Chichester and District Bonsai Society

Indoor/Outdoor Trees


There are many varieties of plants that do well as an indoor bonsai such as ficus, aralia, azalea norfolk pine, serissa, gardenia, or boxwood. Note that these are all woody-stemmed plants and can have their limbs wired to direct the growth. Tropical and subtropical varieties can not tolerate tempers below 40 - 50 degrees F. These plants can be left outside when the temperatures stay above this. Light inside the house should be by filtered sunlight from an east, south, or west window. Grow lights 12 hours per day work well. Outside in summer place in partial shade.


There is a wide choice of trees for outside bonsai. The winter dormant period is essential to the general good health of a bonsai. In northern climates winter protection from freeze-drying winds is necessary. Trees should be kept in an unheated area. An unheated garage, shed, breezeway, or cold frame can provide this. Check with your bonsai club for other ways. Check the root system for moisture and water as necessary while in winter storage. Unless the root ball is frozen they will need to be watered every week or so. In the summer water more often as weather conditions demand. Never let the tree go dry but do not keep it soaked either. Some of the trees suitable for outdoor bonsai are, junipers, maples, elms, pines, ginkgo, hawthorn, and flowering crab apple.