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bonsai care

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

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 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.