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What's the best Bonsai for indoors?

Top Five Indoor Bonsai Trees

I’m often asked which Bonsai trees are best for indoors.  The bottom line is Bonsai are trees and trees prefer to be outside where they can enjoy sun, fresh air, wind, rain.  Additionally, I have found working on Bonsai a great way to get myself outdoors instead of sitting on the couch in front of the TV.

Regardless, Bonsai trees are also works of art and the desire to display them indoors is completely understandable.  Just about any Bonsai tree can be displayed indoors for up to about three or four days without causing harm to the tree.   In my home I have a display table just inside the entrance door of our house where I rotate by Bonsai trees every two to three days.

With that said, there are some trees which will sustain themselves better than others indoors providing they have a source of natural light such as a window. 

Here are the five best Bonsai trees for displaying indoors.

Umbrella Tree

Purchase on Amazon: Bonsaiboy Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai Tree - Medium Coiled Trunk Style Arboricola Schefflera Luseanne

Hawaiian Umbrella Trees can be made into beautiful Bonsai.  Their roots have a unique character in growing and climbing over rocks.  Many Bonsai artist do not consider the Umbrella tree a ‘true’ Bonsai in because you can’t shape it with wires or weights.  They are however, very easy to care for and can thrive in various light and water conditions.  Umbrella Trees are great for beginners and  can make for beautiful display for longer amounts of time.

 Ficus Tree

Purchase on Amazon: Brussel's Gensing Grafted Ficus Bonsai

Ficus trees come in many different varieties, most of which are very tolerant to varying conditions such as temperature, humidity  and are also very drought tolerant.  Ficus trees are great for beginners and are loved by seasoned Bonsai artist because of their small leaf site, beautiful root formations including air.  Ficus trees can be trained with wires or weights to obtain the desired shape and size.

Chinese Elm

Purchase on Amazon: Brussel's CT9005CE Chinese Elm Bonsai

Chinese Elms are one of the most popular Bonsai trees known.  Because of their natural curved growth, they require very little shaping and only require basic pruning to look like works of art.  Chinese Elms are also very good trees to display indoors for longer period of time.


The Jade trees is actually a succulent and originate from Africa.  It does well in very dry and hot conditions.  They can actually go without water for weeks at a time but do require lots of sun so should be kept by a window if displayed indoors for long periods of time.

Purchase on Amazon: Brussel's Jade Bonsai

Ponytail Palm

Purchase on Amazon: Bonsai Boy's Ponytail Palm - Medium (Beaucamea Recurvata)

Native from Mexico, the Pony Tail Palm tree is a very unique looking plant.  Contrary to belief, it’s not a palm tree at all.  The Pony Tail Palm tree is actually a type of Lily that resembles a palm.  Its long, graceful leaves flow towards the bottom and the thick base gives it the nick name the “Elephant’s foot”.  The Pony Tail Palm is great as an indoor Bonsai in that it requires very little light or water to thrive.  It’s also one of the easiest trees to care for.

Be sure not to water it too much while displaying it inside . When displaying your Bonsai inside, it will require less water than when it is outside due to the absence of direct sun and wind.  


Article by: Mark Givensel, BonsaiConnection.com