Bonsai FAQ for beginners

Thinking of getting a bonsai for the first time and in awe of all the information about bonsai care and wide variety of bonsai species? Here at Bonsai Inc, let us break down some of the common questions and misconceptions about bonsais for newbies looking at starting your bonsai journey.

Are there any bonsai suitable for indoors?

The answer is No. We generally refer to bonsai as trees and not plants. As miniature trees, they thrive under direct sunlight just like how trees are in the wild forests. Even for indoor placement, we would only recommend to place it near a window that can receive a few hours of sunlight daily.

However, with today's lighting technology, we have experimented with using LED grow lights to house some of our bonsai indoor and they can actually grow under such artificial environment for long period of time. Rotation of your bonsai to be place under direct sunlight is still recommended from time to time even if you use grow lights.

Why do I see so many bonsai displayed indoors in photos?

Majority of people has the misconception that there are indoor bonsai available because a lot of beautifully taken photos of bonsai trees are shot indoors at the home of Oriental (Japanese, Chinese & Korean) households or exhibitions. In many oriental culture, these households will take pride to maintain a bonsai which is kept most of the time in outdoor gardens and will only be brought into the house to be display at prominent locations when they are hosting guests or for special occasions.

Are bonsai easy to care for?

Compared with plants, bonsai trees require far more care and attention than general plant care. Hence, the value of bonsai increases over time if it is well maintained and beautifully styled by prideful owners.

Bonsai needs to be kept outdoor for sunlight but not too harsh for some species. Watering needs to be done daily with dedication how much to water and mist. Pest control will also need to be monitored as delayed treatment can cause the bonsai to die. Repotting also needs to be done every 1-2 years as the aesthetics of bonsai is also judged on the proportion of pot size to the tree size. Generally bonsai pots are always kept smaller than the tree size for aesthetics reason and hence when roots are outgrowing, repotting needs to be done.

It might sound daunting to newcomers to bonsai but it is because of the dedication required, the results of seeing how beautiful a bonsai can be grown into has kept bonsai enthusiasts dedicating so much time to this hobby for centuries. 

Bonsai cultivation has mystical powers of nurturing a person's patience, mindfulness, character and appreciation to the wonders of nature.

How long can bonsai trees last?

It really depends species to species as some trees can live up to hundreds of years. Some award winning bonsai trees exhibited in Japan can be as old as 300 years. It is a generational asset that can be passed down.

How do I care for the bonsai that I just bought?

At Bonsai Inc, we will give you a general advice on how to care for your bonsai tree but to make your bonsai journey much more interesting, it is best for you to research more information with books, online forum/community and youtube videos to find the best way to care for your tree. By trying and experimenting different techniques, you will naturally find the best way to care for your bonsai.