angelsue
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Location: liverpool

Can this Bonsai be Kept Alive Indoors?

hello all

just got my first bonsai today and feel really confused with reading some stuff on here lol there is a lot more stuff that i never got told to do on here than what the person told me when i bought it so panicking a bit now.

so if you could help me out a little so i can keep it alive lol would be most appreciated :D i have put a picture of it up too as i really don't know what kind it is and if i can keep it indoors (the man said i could :? )will look forward to your replies.

thank you :)

[img]https://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b354/sueefc/bonsai.jpg[/img]

hope it worked...if there is anything i need to do for this particular tree please let me know :) [/img]

angelsue
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Location: liverpool

another picture different angle sorry it is so big :?

[img]https://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b354/sueefc/bonsai3.jpg[/img]

arboricola
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Location: Minnesota zone 4

Hi Angelsue;

Welcome. It's looks like a chinese elm. I only keep indoor bonsai, but their are people here that know these trees well. In the mean time, give it as much bright light as you can and check to see if it needs water. Stick your finger into the soil about two inches, if it's dry, water the tree, and I mean water it, til water runs out the drain holes. Wait 10 minutes and water again. Let drain. This should hold you until some one can give you more details.

Phil...

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Hi,
Just a friendly heads up. I edited your post title from "hello I'm new here" to a title that is more descriptive of what the discussion is about. Hopefully this will help the discussion produce better results.

Regards,

webmaster

bmbeyond
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your tree will be heathier and much more robust if it is given the opportunity to have a dormant period. the chinese elm will tollarate temps around freezing (at least mine have) with no problems. I purchased my first elm with the intention of keeping it indoors but placed it out doors for the better of the tree. If it is already cold where you live i would not put it outside until warmer weather comes back around. hope this helps.

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Gnome
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angelsue

Hello and welcome. The only trees that I keep indoors during the winter are trees that will not tolerate my climate outdoors. These include Ficus, Jades, Portulacaria, etc. Although Chinese Elms are sometimes marketed as indoor trees I agree with bmbeyond that a rest period is preferable.
If it is already cold where you live I would not put it outside until warmer weather comes back around.
Not that I necessarily disagree with this but I wonder how this tree has been kept recently? If it has been kept outside you have other options. Of course it also depends on your personal situation. Do you have an outdoor location for the tree? What about winter storage possibilities?

Unless you have a strong preference to keep this tree indoors or your situation (or the trees recent history) precludes you from putting it out, you basically have two options beside keeping it inside. Allow it go dormant for approx 6 weeks after which time it can be brought back inside to leaf out anew. The other option is to keep it dormant until spring. I follow the latter method.

If you intend to keep it indoors, permanently or after a brief dormancy, then I suggest you look into some sort of supplemental lighting.

Please read the sticky threads at the top of the forum regarding general tips, soils and re-potting. From the looks of your soil a re-pot, change of soil, is in order. But don't rush into anything, the timing of the re-pot depends on how you are going to handle it. Also, until you acquire some decent soil there will be no point in re-potting.

Norm

angelsue
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Thank you for all your reply's. Unfortunately i don't really know how the tree was kept for however old it is i have no idea of its age, and i don't really have a choose to put it outside that is why i went for an indoor bonsai.

I now what to go and get proper soil and things that i need to keep it healthy, like for example i know there is something you can buy to tell you if it needs watering, but don't have any idea where i can get them around my area. I bought the bonsai from a local car boot sale and all he sold was the bonsai trees and nothing else.

He told me just to put it out side now and again but didn't specify how long an when. He told me to buy baby bio plant food and just to keep it damp that is the only information i got :? i am going to sound really stupid here :oops: but when you say...

Allow it go dormant for approx 6 weeks after which time it can be brought back inside to leaf out anew. The other option is to keep it dormant until spring. I follow the latter method.

i am not sure what this means :oops: i hope to get to know a few people on the site as i will do my best to look after my little bonsai with your advise if I'm not sure what to do, I have waited so long to have one, and now found one to buy.

thankyou :)

kenb
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what he means is.. is that all trees are outside trees.. they can be grown indoors with the proper conditions provided to them.. light, water, humidity, air circulation etc.. but trees that grow in colder climates during winter months need to go dormant to protect themselves against the cold.. to let it go dormant you need to keep it outside until after the first few frosts and then protect the root system by insulating the pot or burying it.. the tree can survive the cold.. the roots cannot unless protected. after about 6 weeks (1000 hrs) you can bring the tree inside.. give it the proper growing conditions and it will start to rebud like most trees do in the spring..

gnome is saying that it is best if you can protect the tree's root system and let it stay dormant for the entire winter.. or that is what he prefers to do.. he is wise..

kenb
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also look at my thread.. (elm advice) gnome, ynot, joe


there is alot of the things you are looking for there. Good luck!


Ken

angelsue
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Thank you so much :D i understand a little more now will read up on your post :)

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Gnome
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Ken,

Thanks for re-capping my thoughts, you did a good job. There is one point that I would like to clarify though. Apparently I neglected to note earlier that Chinese Elms are sub-tropical, this is what makes them suitable for this type of culture. I would never try to keep a truly temperate tree inside at all. Some growers do (with the proper rest period) but this requires a certain level of skill and good attention to detail. It just goes against the nature of the tree and since I have space outside it simply is not worth it to me.

angelsue,
I know there is something you can buy to tell you if it needs watering, but don't have any idea where I can get them
Don't buy the moisture meter, it is unnecessary. Have you read the sticky I mentioned? There is reference there to something called the "Chopstick Method" look into that. It requires no purchase and will allow you to spend your money elsewhere, like lighting. Also use the search button and look for threads/posts that mention something called a "Humidity Tray"
He told me to buy baby bio plant food
Specialized fertilizer is not necessary either, pretty much any general purpose fertilizer that is not too strong will suffice for now.
He told me just to put it out side now and again but didn't specify how long an when.
Since this is not a possibility for you it is a moot point.

Stop back after you have done some reading and have more questions. Please follow the links to Bonsai4me and Evergreen Garden Works, they are in the sticky threads and all over this site. The articles at those sites will answer a lot of your questions.

Norm

arboricola
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Location: Minnesota zone 4

Angelsue;
I'm sorry, I read your post thinking the question was IF you could grow your tree inside. I grow indoor bonsai exclusively and consider the elm an outdoor tree. But don't lose hope.

Your first concern should be light. I've inclosed a photo of a simple setup, so you can get some idea which way to go. It's a four foot wall mounted shelve unit. The fixture hangs 18 inches above the lowest shelve. It uses two cool white tubes and is on a timer set for 16 hours on and 8 off.

I do believe that lack of light dooms most indoor bonsai. This should be your first concern. It's sad to hear of some one's bonsai dying because they were told that light from a window would be enough.

I hope this gives you some idea of what needs to be done.

[img]https://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e188/coloradus/Lightsetup.jpg[/img]

Phil...

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