shrub or tree meant to be an ornament that is grown in a pot and synthetically prevented from being a normal-sized plant. It is a discipline that has been around for thousands of years. In order to fully understand the full nature of the Bonsai, here is some extra information you need to know: 

Bonsai History 

Although the word “Bonsai” and the concept has been taken over by Japan, this concept was originally called “Pun-Sai” and it was a Chinese creation. They perfected the art of growing miniature trees in a container by 700 A.D. and they kept the concept to themselves for at least 400 years. However, when this discipline was introduced into Japan during the Kamakura Shogunate period from 1185-1333, they perfected the practice and renamed it “Bonsai”. It has been a well-established Japanese traditional ever since. 

Bonsai and Spirituality

Of course, a lot of people relate the Bonsai tree to the practice of Zen Buddhism. While this is a worthy idea, the Bonsai can go much deeper than that. For some, this means that the Bonsai helps them become more in tune with the natural world. For others, Bonsai is a reminder that everything is elemental. The trees adapt, survive, and even thrive even within their limited surroundings. They are very resilient indeed. 

Bonsai and Budo 

Naturally, Budo is a martial arts practice. It requires a lot of training in order to do it right and to be able to practice the moves well. Although it may seem surprising to some, many Budo artists find inspiration in the Bonsai plant. This is because much like their training, the Bonsai is being trained as well. As they gaze at the Bonsai, they are made aware that their persistence in training will get them where they need to be as well. 

Bonsai Trees in China 

The earliest known reference to Bonsai trees in China occurs in the tomb of Crown Prince Zhang Huai in 706 A.D. There was a painting of two ladies-in-waiting who were each holding a Bonsai Tree. They were holding small paints in some very small dishes, and these would later become known as the Bonsai trees that we all know and love. Moreover, another Chinese reference to the Bonsai tree was in many Chinese works of literature. Moreover, many artists attempted to include at least one Bonsai tree in their masterpieces simply because this was a symbol of a man of affluence and culture. 

Bonsai Trees in Japan 

Even though the Bonsai tree didn’t become widespread in Japan until medieval times, they were first introduced to Japan some 1200 years ago as a religious or tourist artifact. They were first portrayed in Japanese art about eight hundred years ago, and archaeologists and historians alike both love everything that has to do with the Bonsai tree in Japan simply because it is a window into their culture. For it was during this time period that the Japanese were fascinated with everything regarding China. 

So you see, the Bonsai tree is more than just a plant. It incorporates so many different themes that it is definitely an amazing discipline to be involved in. The “meaning” of Bonsai is truly very vast indeed.


How Do Bonsai Trees Stay Small

Whereas this is usually a somewhat tricky question to ask, it without a doubt has an answer. What I know is that bonsai trees are generally small because we want them to be small-sized. When I trap the bonsai tree root in a pot, it means it will have a stunted growth hence making it small in size. Furthermore, the bonsai pots do not allow the trees to expand but this depends on the bonsai pot I will be using. Bonsai trees in smaller pots are usually small compared to those in larger containers.

Bonsai Wire Training

I use bonsai wire training because it is a vital method best for styling and training bonsai trees. When I wrap the wire around the tree branches am very much able to reposition as well as bend the branch. I usually do wiring in winter when the tree has shaded its leaves, enabling me to work very quickly. It will take a few months for the tree to get the required new shape, so I always pay close attention to remove the wires on time to avoid the creation of ugly scars.

Moreover, I also make use of the appropriate material while wiring, with this typically either annealed copper or anodized aluminum. These two types of material serve different purposes; copper is for pines and conifers, while aluminum is for deciduous.

For starters, I would recommend you to use anodized aluminum since it is very easy to find on the market as well as to work with. However, during the use of these wires, I always make sure I protect the branches from being damaged. Therefore, I recommend that you first wrap the branches with raffia that has been soaked in water before commencing to wire the bonsai tree.

Kengai Bonsai Training

This type of training is for bonsai trees that are struggling to get enough light for its leaves. It is one of the most challenging methods to understand, so the main agenda for Kengai training is to create branches facing down along with upward-facing leaf pads on a downward trunk. However, most people usually mix things up when implementing it, resulting in not the intended outcome. If you do it properly, you will end up with the best
results ever, and this will give an excellent impression from the pot.

Seki-Joju Bonsai Training

Bonsai trees are forced to look for nutrients either in holes or cracks. Their roots are usually unprotected before reaching the ground; therefore, they need to have some defense mechanism in the sun. Seki-joju training comes along with some benefits, among them, is giving a good impression and mage of the landscape and also a sense of age and struggle. On the other hand, it also has some disadvantages; Seki-joju can fail to give the image I want; for example, if I select a rock which is not appropriate chances of it giving me a poor image are very high.

Pruning Bonsai Trees

Just like any other tree or flower requires pruning, so does bonsai trees do. I prune bonsai trees to give it a designated size, shape as well as an appropriate style and enable it to provide an excellent impression to the eye. Furthermore, by pruning, I help the plant to keep its aesthetic value and the entire health status plus boosting its longevity. However, pruning varies with the type of bonsai training. For me to do pruning, there are several tools I require, such as:

  • Bleach
  • Pruning Scissors
  • Concave cutters

Then I identify the parts of my bonsai tree that needs to be pruned, especially the parts that are crowded to allow enough light to penetrate all the parts of the bonsai tree. Furthermore, annual remove half the new growth to balance and make my bonsai tree sizeable and well-shaped using a pruning scissor. Additionally, when I am doing away with large branches, I use concave cutters since the scissor is for thinning as well as trimming deciduous trees.

Based on the above information, I hope you have been able to understand how bonsai trees grow small and the reason why this is the case. Consequently, you are better- placed to understand thanks to this comprehensive guide I have taken you through to know whether this tree is a perfect fit for you.

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!