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OceanFire
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Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:11 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA

Looking for a new indoor bonsai - suggestions?

So, since my newest bonsai arrived a few days ago, I've been looking into getting another bonsai or two sometime in the next few months (I'm already into gardening and plants in general, and spending time each day or so with a few bonsai would be little to no trouble at all :) ). I'm basically looking for suggestions. I've been reading a couple different bonsai books (Bonsai in the Home, Bonsai Masterclass and Bonsai Workshop), but am still a little confused :? . A few things to keep in mind is that I have a very small budget (~$20/month for this tops) and am a very new beginner. Also, I'm semi certain that an outdoor bonsai would get stolen if I left it out there all day (our neighbors are nice, just not trustworthy) and I'm pretty sure the landlord would have a fit if I put a windowsill outside (although I'll ask her). I like the bougainvilleas or the pomegranate bonsai, but am open to anything. Thanks for your input! :wink:

kdodds
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

Good species for beginners are Ficus, Schefflera, Aralia, Barbados Cherry, Lavendar Star Flower, etc. You might wantt o look on Amazon as they have links to other "stores", like Bonsai Boy of NY and others. This way you can compare. That is, if you're looking for something already in a pot that looks like something. Otherwise, you might want to, on a budget, start looking at "starter" trees. These are (usually) 1 or a few years old, with very little refinement. However, one in a 4-6" nursery pot will be quite easy, usually, to produce a reasonably refined mame or shohin bonsai out of. You also might want to check out e-bay for supplies and start plants. My personal preference for starter plant material is www.meehansminiatures.com as they are reasonably close, priced well, and have an excellent variety of species to choose from.

FWIW, I'd stay away from the Pomagranate unless you have a cold room. Most reports are that they do not last more than two years without the dormancy.

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superfleurs
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Great suggestions, kdodds! I was also wondering what sort of indoor bonzai's would be good to start with. :D
one catches more bees with honey

kdodds
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Depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for something more "tree-like", more immediately, more like "outdoor" bonsai, the best choice would probably be some type of Ficus.

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OceanFire
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Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:11 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA

I think I'd like something I can train to a cascade or semi-cascade, as I have one starter bonsai that shows some promise for an informal upright, and the other will probably do better not as a semi-cascade, much though I would love to train it that way. I'm still leaning towards a pomegranate (my room is cold enough that water is ice cold if I leave it out and I sleep under three blankets for a month or two, so hopefully that will be cold enough to give the tree dormancy), although I also like the looks of jasmines and bougainvilleas. Does anyone have any hints about these?
As a side note, I'm having so much fun reading about bonsai and bonsai training and whatnot that I've joined a bonsai association in Seattle to get some person-to-person help, although I love this site as well! :D I think I may have found a new hobby :)

kdodds
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Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

I'm not a real big fan of the bougainvilleas as bonsai unless they are quite large. Their leaves do not dwarf enough for my tastes. There are a ton of species that would be very well suited to a cascade or semi-cascade. I'd suggest Barbados Cherry as one of the better choices for ease of care. However, though it exhibits a weeping style that can be fashioned to "cascade", its branches are very brittle. Grewia spp., Lavendar Star Flower, is very workable and forgiving, and is one I am currently working into a semi-cascade. Ficus spp. are also suitable, as well as Eugenia spp. You'll probably want to start with a younger tree as it will be easier to fashion into a cascade. If you're looking in nurseries, a one-sided tree (for whatever reason) might be a great bargain. I've no experience with Punica since I do not have a cold room set up that most agree is an absolute requirement.

Wike
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Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:42 pm
Location: Notts

I've got, and really like the Chinese Elm. Really nice tree and green all year round :D

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