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©2018  Maryland Bonsai Association, Inc.

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Indoor Bonsai Care

Indoor Bonsai are tropical plants that are adaptable to indoor conditions. It takes several weeks for indoor bonsai to acclimate to a new environment. During this period, your bonsai may shed up to 20% of its foliage. This is normal. All indoor bonsai grow best in sunny areas. For best results, place your indoor bonsai near windows facing southeast or west. Exposure to sunlight will enable your bonsai to replace foliage it may have lost while adjusting to its new environment. If you do not have a place for your tree to receive adequate sunlight, we recommend using a grow light. Indoor bonsai will flourish if grown outdoors on a patio or deck during summer months. The ideal placement is where the bonsai receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Return your bonsai indoors when night temperatures fall below 55 degrees. Never allow your indoor bonsai to freeze.

 

WATERING PROPERLY

 

Watering properly is critical to maintaining a healthy bonsai! Indoor bonsai should normally be watered every two or three days. Watering instructions may vary slightly depending on the tree variety. Please refer to the information tag attached to your bonsai for any specific watering instructions. Placing ice cubes on the topsoil is an easy way to water. Use enough ice cubes to wet the soil thoroughly. Never allow your bonsai to completely dry out. Humidity trays filled with decorative stone not only capture excess water, they also create needed humidity around your bonsai. The bag of decorative rock accompanying your humidity tray should be opened and spread out in the tray. Your bonsai tree sits on top of the decorative rocks. During the time your indoor bonsai is outdoors, it will require more frequent waterings. Thoroughly water your bonsai daily during this outdoor period. Water your bonsai properly by using a watering can or hose attachment that has a fine-spray nozzle. You should thoroughly soak your bonsai’s soil. Water should be running out of the drain holes. Misting foliage periodically is recommended, but should not be considered watering. General care is also important to maintaining a beautiful bonsai. Bonsai should be periodically trimmed to keep their miniature shape. To best understand trimming and wiring techniques, we recommend purchasing an instructional book.

 

REPOTTING

 

Your bonsai will need to be repotted every four to five years. It is necessary to repot your bonsai when its root system becomes pot bound. Repotting indoor bonsai should only be done during late spring or early summer. Make sure you are using a good bonsai soil when repotting since regular potting soil will compact and inhibit proper drainage. After receiving your new Tree, always wait at least one growing season before repotting your bonsai to make sure it is well established. We recommend you refer to a bonsai book for specific instructions.

 

FERTILIZING

 

Fertilizing bonsai is required. Most water-soluble and time-released fertilizers work very well when used as directed. We recommend using slow-releasing organic fertilizers for more mature specimen bonsai.

 

INSECTS & DISEASES

 

Insects and diseases can attack bonsai just like any other plant. Inspect your bonsai regularly. A brisk spraying of the trunk and foliage periodically will help keep your tree clean. If any problems appear, most garden centers have products available for treatment.

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