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Recommended Indoor bonsais?

Hi all,

I'm new to bonsai trees, but i think that they are really interesting and would love to get one for my dorm room at school this upcoming year. Does anyone have any recommendations as to good bonsai trees for the indoors?

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Probably the most often recommended (and with good reason) bonsai for indoors (and beginners) is the ficus. They have a bad rap for tempermentalness, but its actually undeserved and based on misconceptions. They are really pretty hardy, can withstand varying levels of light, do fine if they dry out (not too much of course, but that goes for anything), recover well from over-watering, and are very well suited for bonsai. The reason many people think ficus are harder to grow is because they tend to drop their leaves when they are stressed. If you get a ficus and it drops some of its leaves, please don't freak out. This is a very normal reaction from a ficus to stress, and while some people seem to think this means they don't handle changes in their environment well, its actually the opposite. The ficus is exceptionally adapted to changing environments, which is why it will drop leaves. The new leaves that grow in will be made specifically for the new environment where the ficus is located, a very neat trick that few trees can pull off as well as the ficus can.


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Re: recommended indoor bonsais

blinky wrote:Hi all,

I'm new to bonsai trees, but i think that they are really interesting and would love to get one for my dorm room at school this upcoming year. Does anyone have any recommendations as to good bonsai trees for the indoors?

I agree with femlow, ficus is a great choice!

For a second suggestion though, Ive had great success with fukien tea. Perhaps a bit more hands on and less hardy than ficus it still makes a good indoor. Offer it plenty of sunlight, but not baked in a windowsill, and humidity lvls need to be higher.

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I have taken and interest in this subject as well, are there other trees that are good for indoor. What are some of the specifics for good Ficus care. My friend wants to do a Banyan Bonsai would that one make a good indoor Bonsai. What books I have read seem to provide very little info about what species are good for indoor Bonsai.

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Fukien tea is another good choice if you are willing to put a little more work and research into it. They are a great species for bonsai and are very nice looking trees/shrubs.

In general, almost any tropical species of tree can be grown indoors and do well if given proper care. This can require extra work though to keep the environment tropical tree-friendly, but as long as you are willing to invest the time (and possibly some extra money) it should be fine. One of the biggest things to consider when buying a tropical for growing indoors is the amount of light that it will require. Its important to research specific species on your own because plant tags that come with them often leave a lot to be desired, and tropical species vary greatly in their needs. Some require full sun, as they naturally grow in open areas in the tropics, where other may never naturally get direct sunlight because they grow under the canopy of larger trees, or what have you. If the plant requires lower levels of light, or indirect sunlight, most people are able to accomodate this relatively easily. However for those species that require full sun, it's often necessary to work out some extra lighting, unless you are lucky enough to have a garden window sort of thing. Grow lights (ones that produce full spectrum UV rays) can be used for this. They are quite a bit more expensive to buy though, plus the added electricity of running them atleast 6 hours a day, and any setup you have to get, depending on how you decide to do it.
Humidity is of course another factor, but for most species misting and a humidity tray will suffice. Soil is also important. Many tropical species can handle (and sometimes do better with) a greater ratio of organic material, and often higher levels fertilizer like they would have in nature. If you decide to stick to a more common composition of 75:25 inorganic to organic, then you will likely have to water much more frequently, and probably fertilize more often too.


Edited to add: Banyans are ficus (indian tropical figs to be more specific). If given the proper care, they are a perfectly suitable species for bonsai, and in many cases are actually incredibly interesting specimens due to the large number of aerial roots then eventually turn into trunks.
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Are indoor bonsai recommended in Florida?

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A schefflera is also a good candidate for an indoor bonsai. They can withstand very low light levels.
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Location: Just East of Zone 7a wrote:Are indoor bonsai recommended in Florida?
Sure they are Josh, but it you get temps. that rarely go below 50° you can keep them outside where they will get the kind of environment they need without the expense of indoor lighting that we poor folks up north have to go
through. :)
Of course you are limited in that many of the deciduous trees that we can grow up here are not suited for much of Florida.

blinky - The two most popular trees have been mentioned above but I'd like to throw Schefflera arboricola into the mix. They grow quickly and are easy to care for. Actually any Scheff. will work but the leaves of the arboricola are smaller and easier to work into the balancing of the tree.

Ah, bonsai boy just beat me to

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Other recommends

I've been in bonsai for 1 year and therefore a newbie. However, in my brief experience I would agree with Ficus (retusa) and Schleffera. I understand some ficus are easier than others. Ficus Retusa is very easy to care for.

I would also recommend Portulacaria (but needs lots of light) and Grewia occidentalis. Grewia I find to be an incredibly hardy plant that displays attractive flowers.

Alos look over the following website under group I & II for further possibilities.

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