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Bonsai Tree Basics
Gardenia Bonsai - Indoor Bonsai

Bonsai, both indoor and outdoor varieties have become very popular and some are surprisingly easy to grow and maintain. For those of you who might be interested in getting acquainted with this wonderful plant, here are some basics we would like to share.

What is the difference between Indoor or Outdoor Bonsai?
Let’s start with the answer to much asked question, where do I put my bonsai. Many people think that all varieties of bonsai can be kept indoors. Although there are many varieties that can, most are displayed outdoors and really do best when kept outdoors all year long. Most bonsai are seasonal just like their original sized counterpart found in your backyard. Rule of thumb, if the non-dwarfed version of the tree is in your yard, the bonsai counterpart should only be brought indoors for short periods of time or when freezing is a possibility. These temperate-climate bonsai need to undergo the same seasonal changes just like their non-dwarfed cousins. Indoor bonsai are varieties of tropical trees and plants that do well outdoors, but in tropical climates. So, the rule of thumb here is if you live in a freezing northern climate, your tropical bonsai should be kept indoors during periods of cold or imclement weather and all of the winter months. Naturally, tropical trees can only be kept outdoors in tropical climates, but outdoors is where they will grow best. Tropical trees can be kept indoors in temperate climates during winter with extra care and light.

What if I am a Beginner
You must start somewhere and once you do a bonsai collection can be very rewarding. If you live in a temperate climate we suggest a the Chinese elm, a maple or green mound juniper that can be easily raised outdoors. These also adapt well to their surroundings with proper care. If you want and indoor or tropical variety start with a ficus or schefflera that grow well indoors and can tolerate lower light. But even with tropical indoor bonsai exposing them to bright light will help them thrive. is where they will grow best. Tropical trees can be kept indoors in temperate climates during winter with extra care and light.

Watering My Bonsai
Bonsai should be watered when you notice that the top part of the soil in the pot has dryed. Be sure and monitor each plant if you have more than one because each will use water at a different rate. Water each gently when needed.

Bonsai Training
A bonsai needs to be trained since in most cases a bonsai is not a natural miniature of a plant but has been dwarfed by training. The process is detailed and starts with a special pruning to keep the plant small. The steps that following may include additional training, wiring and repotting until the desired result is achieved. If you receive a bonsai that has been trained then all that is needed for some time is trimming of any branches or leaves that do not add to its dwarfed beauty or to maintain its shape.

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