Indoor Bonsai for Beginners

Mr. Green

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Hi guys,

Since I am completely new to this forum, I will give a quick intro: I am 23, German/French/Italian, studying in the Netherlands. I have always had a love for growing things, especially in early high school. After a few months of not being active on that side, my passion for plants has seen a recent revival in recent months, exercised mostly with herbs. In the past days, I have increased my ever-present fascination for bonsai, and especially reading about the incredible art behind it has really inspired me to venture into this vast and beautiful craft.

The main issues I am faced with are lack of experience, money and especially space: I live on a campus, and as much love as I have for it - I don't believe a bonsai outside will remain untouched for long. Luckily, I have an expansive window in my room, facing south-east. Therefore, I hope to start growing a couple of different plants into bonsai, since I read practice is key. Some may fail, but I am very dedicated and convinced I will not neglect the plants. I have also started looking into watering systems for when I am not around. The question is: which plants can I, a beginner, grow indoors? I am a fan many different types of bonsai, such as ones with rugged, ancient-looking bark, with needles, or with full flowering. Among what I have researched so far, I found that Wisteria, Olive and Fig trees could suit my circumstances and interests, as well as the "Money Tree". I am looking for as much to choose from as possible, as well as opinions on the above-mentioned. So please comment, add to the list, or even show me an archive of good indoor-beginner plants.

Thanks in advance,
Green

P.S.: I plan on starting off with trees that have reached a suitable size for cultivating them into bonsai, let me know if you think I should do it differently.
 

sorce

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I think you should stick with ficus for now.
And get a couple cheap 4ft fluorescent grow lights to turn on when the sun is weak.

Sounds like you are on the right path.

Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

Stickroot

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Hi guys,

Since I am completely new to this forum, I will give a quick intro: I am 23, German/French/Italian, studying in the Netherlands. I have always had a love for growing things, especially in early high school. After a few months of not being active on that side, my passion for plants has seen a recent revival in recent months, exercised mostly with herbs. In the past days, I have increased my ever-present fascination for bonsai, and especially reading about the incredible art behind it has really inspired me to venture into this vast and beautiful craft.

The main issues I am faced with are lack of experience, money and especially space: I live on a campus, and as much love as I have for it - I don't believe a bonsai outside will remain untouched for long. Luckily, I have an expansive window in my room, facing south-east. Therefore, I hope to start growing a couple of different plants into bonsai, since I read practice is key. Some may fail, but I am very dedicated and convinced I will not neglect the plants. I have also started looking into watering systems for when I am not around. The question is: which plants can I, a beginner, grow indoors? I am a fan many different types of bonsai, such as ones with rugged, ancient-looking bark, with needles, or with full flowering. Among what I have researched so far, I found that Wisteria, Olive and Fig trees could suit my circumstances and interests, as well as the "Money Tree". I am looking for as much to choose from as possible, as well as opinions on the above-mentioned. So please comment, add to the list, or even show me an archive of good indoor-beginner plants.

Thanks in advance,
Green

P.S.: I plan on starting off with trees that have reached a suitable size for cultivating them into bonsai, let me know if you think I should do it differently.
Buttonwood is a great indoor tree.
 

Stickroot

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Fukien tea tree, I actually have one that I would sell pretty cheap. I can post a pic if your interested.
 

DougB

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Bonsai as a student in a dorm room is difficult. Perhaps your local bonsai club can direct you to someone who could use an extra hand (great for learning) or you could volunteer at a local arboretum. These will help you learn and fertilize your green thumb. Good luck on you studies and your horticultural art - bonsai.
 
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Like you and K ingJades said a dwarf jade might be great. They wouldn't even suffer from you leaving town sense they store water in the leaves
 

Cypress187

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I thought fukien tea had leaves with white spots on them:
 

Stickroot

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I thought fukien tea had leaves with white spots on them:
Some slower growers do,this one had spots months ago and I clipped it back so it is growing fast.
 

Mr. Green

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Fukien tea tree, I actually have one that I would sell pretty cheap. I can post a pic if your interested.
That is a beaut. Where are you selling it from? Since you said dollars, I assume shipping to the Netherlands or Germany would pose quite some transaction costs;)
 

Mr. Green

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If you like Schefflera (some don't) add that to your list.
Fancy! Love the hanging roots some have, or whatever that is. I imagine it takes some time and skill, but definitely going on the list.
 

Mr. Green

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Bonsai as a student in a dorm room is difficult. Perhaps your local bonsai club can direct you to someone who could use an extra hand (great for learning) or you could volunteer at a local arboretum. These will help you learn and fertilize your green thumb. Good luck on you studies and your horticultural art - bonsai.
That is actually a great idea. I am looking to make some extra dollah, and this might help.
 

f1pt4

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Fancy! Love the hanging roots some have, or whatever that is. I imagine it takes some time and skill, but definitely going on the list.
Schefs are super easy to take care of. You can hack em back and they grow. Some people don't even consider them bonsais, much like portucalaria afra's (dwarf jades). I have both and consider both to be bonsai-able.

I posted some progress shots of both in this thread:

http://www.bonsainut.com/threads/some-of-my-butcherings.20629/

Both are easy to care for, even for a college student. The Hawaiian schefflera will even forgive you for the lack of good light.

I'll post some updates to the port. Afra before August is over.

Have fun and good luck.
 
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