Indoor bonsai

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Indoor bonsai are bonsai which are cultivated for the indoor environment. Traditionally, bonsai are temperate climate trees grown outdoors in containers. Kept in the artificial environment of a home, these trees weaken and die. But a number of tropical and sub-tropical tree species will survive and grow indoors. Some of these are suited to bonsai aesthetics and can be shaped much as traditional outdoor bonsai are.

Note that bonsai and similar practices like penjing, hòn non bô, and saikei all involve the long-term cultivation of small trees in containers. The term bonsai is generally used in English as an umbrella term for all miniature trees in containers or pots. In this article bonsai should be understood to include any container-grown tree that is raised indoors and regularly styled or shaped, not just one being maintained in the Japanese bonsai tradition.

Indoor vs. traditional bonsai

The largest difference between indoor and traditional bonsai is, of course, the enjoyment of an attractive, fully leaved plant in winter instead of a dormant, leafless tree. Other differences include the faster growth rate of tropical plants, which accelerate all steps of the bonsai evolution. Moss covering, a common soil covering for outdoor bonsai, will not survive indoor conditions.

Bonsai vs. other forms of house plant

Compared to the usual potted house plant, bonsai are rooted in a much smaller amount of soil. Consequently, they require more frequent...
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