Trees can grow indoors too, from office lobbies to homes and offices. Trees are not meant for just the outdoors. Palm trees, Meyer lemon trees, fig trees and many others are especially popular indoor trees. There are 100s of indoor trees out there that you can grow.
Indoor Trees Care
One of the likeliest mistake that most novice indoor trees grower does is to care of the tree too much. In other words, novice gardeners tend to be overzealous and end up bothering the tree especially when it comes to watering. All plants need watering, but watering a tree too much can kill it. That is because the soil will usually end up soggy. It is particularly tempting to pick up your watering can and start watering your plant daily. Useless the weather is very dry; you will not have to bother the tree every single day. Before you water, your tree the top 2 to 3 inches of the potting mix needs to be dry. For most trees, this is usually once a week.
There are in fact, trees that can stand not being watered for up to a month. This will depend on the tree and the growing conditions available. With watering, over watering generally, does more harm than under-watering. When you water your tree, make sure you soak the root system thoroughly. Water should run out of the drainage holes into the saucer under the planter. You should remove the water from the saucer. A turkey baster or any equipment that allows or suction should be used to sip up all excess water that collects in the saucer. Letting water sit in the saucer for long periods will harm the plant.
Unlike other types of plants, trees do not need much fertilization. Fertilizing your plant with slow release fertilizer twice a year should be okay especially if it is an established mature tree. Indoore vegetables and indoor fruit trees are required to grow fast and produce fast, so as such they require much more fertilizing, but not trees.
Another important thing to remember when growing trees indoor is pruning. Pruning not only makes the tree look good, but it is also good for the tree. It is something you should do once the tree has matured. Pruning a young tree can kill it if not done properly. Once the tree is established, it is important to keep it trammelled.
Also, it is good to prune all indoor trees, there are some that need more attention. The ficus tree (all of the species), the Schefflera and the jade tree are three trees that need to be pruned. The right tool for the job is a pair of pruning shears, but a pair of scissors or a sharp knife will do the job. Pruning your tree daily will have your indoor tree looking gorgeous.
Another task that is forgotten a lot of the time is root pruning. That should be done once every 3 or 4 years when you are repotting your plant. During the task of repotting, you should cut a few inches off the bottom of the roots. Root pruning is a popular bonsai practice as it keeps the tree from growing big. Root pruning of normal growing indoor trees is for a similar purpose.
When you prune the roots, you cause new roots to form. This will help maintain the size of the tree. When trees are indoor, they cannot be allowed to grow too big. Also, you get to keep sing the same pot. If the roots are not pruned, the limitation of the pot can cause the plant to die. This technique has been used to maintain bonsai trees and have them grow for hundreds of years.
It is also a nice idea to wipe down the trees’ foliage with a damp cloth a few times a year. It will help keep the plant looking nice all year round. Clean-offs also help the trees thrive. You do not want your indoor trees looking dusty.
Choosing The Right Indoor Trees
When it comes to choosing a tree to grow, there are many choices available. There are many improved versions of traditional trees based on cultivar. It is where they graft a branch or part of a parent tree that has a desirable trait. That gives growers the opportunity to choose a tree that best suits their needs. The best advice is to go down to the garden center and choose the tree that best appeals to you.
Some trees are much easier to grow than others are. The umbrella tree also known as Schefflera is an Australian tree that is very easy to grow. It grows about a foot each year. There are all-green versions and variegated versions also. As far as you do not place it in a dark corner, growing this tree is simple and stress-free. Just provide the umbrella tree with a good source of light.
Indoor Fig Tree
Another easy plant to grow is the ficus trees, also known as figs. There are several ficus trees out there. The most commonly known indoor fig tree is the tall, elegant weeping fig (Ficus benjamina), which is indigenous to Indonesia.
The weeping fig is very particular to change. When the location or temperature or humidity is changed, it will start to lose leaves. If you know little about this tree, you will probably panic but you should not. The leaves will grow that. You should not prune the weeping fig unless it is well established. Once it is, you can prune the weeping fig to look as good as possible.
Indoor Rubber Tree
The rubber tree is another indoor tree plant from the ficus family that also grows nicely indoors.
Indoor Banana Tree
The indoor banana tree is another indoor tree/ plant that is uncommon. However, if you grow it then many people will be amazed by its charm.
Indoor Lemon Tree
The indoor lemon tree and many variety of lemon plants are good indoor plants you can grow.
Indoor Jade Tree
The Jade is another tree that grows nicely indoors. You need to prune it regularly, or it will grow wild. Training the jade tree is necessary. You should prune the jade with a sharp knife.
Finally, there are indoor trees that are tough to grow such as Croton, the Aralia family of trees, and the false aralia (Dizygotheca). Although these trees are wonderful, their growing requirements can get quite tricky.
The indoor palm tree and its varieties are also as such. A lot of strong light will kill many of them.
Indoor Bonsai Tree
The indoor bonsai tree is an art form and should be treated as such. Bonsai trees are not strictly indoor plant. The truth is many traditional bonsai trees need to be set outside during the winter. However, many modern day bonsai trees are tropic trees that can be grown indoors all year long with no complications.
What Is Bonsai?
A bonsai tree is a full-size tree that has been made smaller but carefully confining and pruning the roots regularly. The world bonsai is Japanese and loosely translate as plantings in tray.
Difference Between Bonsai And Other Potted Trees
Although bonsai trees are also potted trees, there are huge differences between bonsai trees and other potted plants.
- Bonsai trees are grown in very shallow containers, while other potted plants are grown in containers that are deep and properly accommodate the roots. Because bonsai trees are grown in very shallow planters, you need to water them extensively. Drought resistive trees, therefore, make very nice bonsai trees.
- The growth in the size of bonsai trees is hugely truncated. Bonsai trees are actually miniaturized versions of trees that can grow to be huge. The roots of the bonsai tree are limited, and the tree as a whole is extensively pruned. Houseplants on the other hands grow freely and grow to be much larger.
Modern Bonsai Vs Traditional Bonsai Tree
The modern bonsai scene in most parts of Europe is very different from traditional bonsai trees. Traditional bonsai trees are not tropical trees, unlike modern bonsai trees. Traditional bonsai trees usually need to be set outside during the winter to keep on growing. These bonsai trees are leafless during the winter.
Modern bonsai trees are usually tropical plants. This is because tropical trees can grow year long and do not need to be set out during the winter. Popular modern bonsai trees include the jade tree (crassula ovata), the dragon plant (Dracaena marginata), and the weeping fig (ficus benjamina). Tradition bonsai tree species include the maple tree (Acer palmatum), the Japanese maple (Acer buergerianum), and the juniper tree (Juniperus communis) among other. This is not to say modern bonsai tree growers do not grow still grow the traditional bonsai tree species, many do.
Tropical trees grow much faster than trees traditionally used as bonsai trees. This makes the process of getting your bonsai tree established quicker. Traditional bonsai trees take longer to grow.
Because of the difference in the tree types, different types of soils are used. Traditional bonsai trees have moss as the top soil. Tropical bonsai trees do not use this.
Bonsai Tree Care
Bonsai tree care is a broad subject. Let us look at the various necessities of a modern bonsai tree care.
Because bonsai trees are actively pruned and trimmed on a regular basis, they need a lot of light. This is particularly true of tropical bonsai trees.
7 hours of bright direct sunlight from a south-facing window should be adequate. If you live in the Mediterranean and the tropics, then you are in luck as these areas receive a lot of sunlight.
If you live in an area where there is little sunlight, you may need to aid the growth of your bonsai trees with artificial lighting. You can obtain artificial grow lighting from your garden center or off the internet. You may not need to purchase high-intensity discharge light bulb. These are expensive. In most cases, compact fluorescent light tubes are good enough.
With grow lights, the bonsai trees need about 14 hours of light.
Tropical bonsai trees prefer high comfortable temperatures. Luckily, these are the same temperature that most of us have in our homes and rooms. The needed temperature is anywhere between 60°F and 75°F (16°C to 24°C). If you are growing traditional bonsai trees, you will need to check and provide the trees with the right temperatures.
Although, this might seem trivial, it is important. Since most modern bonsai trees are tropical in nature, they are used to high humidity levels. Also, air conditioning and indoor heating cause the air indoors to be drier than the plant needs. It is up to the gardener to make sure the humidity is right for the plant. Acquiring a humidifier is a great way to go. Ou can also decide to mist the plant with a mist sprayer a few times a day. Some also choose to place the potted bonsai tree under a humidity tray. It is also good if you allow fresh air in the room where the bonsai tree is growing.
Watering Your Bonsai Tree
Because of the shallowness of the bonsai containers, you need to water the plants a lot more than you will a normal potted plant. You will need to check the potting mix before watering the bonsai plant.
When the mix is dry up to just a cm or 0.4 in, then it is time to water the plant. You need to research on the individual bonsai plants as each has its set of watering rules. However, with all bonsai trees, the water should seep out of the drain holes when watered.
During the growing season, fertilizers rich in nitrogen are required for a full, lush foliage. During the summer, a balanced fertilizer is best.
If you have a flowering bonsai tree, you can use fertilizer that promotes flowering.
Pruning and training your bonsai tree is very important. The roots need to be pruned just as much as the foliage. Training the tree is also desired. When training the bonsai tree, you need to be careful as not to harm the tree.
Fake – Artificial Indoor Trees
There are times when you cannot get a real indoor tree. For these times, you can get an artificial indoor tree. Artificial indoor trees come in many shapes and sizes. Silk palm trees are quite well-made and as such many opt for these instead of real trees.So what are the reasons to get a fake tree instead of the real deal?
Reasons To Get A Fake Indoor Tree
- Fake trees do not need special care. There are species of trees that are difficult to grow. For instance, many species of palm are quite difficult to grow; too much light can kill them. If you get an artificial palm tree, there is no need to be careful when caring for it. All you need to do is clean the dust that gathers on the plant. Indoor trees also require regular pruning. Something fake trees do not need.
- Fake indoor trees will not attract insects. One of the main reason why people get fake indoor trees is because they claim real trees attract insects. It is important to know that, when taken very good care of real trees will not attract and harbor pest. Sometimes we just do not have that time.
- Fake indoor trees come in different shapes and sizes. Although indoor trees also come in different spaces and sizes, they are limited by the variant and species. It the plant is naturally a small plant, you cannot simply oversize it. It is not a problem for synthetically manufactured plants.
- Fake indoor trees do not die. One reason for artificial trees is that they do not die. If you are negligent, your negligence will not kill the plant.
- Quality artificial trees look realistic. Finally, if you invest in a quality artificial indoor tree, it is almost impossible to tell the difference unless you inspect it closely. Truth be told, many of us do not go around inspecting trees found in the workplace and other people’s vicinity trying to determine whether they are real or not.
Reasons To Grow A Real Tree
- Real indoor trees purify the air. It is common knowledge that trees do a superb job of clearing toxins out of the air. Palms, in particular, are excellent at this. Many other commonly found indoor trees such as jade, weeping fig among others are excellent at removing toxins and excess carbon dioxide out of the indoors atmosphere.
- Real indoor trees improve the humidity levels. When the air is dry, it can be quite uncomfortable. Trees have the ability to improve the moisture in the air. That will help reduce sore throats and flu. Plants also help relieve fatigue.
- Real indoor trees reduce the levels of carbon dioxide in the air. Since we excess carbon dioxide, the concentration of it can be high especially in offices. This causes sick building syndrome. Having trees indoors is known to reduce the occurrence.
- Indoor tree plants brighten up workplaces; reduce the levels of toxins and carbon dioxide in the air. All this leads to the workers feeling at ease and comfortable. It improves productivity.
- No matter how realistic looking a fake tree is, it can never beat a real indoor tree.
- Growing and caring for an indoor tree is a rewarding experience.
Indoor Trees With Low Light
Apart from all the above topics there are interesting topics such as indoor trees low light which are often useful information for people looking for answers. This kind of a condition where your house might have low sunlight is common among the urban population. Read the article for a better perspective on the subject.