Bonsai Trees For The Home
Bonsai Trees For The Home: It is a common misconception that bonsai trees must be kept inside.
Most bonsai, like regular trees, should be kept outside to enjoy all four seasons.
Only tropical and subtropical plants can grow inside, where temperatures are persistently high and consistent throughout the year.
Which bonsai is most suited to indoor cultivation?
Various tropical and subtropical trees can be grown indoors.
The ficus is exceptionally hardy and tolerates low humidity, making it an excellent choice for beginners.
Other popular indoor bonsai are dwarf jade tree, fukien tea (Carmona), Hawaiian umbrella (Schefflera), and sweet plum (Sageretia).
If you choose one of these trees and adequately care for it, your bonsai will thrive indoors.
Why can’t I keep temperate, non-tropical bonsai indoors?
Temperate trees, as previously indicated, require a period of dormancy over the winter.
During this season, the yearly growth cycle concludes, and the tree prepares for the following cycle to begin in the spring.
Temperatures and light levels gradually decrease over several weeks before a tree goes into dormancy, which is not the case when temperate trees are housed indoors.
This rest period is not required for tropical and subtropical trees.
Indoor bonsai tree maintenance
Caring for a bonsai tree indoors is not the same as caring for regular potted houseplants.
Because bonsai trees are frequently planted in miniature containers, they have limited space to store fertilisers and water.
Furthermore, tropical plants are accustomed to high light and humidity, which can be difficult to replicate indoors.
Indoor bonsai demand extra attention:
The biggest issue with indoor tropical bonsai care is insufficient lighting.
If the trees do not receive enough light, they will not die immediately, but their growth will slow, and the plant will weaken over time.
As a result, bonsai grown indoors should be placed in a bright spot, ideally in front of a south-facing window.
Even if you have a south-facing window, the light intensity may need to be increased.
You can help your tree by supplementing its lack of light with artificial lighting.
For example, you can use fluorescent lights with a growth-friendly spectrum or light-emitting LEDs for about 10 hours daily. Learn more about placement.
Another issue with keeping a bonsai tree indoors is that the tree requires a very high humidity level, which you won’t be able to achieve in your own home, especially if you have heating or cooling.
The best way to enhance the humidity around your bonsai tree is to place it in a humidity tray full of water and spritz it several times a day. During the day, you can also circulate outside air by opening a window.
Watering and fertilisation
The most important rule is to water only when necessary.
Ignore the label that says you should water your bonsai tree every x day.
Keep an eye on the soil around your tree and water only when necessary.
Bonsai Tree Watering
Several factors, including tree species, size, container size, time of year, soil mix, and climate determine the frequency with which a tree should be watered.
Is it necessary to water my bonsai tree regularly?
As previously indicated, the frequency with which a bonsai should be watered depends on various factors, making specific suggestions unattainable.
Instead, you’ll need to keep track of each tree separately.
Water your trees when the ground is slightly dry.
As a beginner, check the soil moisture with your fingers at a depth of around one centimetre (0.4″).
As you gain experience, this will become evident.
When your tree needs water, you can see it rather than feel it.
Never water frequently.
Keep a watch on your trees to see if they require watering.
Use the appropriate soil mix.
The soil composition significantly impacts how often trees need to be watered.
Most bonsai trees grow on a 12 to 14 to 14 acadama, pumice, and lava rock ratio. If you cannot water regularly, employ a mixture that retains more water in your pots by incorporating extra akadama or compost.
When you water a bonsai, it makes no difference.
Some experts recommend against using cold water after the sun has warmed the soil since it will cool the tree down.
Watering your tree as soon as the soil becomes slightly dry will help regardless of the time.
What is the best way to water your bonsai trees?
If the soil is slightly dry and the tree needs water, thoroughly soak the entire root system.
Water until the water drains from the lower drainage holes, then repeat as needed.
To avoid washing away the soil, water from the top with a watering can fit with a fine nozzle.
Rainwater is the best to use because it is chemical-free, but regular tap water will suffice if it is not available.
Some excellent automatic bonsai watering systems are available, but they are somewhat expensive.
Fertilization of bonsai
Fertilizer’s essential components
Nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are three key ingredients in all fertilisers (NPK).
Nitrogen promotes leaf and stem development, as well as aboveground growth. Phosphorus encourages healthy root growth as well as fruit and flower development.
Potassium generally enhances plant health. Gardeners widely use different NPK ratios for different trees and times of the year.
Conversely, experts are increasingly recommending that the same NPK ratio be utilised throughout the bonsai growth cycle.
In addition to the three macronutrients (NPK), fertilisers may contain a range of micronutrients such as iron, manganese, boron, molybdenum, zinc, and copper.
When should I fertilise?
When actively growing, most bonsai trees require fertiliser from early spring until mid-fall.
Older and more mature trees are often fed less frequently, depending on the species, season, stage of development, and tree health. Fertilizing indoor trees can be done at any time of year.
Tropical tree species require rather high temperatures all year, similar to those in your living room.
Subtropical bonsai trees may tolerate somewhat lower temperatures and survive in temperatures lower than the average room temperature throughout the winter.