Hamster127
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:20 pm

Complete novice looking to buy Bonsai for complete novice!

Hi all.

I decided to buy a nice looking but simple (and cheap :)) indoor Bonsai as a small gift to someone who like me, has never had a Bonsai.

I am not sure if I can post links here, so if not, I apologise, but basically I was looking to buy the following:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bonsai-Elm-par ... nzaai+tree&

I am also buying a special scissor and food.

It is a 7y old Elm, and it says that it is an indoor Bonsai. The reviews are quite solid. However, I am planning to buy it as a gift and basically a bad gift can be worse then no gift. So my questions are these:

1. I have read that Elm is not an indoor but an outdoor Bonsai, however, the description of the product says that its indoors. Are there different types of Elms in that regard?
2. How easy/difficult is it to transport a bonsai on a train? Are there special boxes that one can buy etc?
3. How much work is it?
4. Does it really have to be watered every day, can one skip a weekend every 2-3 months?

Thanks all in advance.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Complete novice looking to buy Bonsai for complete novic

Chinese elm sometimes is treated as an indoor tree and sometimes not. Here's a thread I wrote about it:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... lm#p372958


Anybody that said you should water it every day gave you very bad advice, that would likely end up killing the tree. Nothing else they told you should be trusted.

Bonsai trees are watered when they need it, when the top layer of the soil has started to dry out. That is different lengths of time depending on season, how fast the tree is growing, temperature, humidity, etc.

Here's some tips about bonsai care: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... =36&t=1479

Your bonsai is in very bad soil - looks dense, moisture holding, and damp (worst kind of soil for watering every day). It is not the right season for repotting, but in the spring, before the tree goes outside, it should be repotted in to real bonsai soil, which is very loose, free-draining, mineral/gritty.

Personally between the fact that the seller has this in such bad soil and that they are giving you such bad advice about caring for it, I would look around for a different vendor, who knows and cares more about bonsai. It will probably be a bit more expensive that way, but with more chance of surviving.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Hamster127
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:20 pm

Re: Complete novice looking to buy Bonsai for complete novic

Thanks Rainbowgardner for the replay. It was very helpful.

I just like to point out that it is not my Bonsai, just a picture the vendor uses as a display picture. I have not yet bought it.
Anyway, I have one last question remaining before I decide, namely about transportation. How difficult is it to `box it up'? I realise it's a bit of a silly question but if anyone has an idea it would be appreciated. Anyway, thanks again for the replay.

Cheers.

Edit: an other small question. In your post about watering, you also say that one should not fertilise a bonsai in winter. Is it also true for indoor Bonsai?

tomc
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2665
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Re: Complete novice looking to buy Bonsai for complete novic

A stop fertilizing my tender (indoor) bonsai in August. And resume in May (when they return outdoors).
Think like a tree
© 2016 Invisable Inc.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Complete novice looking to buy Bonsai for complete novic

I understand it isn't your bonsai yet. That's why I suggested you look around for a more trustworthy vendor. It seemed like this one was giving you very bad advice, so either doesn't know much about bonsai or is just unscrupulous.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11227
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Complete novice looking to buy Bonsai for complete novic

Trees are meant to be outdoors. Some will tolerate being indoors and some won't. It depends on your climate. If you don't get that cold and you don't have a tropical tree, you can probably leave some of them out depending on where you live. Chinese elm is an outdoor tree but not all species are frost hardy. In mild areas and in good weather, it will be happier outside. All bonsai take finessing to figure out the watering. The chopstick method is a good guide since most plants like to be watered well but won't tolerate sitting in a saucer of water and yet don't like too much water either. Either extreme is not a good thing. You will need to provide good light and overhead light is best to keep the plants from turning, dropping leaves, or getting lanky.

All plants in pots and especially plants indoors are totally dependent on you for water, food, light, and insect control.

If the tree is planned to be inside most of the time then I would go with a ficus, jade or schefflera which accommodate to low light conditions better and will be mostly happy under conditions where people are comfortable.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Return to “Indoor Bonsai Forum”