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We received this indoor bonsai care question from Paul:

A friend of mine has left me his bonsai chinese elm to look after whilst on holiday until February.
Which would be the best place to site the tree , on an east facing landing windowsill or south-east facing conservatory that is quite cool at night? The conservatory is brighter but cooler than in the main house. Would it be wise to mist daily or stand on damp gravel for humidity?
Any help welcome. I’m a keen outdoor gardener but never tried bonsai. I’m becoming more interested!

Bonsai Direct reply:

Dear Paul,
Thank you for your comments. The best place for the Chinese Elm bonsai would be the windowsill at this time of year. I feel that if the conservatory goes very cool at night then the bonsai would revert to being deciduous and drop its leaves.
There will be plenty of natural daylight on a east-facing window sill and it will not get too hot during the winter months.
Misting the foliage daily is always great but this should be considered in addition to watering.
You need to check the bonsai daily for water. If the soil is wet then do not water the bonsai and check later in the day. When the soil feels barely damp then water well. ie pour a jug of water over the soil until water runs out of the drainage holes or stand the bonsai in water for a couple of minutes.
When you do water make sure all the soil is wet through.
A damp gravel tray is ideal but please avoid standing the bonsai in water becuase this could rot the roots.
I hope this helps and that you enjoy looking after your friends bonsai.
kind regards
Bonsai Direct

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2 replies

  1. Hi,
    I have just purchased a Elm Bonsai tree.
    I was wondering if you could tell me how often do i need to feed it with fertilizer?

  2. Dear Bhavesh,
    Thank you for your order and your question.
    This is actually a really good question.
    I would recommend that you always use a bonsai fertiliser becuase other fertilisers may be too strong and burn the roots.
    Secondly; please follow the manufacturers instructions becuase different fertilisers have different strengths.
    If you are using the liquid bonsai feed, that we stock, I would recommend feeding this bonsai once a fortnight now and once a week in the spring in summer, when the Chinese Elm bonsai is actively growing.
    This will keep your bonsai strong & healthy.
    I hope this helps
    kind regards
    Bonsai Direct

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