My name is Mark D’Cruz of Ma-Ke Bonsai and I’m going to talk to you about indoor bonsai care. There are effectively, over time we kind of learned that there’s nine different conditions that need to be met. First of all, light. Light is crucial to bonsais and often, without light, bonsais will perish. They will die slowly but they will die. Growing it on a window like this, a nice big bay window, ideally, it should be a south facing window, but if you don’t have one, then any facing window is good. For some species you may need to add extra light in which case you use a light like this. This particular light uses a white light of 64,000 Kelvin which is ideal for growing bonsai. The next thing that you need to consider is of course water. Plants, like outdoor plants, need to be watered regularly when they are dry to the touch. Water them like you would do to outdoor plants. Ideally I would dunk them. Give them a dunking in a basin or a bucket. That helps to make sure that all the bowls are full.
Another important factor to consider in growing trees indoors is heat. Now in a modern home like ours in the UK, that’s not really much of a problem because central heating takes care of heating in winter time. The only consideration is just to make sure that you do not place your bonsai directly over the heat source like, for example, a radiator or something like that, in which case, the dry heat from the radiator is going to kill the bonsai.
Bonsais need to be cooler in the night than during the day but not too cold. Many times bonsais will get too cold in the night so you need to monitor the temperature. Above 6 degrees is tolerable. Below 6 degrees gets difficult for the bonsai in the night. Plants need humidity. If you have a dry room which rooms get very dry with the central heating, the plants will suffer quite considerably.
So that’s why we have humidity trays under each of the bonsais. That provides a little microclimate for the tree so that it manages to deal with the humidity. Bonsais need to have air circulating around them. So if you put a bonsai in a place where there is no air circulation, eventually what happens is that fungus and other pests settle on it and it gets damaged, and it will die because of over fungus on the tree. Feeding and fertilizing. Use a balanced fertilizer 4/4/4 strength of 6/6/6. If you’re using a liquid fertilizer, feed every two weeks. If you’re using a pellet-type fertiliser, feed every two months or when the pellets disappear. Just like outdoor trees, indoor trees will suffer from from pests and disease. You need to keep a lookout for them. Indoor trees, because there’s a lack of circulation can suffer from pests quite often.
Scale is quite a problem indoors as is aphids and spider mites. Bonsai pots and trees need to be kept clean. You need to regularly clean them out, brush them out so that if there’s any dead matter in the trees, remove any dead wood is removed, any dead leaves are removed so that circulation is always encouraged by cleaning up the thing. Keep the top of the pot clean because then no bugs and no pests will settle in the dead matter that’s on top of the soil. And finally, dormancy. All trees need dormancy. They need to rest. Another thing to remember is that if you are growing, like I am here on the window sill, in the winter time, do not close the curtains over the plants. The warm air from the room will not come onto the plants and then the tree will just suffer from the cold air that comes in from the outside, and the coolness that comes out.
And that’s how you look after indoor bonsais. .