Wintertime in the South is a time when my house fills with all the tropical plants from the bench. Growing indoor bonsai can be a very rewarding experience especailly if your new to bonsai and want to keep it close to you. Unfortunately, it can be the most frustrating start to your bonsai career. I started like many others have, with a juniper “mallsai”. I made the classic bonsai beginner mistake and kept it inside for a couple of weeks. After readng through many of the sites linked to on this site, I figured out that a juniper is for outdoors only. My second purchase was a Ficus Microcarpa and a much better choice for indoor growing. I have purchased several tropical bonsai that I have enjoyed taking care of.
Each year, I experiment with lighting conditions for these indoor bonsai and this year is not an exception. I am trying a 24-inch fluorescent grow light for my smaller bonsai that was actually pretty cheap at Wal-Mart ($9.95). My ficus gets it’s own 100-watt 6500K daylight CFL and my jade gets a 75 watt desk lamp that does a terrible job. This seems to keep them barely happy for the winter monhts. I really can’t wait for the summer months to put them back outside. They seem much happier in the sunligth. I fully intend to create a new setup before next year that would include 3 24-inch fluorescent of different color temperature. Apparently, when using florescent, you should try to vary the color temps to cover as much ground as possible. Here’s some articles that I run across while doing my research:
Freazing weather and watering;