The Best Indoor Bonsai Tree Varieties and Caring for Indoor Bonsai Trees

Have you ever wanted to know more about caring for bonsai trees indoors? Have you wondered what the best species are for indoor bonsai trees? Read our tips below to keep your new bonsai tree happy and healthy indoors.

Our Recommended Species of Indoor Bonsai Trees

Silk Tree (Albizia Julibrissin)

Chinese Elm (Ulmus Parvifolia)

Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia Indica)

Japanese Quince (Chaenomeles Japonica)

Pink Flower Mimosa Sensitive (Mimosa Pudica)

Purple Flower Jacaranda (Jacaranda Mimosifolia)

Our Top Indoor Bonsai Care Tips

The general rule of thumb to keep any plant healthy indoors, is that the more you can recreate its natural environment, the happier it will be. This can mean that not all plants will thrive indoors, however, many species of tropical and subtropical bonsai trees make great indoor growing companions.

  • High light is the most important requirement (see section below on Artificial Light)
  • Water whenever your tree needs it – water when your tree container feels light as you lift it up and the top 0.5" of soil is dry (the frequency of watering will vary depending on your home's humidity as well as the season)
  • Choose a bright indoor location away from cold drafts, cold windows and heat vents
  • In very cold climates it is important to keep tropical and sub-tropical species inside all year 
  • In temperate climates, move bonsai outdoors in spring once danger of frost has passed and bring them in again come fall
  • Give your bonsai trees regular lukewarm showers either in your bathroom or under a spray faucet – this will wash away accumulated dust and unwanted critters

Additional Notes on Artificial Light

For some bonsai tree hobbyists, a window with a bright exposure is completely sufficient however if your plants are not thriving, supplementing natural light with artificial lights is a popular solution.

Expensive plant grow lights are not always necessary. Many hobbyists simply use shop light fixtures that contain two four foot long, 40 watt, cool white or "daylight" fluorescent bulbs. These can be propped up on tall, overturned plant pots (or similar sturdy structures) and set within 10-12" away from the top of your bonsai trees.

The recommended light exposure under artificial lighting is 14-16 hrs a day and can be managed using a simple, economical timer which can turn the lights on and off automatically.

Humidity for Bonsai Trees During Cold Seasons 

It is important to note that most homes do not have enough humidity during cold weather to support tropical plants. Once indoor heating turns on, home environments become very dry and your bonsai tree will need extra humidity in the air. 

The best option for additional humidity, for both people and plants, is a small energy-efficient humidifier.

Misting your trees or placing "humidity trays" underneath are popular ideas, however this actually does very little to create humidity in a room.

Research Your Specific Species 

Our final tip for indoor bonsai tree care is to research your specific tree species and learn more about their natural outdoor environments. By understanding the environments where they naturally thrive best, you can recreate similar conditions for them indoors.

Shop now for our new DELUXE Bonsai Tree Seed Starter Kits that contain everything you need to get started with your new indoor bonsai tree – including several suitable varieties for indoor cultivation.


 Photo credit: Norio NAKAYAMA