Newly Registered
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:23 am

Indoor bonsai gift idea???

My mom wants a bonsai for Christmas. I think she'd prefer an indoor type. What are my choices?


Senior Member
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:53 am

something tropical or maybe subtropical - nothing like a juniper or a maple or any of those - those wont be happy indoors for very long...

to start off some possibilities (which others I'm sure will add to):
1) several types of ficus
2) the hawaiian umbrella tree

I'm sure those are the 2 that most people will suggest first - they are pretty easy to care for, tolerant of indoor conditions and hard to kill (for most people :) ) they are also attractive looking trees if cared for correctly

anyone have any more options to add to the list?

Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:21 am
Location: Central Oklahoma

Literature on how to *properly* care for them would be great if (she) has no experience with such :)

Books, or even a lot of 'links' to look up, if warranted...

I would not suggest any other species unless their is a decent 'base' of experience, otherwise she might get a bad taste of the hobby ;)


Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Ficus are very common bonsai trees, just go down to your public library and there should be several books that will have general information and specific info for Ficus.

I've never grown the Hawaian tree suggested but, it wouldn't be hard to look up.

We have a tonne of literature at our website, just search or look under bonsai trees. Scott (the HG) has written several articles and I have edited and written a few articles

The bonsai Survival Manual is great, so you can look at that to get your mother going.

Good luck

User avatar
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Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A


Indoor bonsai is not as easy as you might imagine. The health of the tree is the primary concern, not display. Low light levels as well as low humidity will be your major stumbling blocks. Some form of supplemental lighting will most likely be required. Even simple fluorescent fixtures can make a difference.

The suggestion of doing some research is a good one. Perhaps a book for Christmas would be a more prudent approach. A good book on indoor bonsai is "Bonsai in Your Home" by Paul Lesniewicz, ISBN# 0-8069-0781-9. It has a section on basic care as well as listing many suitable species.


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