Can Bonsai Trees Grow Indoors? Tips for Indoor Bonsai Trees

Bonsai is the symbol of harmony and peace in nature and human life. Hence, a lot of people are into bonsai tree plantations for their mental peace. If you are new to the bonsai tree, you will need to consider many facts closely and decide which thing is the best for your bonsai. 

One such confusing point comes when you need to decide between indoor and outdoor bonsai trees. In fact, many people ask, “Can bonsai trees grow indoors? 

Yes, you can grow bonsai trees indoor. In reality, many species are specific to grow as indoor bonsai. You can choose tropical tree species to grow as indoor bonsai plants. But be aware that even the indoor bonsais will need to be placed outdoors from time to time, especially in winter, to receive maximum sunlight and ventilation. 

When you plan for indoor bonsais, it needs special care. The process starts from picking the right variants for in-house growth to proper watering, fertilizing, hydration, and exposure to natural sunlight for healthy and appropriate growth. 

Can Bonsai Trees Grow Indoors?

Can Bonsai Trees Grow Indoor?

Yes, you can grow bonsai trees inside your room, but you may need to expose them to outdoor conditions during winter for natural sunlight. But for most of the bonsai life cycle, you can keep it inside with indoor-specific bonsai species. 

We will discuss-

  • Top five species for indoor bonsai growth 
  • Caring and maintenance of indoor bonsai 

So, don’t go away if you have a small space and no excess to outdoor grounds. Our bonsai tree caring guideline will ensure maximum indoor space utilization to grow your favorite bonsai with the least effort. 

Read More: can juniper bonsai trees live indoors?

Top Indoor Bonsai Tree Species 

When you want a bonsai tree for growing indoors, you need to be choosy. It is because not all bonsai trees can be grown indoors. You can choose from-

  • Tropical tree variants 
  • Sub-tropical variants 

The good news is with proper care, these species and variants of the bonsai tree will flourish happily inside any room. 

The top five choices for worldwide indoor bonsais are as following:

Ficus species:

The ficus species are available in 850 variants and are the most popular bonsai species for indoor growth. Most people choose ficus bonsai due to its milky sap, which is produced by cuts on three. Some species may even bloom, but it is pretty rare. 

Ficus is highly adaptive for different conditions and needs low light and humidity. So, beginners may find it an excellent option to kick off their bonsai career. 

Chinese elm:

Chinese elm is famous as an indoor bonsai tree. But its positivity doesn’t end here. Thanks to its easy caring, Chinese elm is a great option for beginners. 

The growth rate is pretty fast and predictable, making pruning, trimming, and wiring the tree to form a particular shape easy and hassle-free. Also, the tree is tolerant to overwatering, low light, and humidity that makes it a top choice for indoor bonsai. 

Snow rose: 

Thanks to its attractive, engaging, and abundant flowers, snow rose has been the favorite of many bonsai planters. The stem is woody and can be an excellent option for both indoor and outdoor bonsai. 

snow rose bonsai

It is known as the tree of thousand stars for its small and attractive flowers. In fact, it will bloom continuously in almost all seasons. But most flowers will bloom during the early spring. 

However, we don’t recommend snow rose for beginners, as it is a high-maintenance bonsai tree. If the temperature and humidity fluctuate, the tree will become stressed easily. 

Carmona bonsai:

The Carmona bonsai is also known as Fukien Tea. It blooms almost year-round, and its small whitish flowers truly look attractive and captivating. 

Carmona bonsai

Also, Carmona bonsai is found widely in roadside bonsai vendors, as the tree can thrive both indoors and outdoors with relative ease. Its foliage is small, and the upright style is truly amazing. Plus, it thrives easily in strong to medium sunlight, which makes its maintenance easy and quick. 

Dwarf umbrella bonsai:

The last in our list for the best indoor bonsai tree species is the famous dwarf umbrella bonsai. Its name comes from its thick umbrella-like foliage that not only looks awesome but can also be trained in various shapes according to the planter’s wish. 

Dwarf umbrella bonsai

You can choose from-

  • Roots exposed on the pot over the rocks 
  • The popular weeping banyan tree shape 

It is an evergreen species and generally tolerant to over or under-watering and lighting. So, its maintenance is relatively easy too. 

The following table will help you decide which indoor bonsai tree species will suit your requirements the best:

Comparison pointsFicus SpeciesChinese ElmSnow RoseCarmona BonsaiDwarf Umbrella
Maintenance Easy Hard Easy Medium Medium 
Location Best for indoor Both indoor and outdoor Indoor; but can be grown outdoor Indoor Purely indoor bonsai tree 
Hardiness rating 10-115-98-1110-1110-12
Pests and diseases Almost immune to pests Aphids and gall mites are the main concern Scaling and yellow foliage due to the lack of sunlight May attract scale insects, aphids, mealybugs Attracts the spider mites in low-humidity 
Watering needs Moist soil bed; don’t overwater or underwater Regular moist without  over or under watering You must mist the foliage Water only when the soil loses dampness Moist location; mist the soil every other day 

Can I Keep Temperate Bonsai Indoor?

Temperate bonsai species are dependent on their dormancy period during the wintertime. The dormancy period refers to when the tree reaches its yearly growth cycle and prepares itself for the new life cycle. 

what temperature do bonsai trees like

The dormancy period is directly dependent on the intensity of the light and temperature. It starts with the decreasing light and temperature in the environment. When the temperate bonsais are kept inside, it can’t detect the increase or decrease in the temperature and light. 

Thus, you can’t grow temperate and non-tropical bonsai trees indoor. 

Caring and Maintenance Tips for Indoor Bonsai Trees 

Indoor bonsai plants need special care as they aren’t exposed to direct sunlight and temperature. Also, their caring is different from the common outdoor bonsai species. On top of it, when grown in small pots, these bonsai species need proper fertilization to get the necessary nutrients which they would receive from the soil. 

Also, you need to replicate the tropical humidity and temperature for these trees to strive and grow just the way you want. 

Ensure proper light:

At indoor, the light intensity is relatively low compared to the outdoor locations. When the tree is exposed to such conditions for an extended period, it will slow down its growth rate. Thus, ensuring proper light for indoor bonsai is the main challenge. 

Ideally, you should place the bonsai close to direct sunlight near a window. In this regard, south-facing window placement for the bonsai will be a great help. 

Also, arrange artificial lighting to increase the lighting intensity for proper growth and healthiness of the indoor plant. Expert gardeners will use fluorescent lights to supplement the light deficit for these indoor bonsai plants. 

Humidity is the key:

Indoor bonsais are mainly tropical tree species that need high humidity for survival. Thus, you have to maintain a high humid condition for these trees inside the house. 

But this can be challenging since our home has heating machines and air conditioning installed to soak up excessive humidity. But there’s an easy solution to this problem. You should use a humidity tray and place the bonsai pot on it with water-filled in the tray. 

Also, mist the tree following the expert’s recommendation to maintain a high humidity level. Finally, open the nearby window to allow humid air to come inside and moist the tree. 

Don’t forget watering and fertilization:

Although the label on your bonsai plant will suggest you water the plant on a routine, it is not appreciable. Instead, you should regularly check the soil’s dampness and water it as per the best indoor bonsai maintenance requirements. 

You may use a moisture meter to calculate the dampness or apply the conventional chopstick or finger method for measuring the dampness. When the soil feels a bit dry, you should water it. 

Next, you have to fertilize the soil during the growing season of the bonsai trees. It lasts from early spring to the mid-fall season. Also, choose a fertilizer with the proper balance of potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen. Ideally, a 10 10 10 fertilizer is recommended for bonsai plants. 

Furthermore, make sure that bonsai fertilizer also includes the essential micro-nutrients such as zinc, iron, boron, manganese, etc., in proper ratio to ensure the health and growth of the plants. 

Maintain the right temperature:

Tropical species need high temperatures for proper growth. The good thing is in most locations, the indoor temperature is quite ideal for these plants to thrive with relative ease. But things can be a little different if you are from a cold region, where the temperature often goes below sub-zero level. 

It would be best to place the plants near a window or door to avoid the effects of temperature drop. Plus, high-intensity fluorescent light can be a good alternative to providing warmth for the indoor bonsai. 

Repotting and pruning:

Repotting and pruning:

Most indoor bonsai plants would require repotting every other year. It is crucial since the older soil will not have enough fertilizer to maintain the tree’s growth. Plus, smaller pots will outgrow the older bonsai plants. 

Hence, you have to apply repotting technique for the proper growth of these species. Plus, you must prune, trim and wire the plants to achieve your desired shape, which is the ultimate goal for indoor bonsai arrangements. 

Final Words 

Can bonsai trees grow indoor?Yes, absolutely; you can grow bonsai in indoor conditions and still get the best bonsais. The key is to choose the right species for indoor plantation and maintaining the tree with the proper guideline for its care. We have a plethora of bonsai care maintenance tips for you to grow bonsai indoor with perfect shape, flowering, and longevity. 

You will love when people appreciate your hard work to grow the beautiful bonsai awesomely. Also, it will elevate the indoor aesthetics quite remarkably. Finally, the peace and happiness it brings are simply invaluable. 

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