Can the Kingsville Boxwood be grown indoors?

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Can the Kingsville Boxwood be grown indoors?

Post  atonal on Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:18 pm

I am just wondering if the KB can be grown indoors and if so what would the best conditions be for it?

I don't know very much about the world of Bonsai and the terms used but I want to learn so........

Love to hear your replies Very Happy

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Re: Can the Kingsville Boxwood be grown indoors?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:38 pm

NO

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Re: Can the Kingsville Boxwood be grown indoors?

Post  fiona on Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:17 pm

Hi Brian. As I see you have introduced yourself over on another part of the forum, let me start by saying welcome.

The rather less abridged answer to your question is that one of the most common misunderstandings people new to bonsai have is that bonsai can be grown indoors. If you think of it, a bonsai is merely a small version of a tree you'd find in nature and you wouldn't plant a forest in your living room. Bonsai require pretty much the same growing conditions as you would give a non-bonsai, and bringing them into a room with no sunshine except through a window and artificially controlled heat is the kiss of deasth for most of them.

So why do some garden centres and hardware stores sell trees as "Indoor bonsai"? Partly through ignorance (they are generally retail outlets and not usually bonsai specialists) and partly because of the type of tree they are selling. The bulk of trees available in these outlets are what we'd call tropical trees. As the name suggests, they grow quite happily in warm climates and we have plenty members on the forum for whom these trees are definitely outdoor trees because their clmates seldom get cold. For the rest of us who live in temperate or even cold climates, these trees would not survive a winter outdoors. This is what has given rise to the misconception that they are indoor trees.

I cant comment on your Kingsville Boxwood specifically as it is not a tree we have over here in the UK. Billy is very familiar with the species and I would take his guidance on growing it indoors where you live - or not growing it indoors as he is suggesting.

Hope that helped.

Fiona

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Re: Can the Kingsville Boxwood be grown indoors?

Post  fiona on Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:21 pm

Also, from what I've seen on the forum, Kingsville Box is a lovely tree to work with, so if you are planning on getting one and can keep it outdoors, I'd go for it. Tehre have been many posts on here showing examples. Just type Kingsville Box into the Search box above and see what come up.

A wee hint to you would be find out which trees grow best in your own climate and try to find some of these as bonsai. It is nearly always the best way.

Regards.


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Re: Can the Kingsville Boxwood be grown indoors?

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:59 pm

Actually a more accurate answer is maybe - if...
I had a rock planting of Kingsville boxwoods that thrived for about 18 years. I had them outdoors in the summer in part shade and brought them indoors at the first frost warning (Zone 5, end of September). During the winter they were in a light garden room with controlled humidity and fluorescent lights 18 hours a day. They eventually succumbed to a disease that I suspect came from the nurseries in Florida. I don't think it had to do with my conditions.
Incidentally, the botanical name for Kingsville boxwood is Buxus microphylla 'Compacta.' It is listed as being hardy at least to Zone 6, so it should do fine outdoors in Tennessee. Why would you want to grow it indoors?
Iris


Last edited by bonsaisr on Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:04 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : additional information)

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Re: Can the Kingsville Boxwood be grown indoors?

Post  atonal on Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:18 am

bonsaisr wrote:Actually a more accurate answer is maybe - if...
I had a rock planting of Kingsville boxwoods that thrived for about 18 years. I had them outdoors in the summer in part shade and brought them indoors at the first frost warning (Zone 5, end of September). During the winter they were in a light garden room with controlled humidity and fluorescent lights 18 hours a day. They eventually succumbed to a disease that I suspect came from the nurseries in Florida. I don't think it had to do with my conditions.
Incidentally, the botanical name for Kingsville boxwood is Buxus microphylla 'Compacta.' It is listed as being hardy at least to Zone 6, so it should do fine outdoors in Tennessee. Why would you want to grow it indoors?
Iris

fiona wrote:Also, from what I've seen on the forum, Kingsville Box is a lovely tree to work with, so if you are planning on getting one and can keep it outdoors, I'd go for it. Tehre have been many posts on here showing examples. Just type Kingsville Box into the Search box above and see what come up.

A wee hint to you would be find out which trees grow best in your own climate and try to find some of these as bonsai. It is nearly always the best way.

Regards.


fiona wrote:Hi Brian. As I see you have introduced yourself over on another part of the forum, let me start by saying welcome.

The rather less abridged answer to your question is that one of the most common misunderstandings people new to bonsai have is that bonsai can be grown indoors. If you think of it, a bonsai is merely a small version of a tree you'd find in nature and you wouldn't plant a forest in your living room. Bonsai require pretty much the same growing conditions as you would give a non-bonsai, and bringing them into a room with no sunshine except through a window and artificially controlled heat is the kiss of deasth for most of them.

So why do some garden centres and hardware stores sell trees as "Indoor bonsai"? Partly through ignorance (they are generally retail outlets and not usually bonsai specialists) and partly because of the type of tree they are selling. The bulk of trees available in these outlets are what we'd call tropical trees. As the name suggests, they grow quite happily in warm climates and we have plenty members on the forum for whom these trees are definitely outdoor trees because their clmates seldom get cold. For the rest of us who live in temperate or even cold climates, these trees would not survive a winter outdoors. This is what has given rise to the misconception that they are indoor trees.

I cant comment on your Kingsville Boxwood specifically as it is not a tree we have over here in the UK. Billy is very familiar with the species and I would take his guidance on growing it indoors where you live - or not growing it indoors as he is suggesting.

Hope that helped.

Fiona

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:NO

Thanks for all your comments they are very welcomed. Smile

I just love the Majesty of the Buxus Microphylla Compacta! I could stare at those trees for hours at a time invisioning the elegance of how they look or how they would look differently. I must be silly but hmmm the idea of a forest in my living room sounds quite nice affraid

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Can Buxus microphylla be grown indoors?

Post  bonsaisr on Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:32 am

We all want a forest in the house. The only one who did this successfully was Max in Where the Wild Things Are, and he had to go without supper.
Get yourself a group of Kingsville boxwood, go to a bonsai teacher, and make yourself a boxwood forest. Grow it outdoors, where it will be healthy. When you have company or a special holiday, bring it indoors for a day or so, then put it back outside. That's what we all do, more or less. I almost always have a bonsai on the dinner table. I winter most of my hardy bonsai in a sunporch, so I can even enjoy them in the winter.
Iris

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Re: Can the Kingsville Boxwood be grown indoors?

Post  atonal on Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:05 am

bonsaisr wrote:We all want a forest in the house. The only one who did this successfully was Max in Where the Wild Things Are, and he had to go without supper.
Get yourself a group of Kingsville boxwood, go to a bonsai teacher, and make yourself a boxwood forest. Grow it outdoors, where it will be healthy. When you have company or a special holiday, bring it indoors for a day or so, then put it back outside. That's what we all do, more or less. I almost always have a bonsai on the dinner table. I winter most of my hardy bonsai in a sunporch, so I can even enjoy them in the winter.
Iris

Thanks again Iris and happy Bonsaing to you Very Happy

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Re: Can the Kingsville Boxwood be grown indoors?

Post  Michael T on Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:22 am

I don't know why people insist on telling folks you can't grow bonsai indoors.

You can grow anything indoors . . . if you are you able to provide what the plant needs.

In short, suitable lighting, temperature control, humidity levels and in many instances a dormancy period.

I've grown many semi-temperate and tropical species indoors for years without problems and I've grown other species requiring a dormancy period indoors for many months at a time. Heck, I grew a crabapple in my office for nine months before I set it outside for its winter dormancy.

In fact, I actually rotate trees in my office on six to nine month rotations. The last one I kept in there for over a year, but I will confess it was a ficus.

All that said, I have a sunroom, humidifiers, timed lighting on movers with 400w high pressure sodium bulbs at home. I have a 250w high pressure fixture in my office as well. In other words, I have what it takes to do it with some success.

So, yes you can, but it requires a bit of preparation and understanding about a particular trees horticultural needs.

And in my experience, if you are going to grow indoors, humidity is extremely important.

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Re: Can the Kingsville Boxwood be grown indoors?

Post  atonal on Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:58 pm

Michael T wrote:I don't know why people insist on telling folks you can't grow bonsai indoors.

You can grow anything indoors . . . if you are you able to provide what the plant needs.

In short, suitable lighting, temperature control, humidity levels and in many instances a dormancy period.

I've grown many semi-temperate and tropical species indoors for years without problems and I've grown other species requiring a dormancy period indoors for many months at a time. Heck, I grew a crabapple in my office for nine months before I set it outside for its winter dormancy.

In fact, I actually rotate trees in my office on six to nine month rotations. The last one I kept in there for over a year, but I will confess it was a ficus.

All that said, I have a sunroom, humidifiers, timed lighting on movers with 400w high pressure sodium bulbs at home. I have a 250w high pressure fixture in my office as well. In other words, I have what it takes to do it with some success.

So, yes you can, but it requires a bit of preparation and understanding about a particular trees horticultural needs.

And in my experience, if you are going to grow indoors, humidity is extremely important.

Thanks Michael - I kind of thought that it was possible but of course who goes to war without preparation? I was wondering about the dormancy season though - does it need to be consistant? I mean it wouldn't be advisable to keep the trees out during the days and bring them in at night would it? I would think this would mess with the tree's seasonal timing. Like it is 20-30-40 degrees during they day outside but at night inside it would be like 68-70.

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Re: Can the Kingsville Boxwood be grown indoors?

Post  fiona on Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:50 pm

While what Michael is saying can happen (and obviously has worked in his case), please bear in mind that this is both an uncommon and a specialist way of growing bonsai. For an absolute beginner, I think most everybody's recommendation is to develop the basic skills and then think about some of the more specialised aspects. For most of us the thrill and skill remains in growing outdoors.

But the bottom line is that bonsai is supposed to be fun and relaxing; as long as you are deriving enjoyment from your hobby - however you choose to grow your plants - then that is good.

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Re: Can the Kingsville Boxwood be grown indoors?

Post  Michael T on Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:09 pm

I've always followed the seasonal changes with trees that require annual dormancy. In short, they all go outside late October-ish til late February early March. But, keeping them indoors during their growing season has never been much of a problem for me. And I've kept them inside for many months at a time. I'm also talking about deciduous species as well. I've never really tried pines, or spruces, for example. And I tend to think they wouldn't do well. I don't know that though.

Semi-temperate and particularly tropical trees tend to have more than one dormancy period and I can't say I ever really been concerned about when it happens either. I do , however, notice when growth slows or stops for periods of time which usually happens mid summer and mid winter.

So far, I've grown apples and crabapples, chinese elm, birch, boxwood, amur maple, brazilian rain tree, surinam cherries, fukien tea, bougainvillea, serissa, ficus retusa and many others over the years.

For me, the two biggest problems growing indoors is humidity, which needs to be high and spider mites. Spider mites love a dry environment. Since a normal healthy home humidity level is 50% or less house it is literally as dry or close to as dry as a desert environment. Keeping the humidity up and helps and periodically treating for them helps, but it is a pain.

About the only thing I ever notice my plants suffering from is my neglect because it is a chore to manage them indoors. And I get lazy . . . or busy.

And to Fiona's point, I've been messing with trees for twenty years. I've killed a bunch figuring this out. If you are going to try to maintain trees indoors, it really is work. Especially managing more than one. Watering is a pain, buying and using the lights is somewhat costly, figuring out the light schedule, how far from the tops of the plants, spraying for mites, changing the water in the humidifier. It's not always what I want to do at night when I get home. Just keeping up with watering them is a pain.

I am in the process of doubling the size of my sunroom. Part of the expense is going to go to automated watering systems that drain outside as well as increasing the total volume of windows in the space to increase natural light exposure all to lesson the amount of work involved in maintaining a suitable environment.




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Re: Can the Kingsville Boxwood be grown indoors?

Post  MIKEB on Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:27 pm

and i think you just maid Fiona's point.

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Re: Can the Kingsville Boxwood be grown indoors?

Post  atonal on Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:03 am

It does seem as it would be an absorbing part of the hobby and most likely better left to those that have a lot more knowledge than I have on trees at this time.

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Re: Can the Kingsville Boxwood be grown indoors?

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