10 Indoor Bonsai Trees For Beginners: Tree Care Guide

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10 Indoor Bonsai Trees For Beginners: Tree Care Guide

 

bonsai tree
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Bonsai plants are a great way to change things at home or work. Bonsai trees are grown in a specific way that makes them different from other indoor plants. Their main goal is to find peace of mind and look strange.

Houseplants make great indoor bonsai because they don’t need as much light as plants that grow outside.

Bonsai trees are beautiful in a way that nothing else is, and they can be a nice focal point in a room. Interested in bonsai but don’t know where to start? Look at the best indoor bonsai trees for beginners to get you started.

 

What Is A Bonsai Plant?

what is a bonsai
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A bonsai is a small tree or plant in a pot and cared for in a way that makes it look its best. Bonsai versions of real plants can look better than the real plants themselves. 300 years later, during the Edo period (1603–1867), the bonsai was very popular with a larger number of people. 

Most bonsai trees fit into one of three main size groups: small, medium, or large. There tend to be some differences among these smaller groups, based on the size of each group. Bonsai trees are so unique that even though you try to measure them, nothing will fit into their category. But know that it is still important to know which group your bonsai will fall.

The special thing about bonsai is that it grows well in your home. It is even considered a hardy and adaptable plant. Making it different from other types of gardens resulting in its unique characteristics. It only takes the sun, water, and fertilizer once in a while to be happy and healthy. By doing so, you’ll be able to enjoy your bonsai every year as it grows and blooms. 

Bonsai Tree Care For Beginners

taking care of bonsai tree
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Taking care of a bonsai tree might initially be overwhelming. Many things need to be followed and taken care of but continue with this article to learn better. And you will know that caring for a bonsai tree is much easier than any other houseplant.

 

How often should you water bonsai?

watering bonsai
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When watering your bonsai tree has very specific needs that must be met. Immerse the whole bonsai tree in a water container once weekly whenever the topsoil is dry.  Keep an eye out for air bubbles that will rise to the surface. This means that the bonsai has soaked up enough water.

The humidity is another important thing to consider if you want to keep your bonsai healthy. Your bonsai tree might come with a pebble bag and a tray to moisten the soil. If you don’t have one, you might want to buy one. You should put the stones on the tray. Spread a thin layer of water over the pebbles. This helps the tree get more moisture and keeps the surface it’s sitting on from getting damaged.

 

Do indoor bonsai trees need sunlight?

direct sunlight on bonsai tree
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The key concern is that an indoor tropical bonsai tree gets much less light than the outside. Even if trees don’t get enough light, they won’t die. Instead, they’ll grow slower, weakening them over time. If you want to grow a bonsai indoors, you should put it in a sunny spot, in front of a south-facing window.

 

Where should you place a bonsai tree?

indoor bonsai tree
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Even though it is inside a smaller plant, your bonsai is still a tree. Adding a bonsai tree to your home releases calming and relaxing effect to your home. Some people, though, like to place a tiny bonsai garden in the middle of their living room. Other people also add something like the patio.

When choosing where to put your bonsai tree, you should remember that its leaves need a lot of direct sunlight. Usually, this means a place near a window that gets a lot of natural light. If you don’t have access to that, you might want to buy a grow lamp instead.

Even if your workplace is very busy, a bonsai tree can help you feel calm and in control. A bonsai adds a sense of balance and draws attention to the area. So it is helpful whether you have an office in your home or a separate place.

 

Pruning indoor bonsai tree

pruning bonsai
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Pruning is usually done to keep a bonsai tree’s shape and improve it. As we talked about, most of a tree’s growth happens at the top and on the outside of its stem. Because of this, it’s important to prune these growth areas often. To encourage growth closer to the center of the tree.

If you prune a bonsai tree correctly, you can keep or even improve its shape. As was already said, most of a tree’s new growth happens at the end of its stem and on the bark that covers it.

 

 

Best type of soil for bonsai 

bonsai soil
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The best soil for a bonsai would let water drain but keep some of its water. Besides, it comprises small particles that help the water get enough air. This makes it possible for the roots to get the oxygen they need. If you want your bonsai to do well, you should start with soil made for that purpose.

Also, the bonsai plant needs fertilizer during the time of year when it is growing. Most of the time, this lasts from the start of spring to about the middle of September. While dormancy is the time when it’s best to avoid fertilizing, late fall through winter are good times to do it.

 

 

Indoor Bonsai Tree Lifespan

The smaller bonsai trees might only be five years old. But, given proper care, they live for decades longer. Some boast a lifespan of over 500 years and counting!  For those interested, there are lists of trees and their approximate ages.

 

 

10 Best Bonsai Trees for Beginners

bonsai trees for beginners
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Listed below are some options to consider. The following are 10 best indoor bonsai that are most considered good for beginners. We have picked these different varieties with beautiful colors and textures that are easy to take care of. 

 

 

Japanese maple bonsai (Acer palmatum)

japanese maple
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There are many reasons why the japanese maple bonsai is popular as a bonsai tree. It is easy to shape into a miniature landscape, and its leaves are colorful and lobed. The bonsai tree is a great choice if you are starting because it can usually train to look in various ways.

 

 

Bodhi tree (Ficus Religiosa)

bodhi bonsai tree
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Buddha found enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, also called the sacred fig tree.

It will make a great indoor bonsai if it is kept in shape. This plant grows fast and makes roots in the air. So, it gives people with less experience a chance to learn new things and people with more experience a chance to get better.

At first glance, the leaves look like small hearts and are a bronze color. But, as the leaves grow and age, they turn a shiny green color. Some people like to leave a lot of leaves, but the Bodhi doesn’t mind much if a lot cuts down the number of leaves.

 

Cotoneaster horizontalis

Cotoneaster horizontalis
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Rock cotoneaster is also known as cascading cotoneaster because it grows over rocks. This plant is perfect for indoor bonsai because its color doesn’t change all that much. It does well in a moderate setting and would make a nice houseplant. This tree is a great option for novices unfamiliar with indoor bonsais. Growing cotoneaster bonsai does not need high maintenance. 

 

Boxwood bonsai

boxwood tree
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Boxwood is a great choice for an indoor bonsai tree. It is usually used to make hedges. First-time gardeners and landscapers often use boxwood because it is easy to care for, train, and keep in good shape. But people with different skill levels enjoy the beautiful works of art that can be made with this plant.

 

Fiscus retusa bonsai

Ficus Retusa Bonsai Tree
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Tropical bonsai growers think these trees are some of the most beautiful. Both new and experienced bonsai artists often look to them for ideas. If you don’t have much time but still want to grow bonsai, you don’t need to water them. The Ficus retusa is a unique addition to any garden because it is one of the few types of trees that can grow well both inside and outdoors. Making it the most popular indoor bonsai tree.

 

Jade bonsai tree (Crassula ovata)

jade plant
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The stems and leaves of the jade plant are thick and soft. The stems are also soft. It grows fast and looks like a grown-up. Even though the tree isn’t very big, it looks even better because of its strong trunk. The evergreen jade bonsai tree is a tough plant that doesn’t need much care from its owners. It can be good as an indoor bonsai tree for its natural elegance.

 

 

Bougainvillaea bonsai

Bougainvillea tree
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Bougainvillaea is a great plant for a bonsai garden because it does more than add color. You can find paper flowers at any time of the year. Despite bougainvillaea plants’ colored leaves, they’re still very appealing. As long as they are easy to wire, branches can be used to make almost anything. 

 

Adenium bonsai

Adenium bonsai
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The Adenium is another great choice for indoor bonsai. It stands out because its trunk is wide and round, its flowers are bright, and its leaves are shiny. This flowering tree grows, so it doesn’t take much work to make a bonsai that looks natural. Adeniums are good houseplants because they can handle being ignored. If you don’t have much time but still want to grow bonsai plants, the best way to do it is in dry conditions.

 

Cherry blossom bonsai (Prunus serrulata)

Cherry blossom bonsai
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Cherry blossom bonsai can make a good indoor bonsai during winter. But cherry tree bonsai benefit from being hydrated with distilled water rather than harsh tap water and need constant moist and humid conditions. However, the soil should never get sodden with water. Allow the top inch of soil to gradually dry out between waterings as a general guideline.

 

Crape myrtle bonsai

Crape myrtle
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Are you looking for a bonsai that is easy to take care of and has beautiful pink, white, or purple flowers? Think about the crape myrtle bonsai tree. It gives the summer scenery a splash of color and doesn’t need much care. The underside of the tree’s bark could be gray, rusty brown, or even pink, depending on when you see it. You might fall in love with this beautiful bonsai tree. Making it the best indoor bonsai for beginners.

 

Conclusion

There is no doubt that bonsai trees are a great addition to any home or office. They enhance a space and create a dreamy atmosphere. These beautiful bonsais come with many benefits, some spiritual or personal, besides being fun to look at.

Today, you can buy hundreds of different kinds of bonsai. But I recommend that any of these ten could be a good place to start if you want to try this interesting activity. We chose cultivars that don’t need a lot of care and attention. Which ones will make your house feel calmer and more put together?

 

 

 

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12 Comments

  1. Shyla Elza

    Bonsai trees are so truly fascinating. I have always really enjoyed looking at them, but have no had much experience in caring for them. My sister had one when I was a kid and I would always spend time gazing at it. This post really makes me want an indoor bonsai tree to take care of myself. Your post is really informative and helpful for anyone considering this hobby. Thanks for inspiring me with this post today! 

    Reply
    • Diane

      Thanks for reading and commenting. 

      Bonsai trees are one of those plants not often considered but are thoroughly enjoyed when added to the home. If you choose to get one (or more) I think you will find they are as mesmerizing as you remember from childhood.

      Thanks for visiting; please stop by again soon!

      Reply
  2. Jolly

    Hi Diane,

    Thanks for sharing such amazing article about the bonsai tree. I saw it before in my friend house but I never knew it name. I’m always hope to add some green in my house and I think the bonsai tree may be a good suggestion for me. Although I have zero knowledge on plating but it seems like beginners friendly since you stated that it is easy to take care. I’m already feeling excited to have it in my house.

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Diane

      Yes, you will find the bonsai tree plant is quite a beginner friendly option. Just follow the suggestions I’ve given. there are other beginner-friendly plants on my site, too. You might find a selection that works well together for your home.

      Thanks for visiting HousePlantJoy. Please stop back again soon.

      Reply
  3. Antonio

    Hi Diane

    They say that most bonsai given as gifts will often die within because most people do not look after them. I think that people who have read your article will have a better idea of how to do this. It is important that you feed right, water right and know when to repot the bonsai and of course to prune right. They are indeed make fine specimens but you often worry that you will not look after them right. It is hard to imagine that some of these plant can be hundreds of years old. Do you recommend using specialised bonsai compost and feed to give your plant the best start?

    Thanks 

    Antonio

    Reply
    • Diane

      Yes, it’s true that they do require some care to maintain them, but they are well worth the effort. 

      I do recommend using bonsai specific products for them. I’ll have an upcoming article on my recommendations.

      Thanks for visiting HousePlantJoy. Please stop back again soon.

      Reply
  4. laertes

    WoW!… what an amazing article…I really your topic presentation, its simple and yet informative. I also have bonsai plant at home…I always looked up my bonsai plant every time I arrived from work because it gave me a feeling of relaxation and calm…it gives me a good sense of well being and my problem disappears. Its just that I really have to spend quality time to groom my bonsai because its just like being a barber, you have to see to it that I cant cut the wrong leaves and branches because it will destroy its natural beauty. Kindly put some bonsai pictures as a representation of your 10 bonsai  examples for start-ups. Then what are your recommendations for the container use to grow for the bonsai plant? because clay pot can easily be broken and using porcelain as a container sometimes is hard to find. Thanks and keep safe! 

    Reply
    • Diane

      Yes, as you have found, these plants create an amazing feeling of calm and help destress. I will be adding more photos soon and have more articles planned, too, including one on the best containers. 

      Thanks for your comments. Please stop back again soon!

      Reply
  5. Alejandra

    I love Bonsai trees and I love to read about how to grow my own, I must say I’m glad I found your article today as I could read more about the steps to follow to grow my own. 

    I’m lucky to have a small Bougainvillea bonsai tree, I bought the plant a few years ago and I know this plant can grow big, but as I live in Canada, somehow this plant decided by itself to become a bonsai, hasn’t grow at all, it stays the same high year after year, and it gives me a beautiful blooming every year during winter, which is extraordinary to be able to enjoy beautiful flowers inside the house while everything is all covered with snow outdoors!

    I was surprise to know after reading your article that I should give more water to my Bougainvillea bonsai, I would love to know how often I should change the soil or what steps I should follow to keep this natural bonsai better. 

    Thanks so much for sharing a great article to read today!

    Reply
    • Diane

      I am glad you found the information helpful. Yes, the Bougainvillea makes a beautiful bonsai, which is fortunate for those in the cooler growing zones, such as yourself.

      Water your plant when it begins to feel slightly dry, but don’t let it dry out completely. You might also consider a humidity tray, as described in the article. It will help during drier air conditions.

      Reply
  6. Stephen Tan

    I enjoyed Bonsai at my boss’s house last year, but I have never think of getting Bonsai in my house. Your article gives me a lot of information about how to take care and grow the Bonsai tree. 

    The watering method for Bonsai pot is new to me and not by spraying water to the tree. I agreed Bonsai tree needs a lot of sunlight. I saw my boss move his Bonsai to the outside compound in the morning. He said he would move back after 2 to 3 hours of sunbathing for his Bonsai.

     You have mentioned about a humidity tray and bag of pebbles to keep the tree healthy with proper humidity. I wish you a picture to show me how to do it. You have recommended ten types of trees suitable for Bonsai; I hope you can provide a few trees photos for reference.

    Due to COVID 19, most of our time spent at home, I think it is a good idea to grow a few pots of Bonsai to enlighten our home. Your way of trimming the tree looks interesting to me. I hope it is delightful to let our imagination works while pruning the Bonsai.

    I have bookmark your website link in my PC, and I hope you can update with the relevant images to make it a rich content. 

    An extra comment is your site is insecure, please check with site support.

    Reply
    • Diane

      Yes, the Bonsai is an excellent project to undertake during the at-home time of Covid19. You might consider this and other plants, too.

      I am working on an article about the humidity trays and will have it posted soon. If you are on our Facebook group, 

      https://www.facebook.com/houseplantjoyblog

      you will receive notice of the article. If not, stop back soon to enjoy more reading.

      Reply

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