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I'm keen to have a bonsai by my desk at work. It will be on a window sill, but only have direct sunlight for about an hour a day (in the morning), the rest of the day it will have light reflected at it off a white wall.

I could place it outside during the weekend, if it needed it.

Will a juniper be suitable as an indoor bonsai in a situation like this?

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2 Answers

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This answer should help you decide.

  • If you have bright filtered sunlight from an east window that is optimum.
  • The less light available the more it will etiolate or stretch out which compromises one of the goals of bonsai which is to maintain a resemblance to a full size tree.
  • If it does stretch out there is not much which pruning can do to fix this.
  • Supplementary artificial light is a good option.
  • keep in mind that they need a dormancy period every winter when they need to be kept at cooler temperatures. A north facing room often works well if you close the heating vents.
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Technically any bonsai can be grown indoors, but many species require highly specialized care with grow lights and temperature/humidity controls.

The reigning consensus among bonsai growers and in bonsai books is that junipers are terribly suited for growing indoors, and the conditions you describe would agree with this. Most junipers require full sun (6-8+ hours a day of direct sunlight).

The plants most often kept as indoor bonsai are tropical, ficus being among the most common, along with dwarf bamboo varieties. Ficus are very difficult to kill and can survive in bright, indirect light as you mention. A ficus would definately be my suggestion for an indoor bonsai, especially if you're looking for the typical aged-tree look.

I can't suggest any one in particular, but you may want to pickup one of the many books dedicated to growing bonsai indoors (go to amazon books and search for 'indoor bonsai'.)

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