Anyone ever found a seller of decent indoor bonsai?

cbobgo

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I know that "indoor bonsai" is pretty much an oxymoron, but it seems like with the number of people interested in having a bonsai indoors that somewhere there would be someone selling ficus that actually look like trees, as opposed to the twisted up mallsai hawked by companies like bonsaiboy and Brussels via Home Depot.

Has anyone ever found a good source for decent indoor/tropical species?

- bob
 

jk_lewis

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Jim Smith's Nursery (Vero Beach, FL). Miami Tropical Bonsai in Homestead, FL.
 

cbobgo

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Jim Smith's Nursery (Vero Beach, FL). Miami Tropical Bonsai in Homestead, FL.
I guess I should have been more specific in my post. What I'm talking about is more beginer/intermediate pre-bonsai type material. Something that looks like a tree and can be developed. Something in the less that $100 ball park.

All I see on their website is specimen material. I think the market for a $4000 tree that takes 3 people to move is pretty small.

- bob
 

cbobgo

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thanks for the links!

Wigerts seems to have the kind of stuff I was thinking about, and their prices are good.

- bob
 

Fangorn

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I guess I should have been more specific in my post. What I'm talking about is more beginer/intermediate pre-bonsai type material. Something that looks like a tree and can be developed. Something in the less that $100 ball park.

All I see on their website is specimen material. I think the market for a $4000 tree that takes 3 people to move is pretty small.

- bob
I know he has some very nice cheaper material too. I might be worth a phone call
 

Bill S

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Bob, I ditto Fanghorn on the Jim Smith Bonsai, we got some from him 2 or 3 years ago that we paid roughly 120 for that would have gone for double in a lot of places.

Hopefully you can make it out in the photo, it the one to the back. They had all kinds too from the tigerbark to strangler figs. I think a call and describe what you are looking for will get you great results.
 

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cbobgo

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Thanks Bill and Fangorn, but I'm not really looking for them myself, I was just speculating about the market for such trees.

It just seems that with the amount of noobies looking for semi-decent, relatively inexpensive indoor bonsai that there would be people out there producing stuff like that, at a little better quality than the typical mallsai.

- bob
 

DaveG

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Thanks Bill and Fangorn, but I'm not really looking for them myself, I was just speculating about the market for such trees.

It just seems that with the amount of noobies looking for semi-decent, relatively inexpensive indoor bonsai that there would be people out there producing stuff like that, at a little better quality than the typical mallsai.

- bob
Bob, if that's what you want to do, you might consider the idea of trying cycad (sago palm) or pygmy date palm bonsai. (I saw a thread related to that on here before I was approved to post.) As I understand it, either can grow indoors. The process of getting pygmy date palms ready could probably go from seed to finish in 3 to 7 years. (Look here for info one a place that has done this.) The cycads could be started from pups, which you could probably work out arrangements to collect from larger specimens for free, as they make the bigger plants look crowded. Some might not consider them true bonsai, but they will grow indoors and the process of keeping them alive but small would still be good experience in plant care.

Wikipedia also has some things to say on the subject, as it usually does, but some of the plants listed in the article are sort of difficult to classify as bonsai, even if they've been kept somewhat small.
 

Attila Soos

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Those pymgy date palm arrangements are really cool.
The natural question arising from this is, how do you keep them small? That's because you can't prune a palm tree.

The probable answer is "you don't keep them small". You just keep them healthy. Due to the fact that they grow in a shallow pot, they will grow very slowly, and you don't have a significant increase in size for many years.

Is my guessing close to the truth, anybody?
 

rockm

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You're right. Root constriction from containers keep them relatively small.

BTW, if you're not somewhere like HAwaii, or Fla. or somewhere you can put these things out in the sun for eight months or so, they make pretty poor indoor bonsai. I tried a few inside once. Thing sulked for a year, then went toes up--all the spider mites on it died too.:D
 

Attila Soos

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Here in So. Cal. there is an infinite assortment of palms living outdoors. I like the idea of getting a big old lava rock, carve it into an interesting shape, and plant a group of plams on it, letting the sphagnum-covered roots grow into the soil. It would liven up a boring study room or an office.
 

DaveG

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You're right. Root constriction from containers keep them relatively small.

BTW, if you're not somewhere like HAwaii, or Fla. or somewhere you can put these things out in the sun for eight months or so, they make pretty poor indoor bonsai. I tried a few inside once. Thing sulked for a year, then went toes up--all the spider mites on it died too.:D
Thanks for sharing that. I've been planning to try it with both pygmy date palms and sago palms. I'm planning to start the date palms from seed. (The darn things are taking forever to sprout though!) I managed to negotiate for some sago palm pups yesterday in exchange for digging up the rest from the plant for the owner. Maybe cycads are the way to go, even if my wife doesn't like them much.
 

DaveG

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I thought I'd add here, I collected all of the pups from that sago and then discovered that the owner only wanted a few. (I thought I was only going to end up with three or so.) I suppose this isn't a bad thing, but now I'm giving a lot of them away to people I know locally. In total, there were probably about 100 on the thing, including the really small ones and those I damaged too much. I think there are about 75 or so in the picture. Seven of the really big ones were already given away at the time it was taken.

While these may not possibly ever fit a strict definition of "bonsai", it seems like this would be a possible source of income for a bonsai business, as the amount of trouble per plant isn't too great. They also originate from Japan, which would seem to increase the appropriateness of it. I would also be tempted to try using a really little one as an accent plant.

My purpose for digging all of them up was to try to find a double or triple headed pup. I failed at this, but I did find a few in the lot that seem to have the potential to be interesting.
 

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greerhw

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We have a furniture store that sells petrified junipers of all sizes, they're really kool, I was thinking about buying one.

keep it green,
Harry
 

DaveG

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I can recommend Meehan's Miniatures. I've bought a number of trees from them -- in various stages of growth -- and have yet to be dissatisfied with one. Their prices are reasonable.

Their URL: www.meehansminiatures.com.
They have trees listed here as "indoor" that I never would have tried growing indoors. I'm not saying they're wrong. I'd be really tempted to try some of them indoors.
 

Bill S

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Hehe Dave if you think thats bad, try Lous bonsai, everything can be indoor bonsai there.

Have had great results with a couple I have bought from Mehans as well, but it was in person, bet if you call them they can set you up.
 
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jwatson

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I can vouch for both Meehan's and Wigerts.

I've ordered several times from Meehan's, and been thrilled with everything I've gotten. I agree that some of the trees listed as 'indoor' I would never attempt indoor, but other than that, everything I've received has been top quality. (no, I'm not a schill - just a very happy customer. :) ) They'll take all the time you need on the phone to let them know exactly what you're looking for.

Ordered a Bahama Berry from Wigerts, and it was huge! The description said 8" pot, so I knew I'd be getting something more than a 'stick', but I got a beautiful tree with great branching, wonderful nebari to work work with, and about 14" tall with an almost 2 inch trunk. So, yes, very pleased.
 
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