Bonsai is the small-form reproduction of natural trees. It started in China and Japan, where these trees are grown in pots and depend on the owner for 100% attention. If you provide enough attention to your bonsai, it will grow lush and healthy for long enough. It will also become more attractive as it ages, with more care and age it gets. Hence, the basics of having and enjoying a bonsai tree indoors is understanding Indoor Bonsai Trees care. And many people don’t know where to start and thus, end up with a sickened or dead bonsai tree.
Let’s discuss the basic steps of caring for bonsai indoors below.
How To Grow Healthy Bonsai Trees Indoors
Indoor bonsai tree care requires procedures different from growing regular plants in pots. Bonsai trees usually become choked up in small containers without enough water or nutrients. Hence, they need extra care.
Bonsai trees need so much light, as such that the sun outside will provide. Indoors planting will not provide as intense light as outdoor planting, particularly for bonsai plants.
Inadequate light stunts the growth of bonsai trees, although they wouldn’t die immediately. Instead, the leaves will gradually decrease in growth and stop growing. Eventually, the plant will weaken or may die.
Place your bonsai before a south-facing window from which the sun penetrates. In case of no opening, use bright artificial lighting that radiates growth-friendly spectra, like fluorescent light, for around 12-16 hours every day.
Your best bet on bonsai planting indoors is a species that tolerates low lighting. That way, you won’t have a high light demand on your neck.
2. Heat humidity
Tropical bonsai trees usually require high humidity levels to survive. A typical home may have room air conditioning or heating, which are not healthy for bonsai trees, as they reduce humidity in the air.
All you can do, particularly if you can’t control your room atmospheric condition, is to increase humidity around your bonsai tree only. Place it on a water-filled humid tray, or mist your bonsai a few times daily.
Open the windows often to increase air circulation, which encourages humidity distribution amongst bonsai trees.
Also, look for bonsai species that tolerate low humidity, like Ficus bonsai, which has waxy leaves. These kinds of trees are perfect for growth indoors.
You can also try to provide a secluded space for your bonsai trees for humidification and lighting.
Watering your bonsai is something you don’t need to do routinely. Yes, only enough water is necessary for your little tree to grow, and only when it is dry.
Wet your bonsai with a moisture meter so you can figure out how much water your bonsai tree wants. Use your fingers to water it sparingly, or a watering can or hose attachment to sprinkle water as such that the soil will remain undisturbed. The chopstick method will also work. Make sure to add enough water will it runs out of the holes beneath your planting pot.
Bonsai trees also need little fertilizer, just like they’d grow on the surface. However, the amount of fertilizer you’d add depends on the nutrient quality soil beneath the tree. If you aren’t using enough sand with nutrients, you may require more fertilizers. For whatever recommended dose of fertilizer is needed for growing garden crops, use half the measurement for bonsai trees of the same requirement.
Use any general-purpose liquid fertilizer of your choice for your bonsai trees. Fertilizers should be distributed sparingly like water over bonsai trees.
You can also rotate between water-soluble fertilizers and foliar feeding for your bonsai. That will help create a balance of that natural feel for your trees.
Tropical bonsai tree species usually require high temperatures, similar to the living room’s normal room temperature. For these species, this temperature range is tolerable throughout the year except for icy weather. Placing a bonsai tree near the window means more exposure to the atmosphere, particularly during winter.
Conversely, subtropical bonsai trees thrive in lower temperatures. If you live in a colder region or wouldn’t provide enough warmth, consider planting semi-tropical and Mediterranean-climate bonsai trees.
Considering the temperature around your bonsai tree is optimal, the other factors may become tolerable.
6. Trimming and pinching
You will need to trim and pinch your tree to keep it miniature. When you notice new growth in the tree, pinch and trim it back to a far point that is safe for the plant’s health. Do not remove every new growth.
Different trees have different growth rates, so your pinching and trimming routine should depend on your tree type.
For whatever kind of bonsai you grow, you will need to change the pots when the root fills the pot.
Re-potting is necessary to provide a fresh soil supply to your bonsai tree and make the root system more compact. Deciduous trees require re-potting every 2-3 years, while evergreen trees need re-potting from 4-5 years or so. Trees grow at different rates, so you should closely watch your tree system to see how often it fills the pot.
Re-potting is usually a straightforward process. You only need to do it correctly and at the right time of the year, around summer.
Uproot the tree along with all the soil around it, removing the bottom part of the tree’s root mass. You can achieve this by raking off the outermost soil away and pruning no more than ¼ of the roots back.
Before you replace the tree, screen the new or old pot over the drainage holes, then add a thin layer of gravel for drainage. Then you can add in the fresh soil with a layer of soil to raise the tree to its former height.
After you’ve placed the tree, fill the area left by the pruned root mass with fresh soil. You should work in the new soil under and around the root mass to close air pockets.
After re-potting, water your bonsai thoroughly, preferably by submerging the entire pot in a water tub. You can cove the soil surface with moss or other materials to prevent soil erosion while you water it.
Just like normal trees, your bonsai tree is liable to pests and diseases. Check it regularly and ask an experienced person about what you can do or use. Don’t use pesticides anyhow, as they may damage your tree too!
Bonsai trees can be artful pieces to own inside one’s home.
But, as seen above, growing these forms of trees can be a challenging task that will require a lot of your attention. If you can invest your energy, time, and research into these trees, it will surely be worth your time.