Care of indoor Bonsais

When you get a new indoor bonsai home, choose a suitable position where the tree is not in direct sunlight (so not to score the leaves) but is still well lit. Keep the tree away from direct sources of heat such as radiators and fires as even the most tropical of plants will find this heat to hot and dry. Increase humidity around your plant by giving it a spray of tepid water every few days or by standing it in a tray of moistened pebbles.


Water with rain water if possible (setting up a rain water barrel is simple and cost saving), if not use tap water but allow it to stand for a few hours to adjust temperature.

Water when necessary with a fine rose on the end of your watering can or immerse the pot to its rim until the compost is thoroughly soaked. During winter months when the tree is resting keep the tree drier than you would normally but never allow the soil to dry out completely.


From late spring to early autumn a weak liquid feed can be given at 10 day intervals.


The size and shape of an indoor Bonsai is created and maintained by training with wire and correct pruning. Pruning is by far the most important.

Allow trees to develop four sets of leaves per branch before pruning back to the first or second leaf joint. Rub out any buds, with your fingers, where foliage or branches are not wanted.

Wires should only be removed once the tree has attained the desired shape. Most indoor Bonsai can be trained with wire at any time of the year when the sap is flowing freely.  Ask our Bonsai expert at our Old Rydon Lane garden centre for more information on this.


Unless re-potted at regular intervals, the tree will become pot-bound and die from starvation. Re-pot in March or April before the spring growth starts. Indoor trees should be re-potted every one to two years. Roots of all but the oldest trees are pruned back approximately one third of their length. Use a specialist bonsai compost.

Give your indoor bonsai some time out in the fresh air during summer.


If you want to grow a bonsai or need some equipment, visit our Old Rydon Lane garden centre in Exeter or call 01392 876281.