The following are all great examples of indoor bonsai.
- Chinese Elm [Ulmus parvifolia]
- Chinese Sweet Plum [Sageretia theezans]
- Tree of a Thousand Stars [Serissa foetida]
- Oriental Tea Tree [Carmona microphylla]
- Fig [Ficus species]
- Sweet Aromatic Pepper Tree [Zanthoxylum piperitum]
Generally the care for each of these bonsai is very similar.
- Place your bonsai on a humidity tray. This will catch the water draining through the holes in the bottom of the bonsai pot. This water will create some humidity around your bonsai, especially when the central heating is on. Please take care that the tray does not overflow onto your furniture and make sure that your bonsai does not sit in the water. If bonsai sit in water this can rot the roots and the bonsai can become weak.
- Good daylight is essential to the health of a bonsai. During winter place your bonsai in the brightest place possible, trying to avoid hot objects like radiators and televisions. In summer time beware of hot south facing windows, a little sunlight morning or evening is beneficial, but too much and your bonsai could over heat. Basically, your bonsai needs a position with good daylight but out of direct sunlight.
- Watering is the most important part of growing bonsai. Check your bonsai morning and evening to see if it needs watering. If the soil looks dark and feels wet then it will not require watering. Only when the soil looks light brown and feels damp will your bonsai require more water. Water thoroughly all over the soil until the water drains through into a tray or saucer. Never let your bonsai dry out and avoid keeping it constantly wet. The soil should go from wet to damp between watering. Remember the hotter the position the more water your bonsai will use. If the soil surface becomes hard during hot weather simply submerge your bonsai in water, to cover the soil surface, for about ten minutes.
- To maintain the artistic grace and beauty of your bonsai it will need to be pruned regularly. Once new shoots have grown to about 2-3cm, using a sharp pair bonsai scissors carefully cut back to the first pair of new leaves. If your bonsai gets out of shape, Spring is the best time to hard prune – remove all those straggly shoots and initially the bonsai may look a little bare but with just a few weeks it should be covered in new young shoots.
- We always recommend feeding your bonsai. Please feed with a bonsai fertiliser – other general plant foods can be too strong for the bonsai and may scorch the roots. If using a liquid bonsai feed I would recommend feeding once a week to once a fortnight during the spring, summer and autumn. Reduce the feeding to approximately once a month in mid-winter when it is barely growing. It is particularly important to feed flowering bonsai. Bonsai, like the Serissa for example, are very hungry trees are rely on you for their nutrients. You will notice yellowing of the leaves if the bonsai is deficient in nutrients.
If you have any questions relating to your bonsai please enter your comments below and we shall reply shortly.