How to Care for Indoor Bonsai

It is important to know how to care for indoor bonsai bringing it indoors.  The following is what you should know, and be prepared to do, before you move a bonsai into your home.

5 Tips for Indoor Bonsai Care:


It’s safe to assume 12 hours of sunlight per day minimum.  You can provide adequate light two ways.

  • Place near or in a window
  • Fluorescent lights
  • Any combination of the above

As a rule it is more typical to see tropical used for indoor bonsai.  They do not need the same nor as much care as their counterparts from the cold regions.  Since their natural habitat has humid temperatures year around they tend to do very well inside the home even during winter months.  Only tropical or sub-tropical trees may be kept indoors for long periods of time.  All other require a dormant period and will not survive without it.   As winter temps subside and all danger of frost and freeze is over, you should leave you bonsai outside.  Morning sun and evening shade are always a comfortable place for tropical to sit during the summers.


The type of indoor bonsai you have will dictate how often you need to water it as well as the state of the soil that it has. Some plants or trees need to have damp soil while others thrive well in spite of a drought.   If your specific watering requirements are not known.  Remember this and you and your bonsai will be just fine.  It is ok to keep tropical a little on the wet side.  Misting the leaves with an ordinary spray bottle is recommended every other day because it emulates the rainforest conditions that are native to the tropical.  The main thing to remember, for any bonsai, is to never let the soil become dry.


Depending on the amount of residual nutrients left over from the summer months, you may notice some leaves starting to appear too big.  Just whack them off near the base of their stem.  You should hold back on fertilizers during the winter months.  Some tropical species actually hibernate during the winter months and fertilizing could interfere with that process so I find it best just to not fertilize at all during winter months.


You should prune and cut to maintain the style of your tree.  You may notice that growth during the winter months is more sporadic that during the summer.  This is because growth is slowed down and some parts of the tree may actually be experiencing a dormancy period while others are allowed to grow.  Tropical tend to grow a little year round, so it they typically will require re-potting more often than their temperate counterparts.  Possibly every year where others may only be every other year.


Pests can sometimes be a problem to indoor bonsai.  Treat your bonsai as you would any other household plant.  Ask for advice from your local nursery

Leave a Reply

2016 Creating Bonsai