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Can Bonsai Trees Grow Indoors?

Caring for a bonsai that stays indoors with you can be much easier than looking after one that lives in the garden. 

But, can you grow bonsais inside? 

And, if so, which bonsais can you grow in your home?

You can grow many species of tropical and subtropical bonsai trees indoors in pots or containers. 

You cannot grow non-tropical bonsai trees indoors, however, because they require a natural dormancy period, which they won’t get inside a controlled environment.

Some of the best bonsais to grow inside include jade, Chinese elm, and ficus. 

In this article, we’ll examine how to choose the right bonsai species and provide it with the correct conditions for an indoor environment.

Can Bonsai Trees Grow Indoors?

You can grow some bonsai species indoors, but many bonsais require an outdoor space where they can experience seasonal changes like other trees.

Many people like to keep indoor bonsai trees, though, for their visual appeal and their place in the art of feng shui.

For feng shui practitioners, an indoor bonsai tree can provide a source of life energy in a room and bring joy and conversation to those who see it.

6 Species of Bonsai Trees You Can Grow Indoors

Most bonsai trees should live outdoors, but a few specific tropical and subtropical species can withstand the low humidity and higher temperatures in a home.  

Jade Bonsai

The jade bonsai has a small, shrub-like shape, and you can care for it rather easily.

And it doesn’t like the cold, so indoors is actually best.

It also holds plenty of water in its trunk and leaves, requiring less frequent hydration.

Chinese Elm Bonsai

The Chinese elm bonsai is another good choice for beginners or someone who wants the beauty of an indoor bonsai tree without the hassle.

Chinese elms look like what most would picture a bonsai tree to be, with a thick, wavy trunk that you can train and delicate leaves, which you can prune how you want.

Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai

The Hawaiian umbrella bonsai is a beautiful tree with thin trunks and a wide, green canopy.

Though you can’t train this bonsai the same as you would other bonsai species, it is a good option for someone with low light and low humidity in their home.

Fukien Tea Bonsai

The Fukien tea bonsai tree does really well indoors as long as it has plenty of light.

So, put this tree in a space in your home with as much sunlight as possible. 

Also, when it’s warm enough outside, give it some fresh air a few times per year.

If you care for it as you should, the Fukien tea bonsai will reward you with tiny white flowers that can appear year-round.

Snow Rose Bonsai

While beautiful with its tiny white flowers that bloom in spring and summer, the snow rose bonsai is more challenging to care for in an indoor environment than some of the others on this list.

It is sensitive to temperature changes, and you must maintain an appropriate level of light at all times for this bonsai to thrive indoors.

Ficus Bonsai

The ficus bonsai is one of the easier bonsai trees to keep alive in an indoor environment, making it a good choice for beginners.

How Do You Care for an Indoor Bonsai Tree?

Other than a few specific quirks of certain bonsai tree species, most will do well in an indoor environment if you follow some basic guidelines for their care.

Provide Light

Almost all indoor bonsai trees prefer plenty of sunlight.

South-facing window light is best but know that it still may not be enough.

Depending on your species, you may need to supplement its light with artificial fluorescent lighting.

Keep the Air Humid

Indoor bonsai trees are usually tropical, so they need humid, moist air to thrive.

If your home isn’t humid enough, you can mist your bonsai tree, put it on a humidity tray, or keep a window open to allow warm, moist air inside your home.

Provide Enough Hydration

Generally, you should keep your bonsai’s soil moist but not soggy. 

And remember that not all bonsai trees require the same amount of water to maintain damp soil.

While some bonsais need water almost every day, others hold plenty of water in their trunks and leaves and may only need watering every couple of weeks.

So mainly, just keep an eye on the soil and ensure it doesn’t get too dry.

Keep the Air Warm

In general, the warmer the air in your home, the better these subtropical and tropical bonsai trees will do.

Never allow your bonsai tree to be in temperatures cold than 50 degrees.

Final Thoughts

Growing and caring for an indoor bonsai tree can be a visually rewarding experience. 

It is also fairly simple as long as you take care to choose the right bonsai species for your home’s environment.

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