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Often people believe that caring for a Bonsai tree is extremely difficult, it is not difficult, but is also not as straight forward as with other plants and trees.  These small trees do require special attention to thrive, and be a flourishing bonsai tree.


For many first time tree owners, the bonsai has been received as a gift.  Bonsai is becoming a popular gift, not only for Mothers Day, but Christmas and anniversaries.  Bonsai received huge recognition in The Karate Kid, and ever since, trees have been exchanged as gifts between family, friends and coworkers.  Or, you may purchased your bonsai, from a store or nursery.  Intrigued with the beauty of the little tree.

In either case,  you may have received your bonsai with a small tag with brief care instructions, or you may have received a few verbal care ideas from the store.


It’s a common misconception that most bonsai are indoor trees. In fact, most bonsai are outdoor bonsai.  The popular bonsais found in grocery stores, such as the Ginseng Ficus, are only suitable bonsai for indoors.  There are possibly 2 other specimens suitable for indoor, such as the Money Tree (Pachira aquatica), or the Spekboom (Portulacaria afra).  Now that you’ve obtained your first tree, here are some basics on where your new bonsai tree should live.

Outdoor Bonsai

Quick back to school! - Sunlight is required for photosynthesis, in which the sun’s energy is absorbed by the tree’s leaves and is used to fuel the tree’s health. The amount of sunlight your tree needs will depend on the type of tree you have.  Conifers, like junipers and pines, require a significant amount of sunlight to thrive, while deciduous trees, like maples and elms, enjoy morning light, but could experience leaf burn if constantly subjected to the intense afternoon sun.

Regardless of the level of sunlight required, all of the above species should be kept outside exclusively.

Find a stable place for your tree outdoors, and be sure that the placement you choose is protected from:

  • Wind – the foliage (leaves) of your tree will invariably act as a wind sail during gusts of wind. If you can, place your tree where it has some protection from unexpected windy weather.

  • Rain – In general, rain isn’t an issue with bonsai, because a proper bonsai tree is potted in a well-draining soil and a pot which has adequate drainage holes.

Bonsai Tree
Image by Devin H
Image by Csaba Talaber

Indoor Bonsai

Ficus and other tropical trees are not hearty to cold winter temperatures, so they must be kept warm year-round. In many cold regions, this means keeping them inside away from the winter temperatures.

We do recommend joining a Bonsai Kai (Club) here you will always receive valuable information.  Check  our Bonsai Club Directory 

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