Indoor Bonsai Tree Growing And Care Guide: What You Need to Know

Are Bansai trees an easy plant to care for? It’s a great question that a lot of people consider due to the absolute beauty of these plants.

Many people want to keep a bonsai tree in their homes because they appear beautiful, create a zen-like feeling, and can even enhace the feng shui of any room. However, the majority of the bonsai species require direct sunlight and outdoor temperature to thrive. That means they aren’t necessarily suitable for decorating around the house or in your office.

Of course, there are still bonsai trees that you can keep in your home or office so this article is going to give a few details on what it takes to care for a Bonsai at home.

Please note: Some of the links in my posts are affiliate links. I get commissions for purchases made through those links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases when you buy something from those links.

Indoor Bonsai Tree Care Guide - What You Need to Know

If you want to know more about indoor bonsai, you are in the right place. Here is a complete guide.

History Of Bonsai

A lot of people have this misconception that bonsai is a Japanese art form because the word is Japanese. However, the practice of shaping small trees for ornimental decoration actually originated in the Chinese empire.

That is because during the years of 700 AD, the Chinese people had begun utilizing unique techniques to grow dwarf trees in small containers, and it was known as the art of pun-sai.

A Brief History Of Bonsai As Plants And Art

Of course, only the elite had the luxury to practice this art during this time, and they also gave one another these trees as luxury gifts. Japan adopted a lot of Chinese cultural trademarks during the Kamakura period, and this was when this art was introduced to Japan.

The Japanese created the bonsai along with specific guidelines because of the influence of Zen Buddhism. Now, the bonsai is considered to be a respected art form that people all around the world practice.

Philosophy of Bonsai

Bonsai, divinity, man, and nature are interconnected in Japanese culture. Such a thought is based on Zen Buddhism, which expresses spirituality by minimalism.

Philosophy of Bonsai As A Plant And An Art

Looking closely at any bonsai, it’s easy to see the incredibly minimalistica yet highly aeshtetic art of this practice. The art of this is to capture the force of nature of the big trees and encapsulate them into small plants while maintaining their natural beauty.

It is a spiritual exercise for many people around the world. The tree represents a living symbol of the soul who has taken care of it for a long time. As a result, the ongoing practice of caring for a bonsai is reflective of the ongoing care taken to shape an individual’s soul, character, and personality.

A bonsai tree is a great place to start if you want to practice the art of taking care of something and being mindful of how it evolves. It requires patience, focus, and all the virtues that nature has.

After all, nature does not hurry at all, yet everything is accomplished.

Is It Possible To Grow A Bonsai Inside?

Yes, it is possible to grow a bonsai tree inside the house, as long as you choose the correct plant and understand its specific needs. The secret is to give it all the elements it needs to survive inside. Of course, that means you will have to give it adequate sunlight, water temperature, humidity, fertilizer, and the care it needs and deserves.

Is It Possible To Grow Bonsai Inside

As you take care of the needs of the bonsai tree, it will grow to be beautiful. It will evolved in its shape and form. It will have to overcome things like disease and pests. You and your bonsai will take the journey together. It’s an ongoing partnership.

As a result, rather than just buying a bonsai at your local box store, consider talking to a bonsai specialist to identify a bonsai that will thrive indoors. That is because this art form was created for hardy outdoor plants and you needs something that can endure being in an indoor environment.

What Plant Is Good For Growing Easy And Fast Bonsai Trees?

While you require patience for a bonsai tree, some varieties can grow easily and fast. These include succulent trees, coniferous, evergreen, and deciduous.

You can opt for any of these bonsai trees if you want to get started and grow a quick bonsai. Another option is to start with a sapling if you want to shed some years off the bonsai growth process. The term sapling refers to a young tree with a thinner trunk and is already established and ready for you to begin shaping.

You can opt for Chinese elms, Japanese maples, pines, junipers, and much more. You can select any of these plants to grow your bonsai easily and fast.

What Bonsai Can Be Kept Indoors For The Whole Year?

The ficus is the most common indoor bonsai that is easiest to care for. This bonsai plant is incredibly resilient and will tolerate low levels of humidity. This is especially important if you live in a dry, arid climate or if you live in a climate with cold Winter.

What Bonsai Can Be Kept Indoors For The Whole Year

During the Winter, when your indoor heating system is engaged, the humidity levels drop significantly, which is why dry, itchy skin is such a problem for people during the Winter.

Those bonsai plants that cannot tolerate low-humidty air will experience issues if you expose them to a long, cold (but dry) winter. As such, you need to be really aware of the needs of the plant you select.

Because the ficus is tolerant of low levels of humidity, it tends to be a good choice for indoor bonsai, especially for beginners.

Of course, you also have other options that can be indoor for the entire year. These include the Sweet plum, Hawaiian umbrella, Fukien tea, and the Dwarf jade. These are the most popular indoor bonsai trees that you can keep inside for the entire year.

Do Bonsai Trees Need A lot Of Sunlight?

One of the top ways that bonsai feeds itself is through direct sunlight. Like most plants, if a bonsai tree does not receive direct sunlight, it will suffer damage and problems such as withering folliage or dropping of needles will occur.

That is why it is important to give your bonsai lots of sunlight and ensure that it is not located in a room that only offers indirect sunlight.

Do Bonsai Trees Need A Lot Of Sunlight

Bonsai trees like to receive between five to six hours of direct sunlight each day, regardless of being outdoors or indoors. If you are growing an outdoor bonsai tree, you can place it in a bright and sunny space.

If it gets too hot during the Summer months, you can put a shade on your bonsai during the afternoon or place it in a south-facing window to offer it enough sunlight. However, a combination of the south, east, and west light exposure is perhaps the best solution for your indoor bonsai tree.

Why Is It So Difficult To Grow Bonsai Trees At Home?

If you are a beginner, you may find it challenging to grow a bonsai tree at home. The bonsai is easy to care for, but most beginners find it challenging because they don’t have enough knowledge to give this tree the care it needs to thrive inside.

Why Is It So Difficult To Grow Bonsai Trees At Home

The key to overcoming this challenge is creating a schedule and sticking to it. You must understand the key requirements of the indoor bonsai, such as temperature, pruning, watering, humidity, and light.

Once you do, you will find it much easier to grow your bonsai tree in the home. One thing to remember is that the care will also be different between species so it’s best to understand which species of bonsai you own and tailor your care regiment to its needs.

Could Bonsai Trees Be Grown In Your Basement?

You could grow a bonsai tree in your basement, but the species you choose must adapt to lower light conditions. That is why the key is to find a species that will thrive in such conditions.

Could Bonsai Trees Be Grown In Your Basement

If you don’t know where to begin, you can talk to a bonsai specialist, as they will guide you about species that can grow in your basement. You might also consult a lighting expert who can help you understand what artificial light sources could help you in growing your bonsai.

It is still crucial that your basement has some natural light source. If your basement is too damp or dark, then it will become incredibly challenging for you to grow a bonsai. A cool basement is one of the best places where you can grow species, such as the crape myrtle and boxwood.

Can You Grow Bonsai Tree Indoors?

Yes, you can grow a bonsai tree indoors if you understand the plants needs and meet them. Not all such trees will grow indoors, which is why you must pick the right species. Here are some of the things to consider when choosing and growing bonsai trees indoors.

  1. Pick the right plant: You must pick a tropical bonsai to grow indoors, as the rest will die inside. We recommend that you don’t pick any evergreen bonsai
  2. Visit a bonsai specialist: Going to a specialized bonsai nursery is crucial. They have a wide collection of bonsai to help you pick the right one
  3. Keep it in the light: You must keep it in your house where it can receive indirect yet bright sunlight
  4. Keep it moist: If the soil is dry, be sure to water it and water it as soon as the soil loses dampness. However, don’t overwater the tree as it can kill your bonsai and don’t stick to a rigid schedule. Only water your bansai when it needs it.
  5. Repot when appropriate: You must repot the bonsai every one to three years
  6. Fertilize your bonsai when it needs food: These trees get most of their nutrients from the air and sun. However, if the bonsai looks weak, you can feed it some fertilizer
  7. Be patient: Finally, the biggest lesson you will learn from bonsai is patience. So, take your time and trust the process for the tree to grow in the best way possible

These are all the things you need to do to grow a bonsai tree indoors. It is one of the best trees that will enhance the aesthetics of your space. So, take your time with it and learn the art of bonsai.

How Often Do You Need To Water A Bonsai Plant Indoors?

Depending on the specific species, we recommend that you water your indoor bonsai tree at least once a week. Another general rule of thumb is to water it when the topsoil is completely dry. You can immerse the entire bonsai in a bucket of water.

How Often Do You Need To Water A Bonsai Plant Indoors

After you notice the air bubbles rising to the top, you will know that the bonsai has absorbed as much water as it needs. After that, it is time to take the bonsai out and let it dry. Humidity is another important condition that will determine the health of your bonsai in the long run.

Once you are done watering the bonsai, you can keep it with a humidity tray and pebbles. Doing this will enhance the humidity level of your tree and ensure it grows great.

What Are Things To Avoid When Growing A Bonsai Tree?

While you know what to do, you must also understand what not to do. Here are some of the top things to avoid when growing a bonsai tree:

Over Pruning

There are many tutorials and videos that will tell you to invest in endless tools for your bonsai and keep pruning. However, if you prune the tree too much, it will lose its function and beauty. The key is to help your bonsai tree grow with the right pruning techniques and shape it to your preference.

You must avoid using scissors when you prune the bonsai tree. Instead, you can use clippers to remove any dead branches. The branches you decide to remove will help you maintain the design and shape of the bonsai you desire.

Wrong Tools

If you use the wrong tools for your bonsai tree, it can cause significant damage. The best tool you can invest in is a pair of great bonsai scissors. These are specifically created to cut branches and wires without crushing the bonsai tree.

If you use regular scissors, you will crush and destroy your bonsai tree. Besides that, you can also invest in branch cutters, wire pliers, wire cutters, and much more. As you keep shaping it, you will require more complex tools to support its growth.

Wrong Bonsai Pot

Many beginner growers of bonsai select the wrong pot size. You can’t use just any pot or container to grow your bonsai. For example, you must select one that is big enough for the roots to have room to stretch, as the tips play a vital role in absorbing nutrients.

Besides that, we recommend that the ideal length of your bonsai pot must be at least two-thirds the height of your tree. Following this rule will allow you to get the bonsai pot that will enable your tree to grow as freely as possible. Once it does, you can begin taking care of your tree in no time.

Are Bonsai Trees And Their Products Safe To Consume?

Fruits from a bonsai tree are completely edible. Of course, that also depends on the fertilizer you used for your bonsai tree, which will determine if it is safe to eat. These fruits are not different at all than the ones you receive from a full-sized tree.

Keep in mind that just because something is safe for humans to consume doesn’t mean it is safe for your pets.

If you opt to grow a bonsai tree that produces fruit, you must remember that it will require more maintenance than a full-sized fruit tree. So, you will have to give it a lot of care and attention. Therefore, you must only opt for this if you have the time and patience to take care of the needs of this plant.

What Types Of Plants Are Best As Indoor Bonsai Trees?

Now that you are familiar with all the basics of a bonsai tree, it is time to understand the type of indoor bonsai tree that will suit you best.

What Types Of Plants Are Best As Indoor Bonsai Trees

Plants that are great choices for bonsai include:

Chinese Elm

The Chinese elm is an ideal indoor bonsai for beginners. That is because it will grow quickly and efficiently as you prune it to the shape you desire. On the other hand, this bonsai is resilient and will not die quickly if you overwater or underwater it.

That is why it is one of the top indoor bonsai trees you can begin training. It is a classic bonsai tree that many people have been training for centuries, from beginners to professionals.


Nothing beats ficus when it comes to growing a bonsai tree indoors. The ficus is one of the top plants that will adapt to many situations, which is why it can easily handle less light and humidity than other bonsai you will find. Besides that, you also have an endless variety of this bonsai tree to select from.

You have the option of choosing between Ficus Retusa and Benjamina, and many other varieties that will grow ideally inside your home. These trees can also produce fruit in many colors, and some also produce flowers. It is known for having vivid and dark green leaves with pointy tips that will add some vibrancy to the space in no time.


The Schefflera bonsai tree has canopy growth and thin trunks. These bonsai trees can easily handle low levels of humidity and light, which is why they are ideal for any home. It is the most similar to ficus when it comes to requirements of humidity, temperature, light, and other things.

However, if you are planning on training and shaping this bonsai to your liking, then you must keep one thing in mind. You must understand that this bonsai tree will not respond great to wiring. That is why you must avoid this technique when you are trying to shape the bonsai tree to your liking.

Snow Rose Bonsai

As the name suggests, the snow rose bonsai is one of the top bonsai trees that has beautiful but tiny white flowers that you will love to look at. These flowers will bud in the spring and summertime. It also goes by the name of the tree of a thousand stars.

However, this indoor bonsai tree is not good for rookies. That is because it is not easy to care for. The snow rose bonsai is sensitive to changes in location, temperature, water, and light, which is why you must be careful when you try to train this bonsai in your home.

Jade Bonsai

The jade bonsai looks like a shrub because it has thick leaves and a trunk. However, this tree is vulnerable to the cold, which is why it is one of the top indoor bonsai trees that you can grow. These bonsai trees will hold lots of water in the leaves.

That is why you must remain careful, as you don’t want to overwater this tree. Besides that, you must also keep it in a pot that drains well. Once you do, it will grow to be incredibly beautiful.

Fukien Tea

The Fukien tea bonsai is popular among indoor trainers because it grows beautiful small white flowers that blossom throughout the year. Besides that, they also produce red fruit. This bonsai tree will do incredibly well inside your home, where there is strong lighting.

We also recommend that you offer it some time outdoors in the summer and spring. Once you do, this bonsai tree will thrive and look great as you offer it in the right conditions.

Quick Tips For Growing A Bonsai

Here is the quick list of things to remember when growing your bonsai:

  • Choose the right temperature: Indoor bonsai trees need high-temperature levels throughout the year
  • Water your bonsai when it needs it: Never water on a routine. Instead, keep an eye on the soil and water accordingly
  • Ensure that the humidity levels are right for your plant: The tree will require high humidity. You can give this humidity by placing the container on a humidity tray
  • Give it enough light: The tree will require bright and indirect sunlight for five to six hours each day
  • Add fertilizer when appropriate: If you see your bonsai weakening, feed it some fertilizer

These are the top things you must keep in mind before you make your bonsai plant. All of these conditions must be met for you to have the best bonsai tree in no time.

Final Thoughts In Growing And Maintaining A Bonsai

That was everything you needed to know about indoor bonsai trees. You must remember that a bonsai is an art form, which is why it requires many skills you must have. These include patience, knowledge, faith, and other things that will help you keep going on this journey.

It will take a few years, but once you are done, your little bonsai tree will be one of the most beautiful things in your home. There is a reason why they were luxury gifts when this art form first came around, and you will find out soon enough.

Have experience growing bonsai indoors? Be sure to share your tips and thoughts in a comment so others can benefits.

Sean - Signature - My Almost Green Thumb

1 thought on “Indoor Bonsai Tree Growing And Care Guide: What You Need to Know”

  1. I enjoy reading your Bonsai advice and I respect your vast expertise.
    I’ve acquired a cutting from a 100+ yr. old Night Blooming Cereus. I propagated it successfully and it has been growing like crazy for 4 yrs. under my care. However, it has yet to flower. Thank you in advance for any advice you may have.


Leave a Comment