Jr3al

Seedling
Messages
8
Reaction score
6
Location
Kent,ohio
USDA Zone
6a
So it’s been maybe 3-4 months since I found out bonsai was accessible to me like when Mr miagi gave Ralph machio his first bonsai. Full disclosure my cat leapt of a shelf didn’t quite clear the first tree I owned. Needles to say that didn’t and well. Fast forward 3 months and two good indoor grow lights later... I’ve got two junipers and one Chinese elms, black lava , among other additives, not to make mention of the $225 set of bonsai tools... so my first trunk chop. Forewarning I’ve never been the type to beg for advice and so V I did what I’ve always done. Do me and ask opinions later? Go ahead lemme have the constructive critiquing I can take it!!

Im Jason by the way. My friends can me big J80F4AA9B-3DC9-42EF-AEE2-0425D29EEEB0.jpeg633DD03A-B8AB-4759-BCE8-E5AA1B7E2ABE.jpegADBE5B5B-20D0-4942-888D-23BD8BCEEBED.jpeg538D9449-DCF9-4137-97ED-DB2D864625E1.jpegD0AC3729-389F-4580-826A-751553B4A423.jpeg
 

Mapleminx

Shohin
Messages
318
Reaction score
484
Location
Germany
USDA Zone
8
Welcome! Loving the little meditating sloth you have as a pot deco there. Hopefully some more will come and post some advice. You might have been spotted sooner had you posted in ”General” or “New to Bonsai” as those are very active sub forums.

But welcome to the forums!
 

Paulpash

Omono
Messages
1,885
Reaction score
4,468
Location
UK. Yorkshire
If it's inside in a house without access to sun this Chinese Elm will never achieve its full potential. I'm hoping you have access to some outside space or your options for successful bonsai cultivation will be limited.

Here's my Chinese Elm, 8 inches tall, that is kept outside all year. This isn't a "flex", just giving you an example of what can be achieved in a situation conducive to good cultivation.

IMG_20190706_175937.jpg
 

DonovanC

Shohin
Messages
406
Reaction score
422
Location
Ohio, U.S.
USDA Zone
6a
Welcome!
Adding your location to your profile is helpful to those offering advice.
Constructive criticism: the soil you have your elm in looks a bit dry, and seems to be peat based. This makes watering a bit more challenging when applying bonsai techniques. Ideal soil is a very free draining substrate - you’ll find 43 million opinions on the best soil. But soil fundamentals are free draining, with somewhat limited water retention. The peat will retain too much water, and when it dries out it can be difficult to rehydrate. Just water when the top of the soil dries out. You don’t ever want the soil to dry out completely. With this soil, it’s easiest to spray the top of the soil really well with a spray bottle then water normally.
What juniper do you have? I’m assuming you have a J. procumbens, which can survive inside for the time being, but both should go outside next spring - you’ll get a few opinions on this too. Chinese elm and procumbens juniper can survive the winter inside just fine, but again, both are best outdoors year round. 12-14 hours of light is a good aim.
Good luck!
 

Mayank

Chumono
Messages
595
Reaction score
877
Location
SE Michigan
procumbens juniper can survive the winter inside just fine
I had no idea junipers of any type could survive indoors and thrive long-term. Maybe a few years as they lose energy and vitality and then just die? Unless there is a way to give them a dormancy period indoors maybe in the coolest part of the house?
Personally, I would definitely not consider keeping them indoors.
 

DonovanC

Shohin
Messages
406
Reaction score
422
Location
Ohio, U.S.
USDA Zone
6a
I had no idea junipers of any type could survive indoors and thrive long-term. Maybe a few years as they lose energy and vitality and then just die? Unless there is a way to give them a dormancy period indoors maybe in the coolest part of the house?
Personally, I would definitely not consider keeping them indoors.
I don’t know anything about long-term, but procumbens specifically is able to be kept indoors at least for a season or so. But I’m not advocating for that.
Just assuring OP that it can at least survive the winter.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
27,373
Reaction score
36,858
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
Welcome to Crazy!

I'm with the sloth.
🧘🏼‍♂️

Sorce
 

leafy8

Seedling
Messages
9
Reaction score
8
H
If it's inside in a house without access to sun this Chinese Elm will never achieve its full potential. I'm hoping you have access to some outside space or your options for successful bonsai cultivation will be limited.

Here's my Chinese Elm, 8 inches tall, that is kept outside all year. This isn't a "flex", just giving you an example of what can be achieved in a situation conducive to good cultivation.

View attachment 330725
[/QUOTE
How old is that beautiful tree
 

MrWunderful

Chumono
Messages
977
Reaction score
1,132
Location
SF Bay area
USDA Zone
10b
Most temperate trees will not survive long term indoors, so keep that in mind.

I believe in a real “chop”- as in, down to the first branch (on an elm). The curve in the trunk is common among “mallsai” or mass produced trees, labeled as bonsai so that is the first thing I would have ditched.

here is an elm (zelkova) that was chopped summer of last year. The old main trunk is the wound on the left. I will chop again next summer.
image.jpg


I also believe in late spring chops on vigorous deciduous species. If you live in a mild winter area and the tree is outdoors, you can chop in early fall but the growth generally isnt as vigorous.
 

leatherback

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
7,449
Reaction score
11,790
Location
Northern Germany
USDA Zone
7
Looks like your plant survived the first chop. Congratuulations!

Now, before you work it in any sense again.. Let it make branches, shoots of several inches, let those go all dark green and mature so the plant recovers from this.

That being said.. I might have chopped a little lower. Soemthing to think about next spring:

1600841482023.png
 

Jr3al

Seedling
Messages
8
Reaction score
6
Location
Kent,ohio
USDA Zone
6a
So I was under the impression that as long as I bought some good full spectrum lights on timers that indoor was more than doable for Chinese elm and junipers. So is that not your guys experience? I’ve picked up 2 150watt full spectrum LED grow lights that are supposedly spectacular bonsai lights. But damn now you have me worried as I don’t know honestly if I’ll be able to do outside. I live in an apt building and my landlord is an asshole so at least the next 1-2 years until I get my own house it might have to be good lights and just doing the best I can.
 

Jr3al

Seedling
Messages
8
Reaction score
6
Location
Kent,ohio
USDA Zone
6a
Welcome!
Adding your location to your profile is helpful to those offering advice.
Constructive criticism: the soil you have your elm in looks a bit dry, and seems to be peat based. This makes watering a bit more challenging when applying bonsai techniques. Ideal soil is a very free draining substrate - you’ll find 43 million opinions on the best soil. But soil fundamentals are free draining, with somewhat limited water retention. The peat will retain too much water, and when it dries out it can be difficult to rehydrate. Just water when the top of the soil dries out. You don’t ever want the soil to dry out completely. With this soil, it’s easiest to spray the top of the soil really well with a spray bottle then water normally.
What juniper do you have? I’m assuming you have a J. procumbens, which can survive inside for the time being, but both should go outside next spring - you’ll get a few opinions on this too. Chinese elm and procumbens juniper can survive the winter inside just fine, but again, both are best outdoors year round. 12-14 hours of light is a good aim.
Good luck!
Thanks for the advice. I’ve actually been looking into what type of soil base I should be using. Is it ok to mix soil with non organic like akedema or lava? Or if I’m going to use akedema should I just use that? I was thinking like 40-50 soil then the rest akedema, lava, perlite etc or would that not be a good mix? Any advice would be welcome. Oh and btw I’ll go add my location to my profile. Thanks in advance.
 

leatherback

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
7,449
Reaction score
11,790
Location
Northern Germany
USDA Zone
7
Yuor elm should be able to take living indoors. Junipers really do not work indoors. I think I have only once seen someone who was able to make junipers live indoors over longer periods of time
 

Jr3al

Seedling
Messages
8
Reaction score
6
Location
Kent,ohio
USDA Zone
6a
If it's inside in a house without access to sun this Chinese Elm will never achieve its full potential. I'm hoping you have access to some outside space or your options for successful bonsai cultivation will be limited.

Here's my Chinese Elm, 8 inches tall, that is kept outside all year. This isn't a "flex", just giving you an example of what can be achieved in a situation conducive to good cultivation.

View attachment 330725
I’ve got two indoor grow lights. As I live in an apt building and my landlord is unfriendly I’m kinda stuck for the next year or so.
 

DonovanC

Shohin
Messages
406
Reaction score
422
Location
Ohio, U.S.
USDA Zone
6a
Thanks for the advice. I’ve actually been looking into what type of soil base I should be using. Is it ok to mix soil with non organic like akedema or lava? Or if I’m going to use akedema should I just use that? I was thinking like 40-50 soil then the rest akedema, lava, perlite etc or would that not be a good mix? Any advice would be welcome. Oh and btw I’ll go add my location to my profile. Thanks in advance.
That soil will work just fine. It’s watering routine that’s important. Just be sure to allow the top cm or so to be dry between waterings, but be sure to never allow the soil to dry completely. Don’t get caught up in how often to water, just give it a drink when it’s thirsty 👍
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
27,373
Reaction score
36,858
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
landlord is an asshole

Sucks. But that's better than Slumlord!
Best find them ficus them I reckon!

And don't expect that Juniper to become much but brown!


I was just wondering if English folks see "flat top" bonsai and wonder of they are growing on an apartment roof! Lol!

Sorce
 

DonovanC

Shohin
Messages
406
Reaction score
422
Location
Ohio, U.S.
USDA Zone
6a
I kept a procumbens indoors for a full year during 2016-2017 out of ignorance. It went outdoors full time late 2017, and did fine. It eventually died due to unrelated causes (over-potted, then let go bone dry one too many times), but it made it through it’s first winter with no issues and had I been a bit more knowledgeable, I’m confident that it would still be well today. I killed that tree, not it’s time in my living room.
Here’s an article talking about keeping many species including J. procumbens “Nana” indoors under lights:Indoor Bonsai
EAFF0D0E-269C-4E25-AF87-595A7917B4E8.jpeg
And here is Ken Huth’s website, he’s from Ohio also, he stands by the practice of keeping procumbens “Nana” indoors. Ken has been in the hobby for a very long time, and I trust his experience.

To be clear though, I am not advocating for any tree to be kept indoors - all trees should be outdoors when possible. So, ASAP, the tree should be outdoors. But it CAN survive until then!
 

Jr3al

Seedling
Messages
8
Reaction score
6
Location
Kent,ohio
USDA Zone
6a
Ok appreciate the advice! So I’ve got 3 trees and one is a yearling; as of today I’ve got 700 watts of full spectrum led light(meant to grow pot I mean vegetables 🌶 lol) so I guess we’ll find out soon enough? I’ll be in my own house within the year then my girls will get outside every day! Until then when I can I’ll walk them out for a few hours a day and sit with them. He can’t say shit about me poppin a squat talking to my trees for a cpl hours. And if so I have a judge that will beg the difference. It’s turning into a harassment situation anyway. My wife’s 8mo pregnant or we would have already moved. But I’ll def keep an eye 👁 on them.
 

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
Messages
9,266
Reaction score
17,064
Location
Charlotte area, North Carolina
USDA Zone
7B
So I was under the impression that as long as I bought some good full spectrum lights on timers that indoor was more than doable for Chinese elm and junipers.

If you have the proper lighting setting, I'm pretty sure you can keep many tree species indoors now. If you can keep shallow water photosynthetic corals from Fiji alive indoors, I'm pretty sure you can keep a warm weather pine.

However that is a big "if". The reason most people say "you can't keep most bonsai indoors" is that I have rarely seen a setup with the necessary features. We're certainly not talking about something that you can keep on an office desk or a dining room table. (At least not for a tree 12" or larger) You're really talking about a mini greenhouse setup, or a cultivation setup like what people use to grow marijuana. But yes, I think it can be done... I just haven't seen anyone do it yet (at least with pines).

Plus you get into the problem of trees that require annual dormancy. Chinese elms, black pines, and junipers don't, but many other deciduous and conifers do - and some of them require a hard freeze and not just cool temps. Many deciduous stone fruits won't even flower if you don't provide the necessary cold degree days. Japanese maples and Japanese white pines will weaken and die if they don't get enough cold. So there are other considerations than just lighting.
 
Last edited:

Similar threads

Top Bottom