Inside Trees - japanese red maple? trident maple?

Z06Bonsai

Seedling
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Im looking to grow some new trees at my desk. I currently have a ficus that has taken off very well.

I want to grow a japanese red maple or a trident maple at my desk.

Is it possible? with artificial sunlight, humidity tray and a custom humidifier (i will build it that mists the tree every day for a minute or two)


Thanks in advance for the input!
 

treebeard55

Chumono
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Few trees tolerate low light conditions as well as some Ficus do. Unless you plan to use a metal-halide lamp or something of equal power, I wouldn't try maples indoors.

There are more species of Ficus than you can shake a stick at. (Sorry, unintended pun.) I'd suggest looking at some kinds other than what you already have.
 

mapleman77

Mame
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ZO6Bonsai,
I'm afraid it'll be virtually impossible to grow any species of maple indoors. The main problemis that they need a period of cold dormancy to survive--without it they will stay alive for awhile, but after about 2-3 years will basically be completely "exhausted" and just die. A better species, maybe, would be Chinese Elm, or Ulmus parvifolia. This species can be deciduous or evergreen; in more mild climates (such as indoors) they will keep their leaves. They can, for some reason, survive just fine without any cold dormancy.

If you were able to move a bonsai outside, say at your home, during the winter to let the trees go dormant and rest, you could probably keep a maple indoors WHEN IT'S IN LEAF IF you give it enough light. But refer to the above posts for help in this matter.

Hope this helps.
 

treebeard55

Chumono
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Very nice Ficus benjamina, too. Yes, the tree's trunkline and form do resemble a trident maple. If that's what you're after, it shouldn't be too hard.

Ficus retusa is another tough one that tolerates lower light. There are dozerns of cultivars and varieties, including "Tigerbark," "Golden Gate," and "Green Island."

Please note that I say it "tolerates" lower light. It still does best outdoors with at least half-day sun.

The "grass" looks like moss, as best I can tell in the pic.
 

Z06Bonsai

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thanks for the great recommendations!

is there a good place to buy seeds for these different kinds of ficus?
 

treebeard55

Chumono
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Specific cultivars won't come true from seed, and a starter plant can be had for a few bucks. I can recommend Meehan's Miniatures <www.meehansminiatures.com.> I've been buying from them for years, and have yet to be dissatisfied with anything they've sold me. :)
 

Mortalis

Yamadori
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All you need is 6 or so 4" cool white tubes and a mini fridge.

Really it IS possible to grow anything indoors its how much money you want to put into your setup that counts..
 

Tiberious

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Dont forget plenty of fresh air or you will have a moldy maple on your hands. Give it dormancy every year, then keep it by a window with indirect light (blinds, curtain, ect) and dont overwater. I keep my JM indoors all summer after dormancy requirements are met. It does better indoors by an open window and does not suffer scorched leaves.
 
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