New to Bonsai

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New to Bonsai

Post  Faedother on Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:54 pm

Hello,
I have been looking at starting a bonsai, off and on, for about a year and a half. I have finally found a good place for one. My office desk in the call center I work at. However I apprehensions about it, I have read the Article by Jack Wikle, http://www.bonsaihunk.us/WikleArticle.html, and I think I have a good idea of what I am looking at for care. However I am still not sure what plant I should start out with.
Here are the conditions of my office;
  • Open air, open to the rest of my building
  • Temperature hovers between 69-80 F.
  • No natural light.
  • I have one halogen light on my desk and one fan.
  • Now I do plan on buying this desk lamp.
  • I also plan on having a desktop fish tank near the bonsai.

So if anyone could let me know what type of plant would work in the stated environment, that would be great.
Thank you,
Fae

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  JimLewis on Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:59 pm

The only plant I can think of that fits that hostile environment is a Ficus of some sort. I'll let the "figgers" tell you which one.

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  jonkatzmail on Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:30 pm

I am new so I don't know anything, but I keep reading that no junipers or other conifers can be kept inside, so that cuts out a lot of bonsai. And nearly all tropical plants need high light levels so that cuts out a lot. Some books say that Japanese Holly can be kept inside, and some Ficus, and some Chinese Elms. And after that I don't know, and maybe what I have said is even wrong.... study

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  drgonzo on Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:59 am

As a "Figger" the only thing I can think of is a Ficus Benjamina, they can tolerate pretty low light levels, but thats NOT an easy tree to work with for Bonsai. I'm at a loss, those are TOUGH conditions to make a match for.
-Jay

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  AdamG on Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:59 am

It seems as though I'm always recommending a jade. That's what I recommend here as well. Although even those probably won't be very happy in these conditions.

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:21 am

Plastic

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  fiona on Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:38 am

You will probably have realised by now that you are really attempting the impossible here. Very few bonsai thrive indoors and indeed we tell newcomers to our art that the term "indoor" bonsai is a misnomer and is very misleading as trees, inlcuding bonsai, are designed to be grown outdoors. Indoor bonsai really refers to those (few) trees that have come from a hotter (often tropical) environment and therefore won't survive in a colder one. Tres need light, air and sunshine to exist. Your office will never provide that in the quantities needed.

If you have an garden or even a patio or broad window ledge, then that is where your tree should sit. Otherwise really all you would be doing is growing a house plant and one with limited survival chances.

Can you let us know if you have a garden/patio/ledge and we'll advise you on the best tree for that location?

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  Faedother on Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:42 pm

So even with the natural sunlight lamp, LINK TO LAMP, I would not be able to grow any bonsai?

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  alonsou on Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:50 pm

Faedother wrote:So even with the natural sunlight lamp, LINK TO LAMP, I would not be able to grow any bonsai?

A natural sunlight lamp, will never be able to replace or be the same as natural sunlight, any tree will do great outside, take one inside and will have its days counted!

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  Faedother on Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:54 pm

I guess I am confused. The article by Jack Wikle seems to lead a reader into believing that some bonsai can be grown indoors. Providing they are kept close to a halogen light.
Now is this wrong?

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New to Bonsai

Post  bonsaisr on Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:00 pm

There is more to a good bonsai environment than just light. You also have to consider temperature, humidity, and air movement (and what happens over the weekend). Many people would like to have a bit of greenery in their office. The solution is to have about half a dozen bonsai, which you grow in a suitable environment at home. Then you rotate them, keeping each one in your office a few days or a week at a time. There are several dwarf cultivars of Ficus benjamina, such as 'TooLittle,' which require similar conditions to the parent, but are much better for bonsai. Just remember their preferred location at home is outdoors all summer in almost full sun.
Iris

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  alonsou on Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:07 pm

Just ask this yourself.

How many TREES (not plants) have you ever seen growing inside ? Trees are meant to be grown outside by all means, even the tougher tree will need 2 or 3 days a week outside, inside environment its just too hostile for trees, lack of natural light, then you have trees being exposed to dry cold AC affraid.

You can try one of the options they have suggest, but do all possible to have it outside a few days every week.

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New to Bonsai

Post  bonsaisr on Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:10 pm

Jack Wikle grows under fluorescent lights, not halogen. He has a very sophisticated setup with a controlled environment. So do I (not as sophisticated as his). His bonsai never go outdoors. Mine do. But Jack has been growing bonsai for about 35 years and has it down to an exact science.
Iris

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  Faedother on Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:13 pm

When I put done halogen, I mean fluorescent desk lamp. However, you all have a every good points. See I do not have the option of a porch or yard. This is because I also live in an apartment. So it sounds like, I need to wait till I do have a porch, at the very least, before I start my Bonsai hobby.


Last edited by Faedother on Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  alonsou on Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:17 pm

a balcony will do just fine too, do you have access to one?

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  Faedother on Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:19 pm

Nope, the architect wanted clean lines, so no balconies.

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  alonsou on Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:28 pm

I hope you don't get discouraged from doing Bonsai. At the very least get one of the trees previously suggested and try your luck at it. Perhaps you might have some luck with it. But at least bring it back home during the weekends and at least put it next to a window so that it gets some fresh natural air/light.

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  Faedother on Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:37 pm

O I am not discouraged. It just seems like my plan A will not work. However you have a good idea.
I think I going to go ahead with my idea of having the mini-fishtank next to my bonsai with that natural sunlight lamp and my desk lamp on the plant.
I think I will start with a English ivy. Since, I know for a fact, they are hard to kill. They I might move onto a box wood or another very hardy shrub or tree.

Thank you all for the help. It is wonderful to have people like you to help us, beginners.
-Fae

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  JimLewis on Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:41 pm

I urge you to buy a book or two about bonsai. Fellow UKer, Harry Tomlinson, has written what in our small world is a best seller: The Complete Book of Bonsai.

It is very good, and very basic and though I normally steer people away from any book with "Complete" in the title, I recommend it to you..

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  drgonzo on Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:51 pm

"The solution is to have about half a dozen bonsai, which you grow in a suitable environment at home. Then you rotate them, keeping each one in your office a few days or a week at a time."

THIS ^^^^^-Is a GREAT idea!

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:16 pm

drgonzo wrote:"The solution is to have about half a dozen bonsai, which you grow in a suitable environment at home. Then you rotate them, keeping each one in your office a few days or a week at a time."

THIS ^^^^^-Is a GREAT idea!

This is what I did when I had a job. Actually it started in my office, but management wanted it moved to the Lobby. So I put a tree on a table in the lobby on Monday and took it home on Friday.

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  AK_Panama on Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:45 pm

Even if the conditions were good, I´d advice against leaving it in your office desk in a call center environment. The open access bit is bad for security.

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New to Bonsai

Post  bonsaisr on Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:12 pm

Since you have no access to outdoors, consider converting a room, or part of a room, in your apartment to a controlled indoor growing environment. In Zone 6 you will not have as much trouble as I do with winter humidity. However, you will still need to enclose the growing area. Your choice of bonsai will be limited, but not impossible.
I do not recommend English ivy for your office environment. Start with something like a dwarf schefflera.
Iris

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  Faedother on Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:15 pm

AK_Panama wrote:Even if the conditions were good, I´d advice against leaving it in your office desk in a call center environment. The open access bit is bad for security.
Why is that?



Thanks Iris, I will look into a dwarf schefflera.


Last edited by Faedother on Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:16 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : mispelling)

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  AdamG on Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:17 pm

Faedother wrote:
AK_Panama wrote:Even if the conditions were good, I´d advice against leaving it in your office desk in a call center environment. The open access bit is bad for security.
Why is that?



Thanks Iris, I will look into a dwarf schefflera.
I think they're saying it might be stolen.

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Re: New to Bonsai

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