Bonsai is simply growing a tree in an environment that forces it to become a miniature version of itself. Each tree will have its own needs and has to be taken care of in its own way, but bonsai is less complicated than it looks, and even beginning gardeners can find a plant that fits in with their routine and lifestyle.
Hawaiian Umbrella Tree
The dwarf version of the Hawaiian umbrella tree is good for an indoor bonsai. It is one of the easiest to grow and does not need a lot of care. The tree also does not need a lot of light, so it can be placed almost anywhere and would be a good choice for an office environment. The leaves look like miniature umbrellas and form a dense cover. Do not let the soil go completely dry and give it an occasional misting. The one downside is the fact that it is poisonous if ingested, so it should be kept out of the reach of children and pets.
The ficus is a miniature version of the banyan tree. It is a natural slow grower with small leaves. There are three specific varieties that work well for indoor bonsai: dwarf ficus, narrow-leaf ficus, and weeping ficus. This is one of the choices for indoor bonsai that needs to be kept indoors all year long, except for short times when it can be outside in warm sunshine. Let the soil dry out to a depth of about 1 inch. Then soak it, right in the container, in water for about 10 minutes. Allow the soil to drain until no more water leaks from the bottom of the container. A ficus tree will also have to be repotted at least every 2 years, depending on how fast it grows. It needs to be kept in a sunny place where the temperature will not go below 60 to 65 degrees F.
Baby jade is also known as the elephant bush, elephant plant or small leaf jade. It is a succulent and a native of South Africa. It can be grown indoors or outdoors, as long as the temperature does not go below 50 degrees F. It stores water in the trunk, branches and leaves. It can go a long time between waterings and can be grown in an office environment. The leaves are almost round and can be pale grey, pale grey/blue/green or dark green. The bark is green on a young tree and turns to a reddish brown and then a slate gray. The flowers are pink or purple, small and star shaped. The soil needs to go completely dry between waterings.