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Help with bonsai tree needed

Warwickshire, United Kingdom Gb

Hi, everyone. I got a 4-year old bonsai tree as present for my birthday and I was wondering if anyone had some tips on how to look after it properly. There wasn't much useful care information on the box and I've heart that they're difficult to keep.

Any advice would be much appreciated.





Oh you poor thing - I'm in the same boat, someone gave me one for Christmas. First you have to decide whether it's an indoor or an outdoor bonsai - hopefully the label might tell you (mine didn't say anything at all). If its an outdoor one, then it can't be kept inside other than when the weather is very extreme (think December 2010) and then only for short periods. If you want to keep it, buy, or have a look at, a small book called Bonsai Basics, published by Aura, ISBN is 1-901683-04-4. I was given this as well, but quite frankly, having looked at the book, it's put me right off - keeping bonsai appears so time consuming and complicated, I'm about to pass the bonsai tree onto a friend - life's too short for torturing plants, as far as I'm concerned.

21 Feb, 2011


Hiya, and thank you for your answer, although it's not a very encouraging one :) I have no idea if my bonsai is an indoor or outdoor one. I didn't even know there were two types and the label didn't say. So I've decided it's an indoor variety, especially since it hasn't died yet. I've always liked bonsai trees, so I'll try to keep it alive. I haven't got anyone to pass it on to anyway.

Thanks for the tip about the book, I'll take a look and see how it can help. x

22 Feb, 2011


If you can load a photograph on here, I might be able to tell what plant it is to determine whether its in or outdoor.

22 Feb, 2011


In general, conifers (Cypress, Junipers, Pines, etc.) and deciduous trees (Maples, Beech, etc.) are difficult to impossible to keep indoors for any length of time. The main exceptions are Norfolk Island Pine, Dwarf Yew Pine, and Chinese Elm. Many tropical plants, such as Ficus, Ming Aralia, and Dwarf Shefflera, make good indoor bonsai, but need unusually bright light when grown that way. If it doesn't tell you on the tag--too commonly--it would be best to post a picture, as Bamboo says.

23 Feb, 2011


Thanks, guys. I'll take a picture of the tree today and try to upload it on here by tomorrow.

24 Feb, 2011


Hiya, I just wanted to let you know that I've uploaded a photo of my bonsai. I hope someone will be able to identify it and share some advice on what I should do to keep it alive :)


28 Feb, 2011


Well, at first glance I thought 'rose' but I doubt it is - no thorns, I take it? Nothing springs to mind, so can I suggest you post that photograph with another question asking if anyone can identify it - that way, everyone gets to look at it, not just the people who answered your first question (like me!)

28 Feb, 2011


That's a Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia), which can be grown indoors, as long as it gets enough light--and it looks like it isn't getting it now. They use water fairly quickly, probably needing a soaking every 5-10 days indoors, depending on temperature and humidity. They also need regular feeding, but any good houseplant feed will do. They grow fast, so it will probably need regular pinching and pruning to keep its tree shape. It can easily go outside in the summer, where it will probably need watering every 2-3 days. It can also stay outside in the winter, in a sheltered spot, and with the pot wrapped in bubble wrap, but a winter like this last one would be stressful. If you want to put it outside, I would harden it off gradually, first.

1 Mar, 2011


@Tugbrethil: Thank you for your help. I'll try to look after it according to your instructions. Hopefully I'll keep it happy for a long time. I will post an update on how my tree's doing at some point, but I'll see how it goes first.

@Bamboo: No, no thorns, thank God. Who needs a tree that's not only hard to keep, but also prickly? :)


1 Mar, 2011


I think mine's an outdoor one, as I said - and I forgot to take it when I met up with my friend recently. So now it's out on the balcony, and it'll either cope or it won't...

1 Mar, 2011


Oh, dear...I hope it survives until the rescue team comes :)

I trimmed mine yesterday and it looks a lot happier. It's sitting on the sunniest windowsill at the moment, but it's still not getting enough light with the miserable weather we're having at the moment. I guess it'll just have to hang in there until the proper spring comes.

3 Mar, 2011


They're fairly resilient plants, City, unlike most of the conifers I've owned--no forgiveness there! : )

5 Mar, 2011

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