What to Expect From Indoor Bonsai in Winter

This is about indoor bonsai and what to expect in the middle of winter.

The can tend to look a bit bedraggled but there is no need to panic.

I show you Ficus, Ficus Benjamina, Jade, Durantha. Chinese Elm, Podocarpus, Pomegranate, Pistacia, Brush Cherry and the Pepper Bonsai Tree.

This video is about indoor bonsai and what to expect in the middle of winter it’s the 15th of january today and i always like to think that the middle of january is probably the worst part of the english winter between now and say early february we usually get snow other parts of england have had snow we had a sprinkling of snow last week and two days ago it went down to minus three minus five but today it’s a bit mild it’s gone up to about four or five degrees so we’re lucky in the south of england because the temperature fluctuates quite a bit but nonetheless indoor trees tend to look bedraggled and although many of them like the ficuses are supposed to be evergreen they do lose their leaves many of the indoor bonsai do lose leaves so if you only see trees that are losing leaves do not despair let me just take you through some of the trees to show you what to expect now let’s look at the ficuses the ficus i always reckon is the easiest of all the indoor bonsai to keep because they can stand temperatures up to say 20 degrees centigrade and they seem to thrive in it after all the ficuses in the tropics in countries like india indonesia southern china they have winter temperatures which are similar to our indoor temperatures so 18 to 20 degrees outdoor temperatures in india is cold but we would consider that warm in a room so ficuses if you have a room which is no more than 20 degrees centigrade then that is an ideal temperature to keep them now all the ficuses in this room this is my conservatory a conservatory is like a glass house attached to my main home and i keep this just above freezing in fact the coldest nights it can go down to about 5 degrees and i like to keep it around 10 degrees so we have a radiator in this conservatory you can see this radiator produces a little bit of heat not a great deal and that is sufficient to keep this room moderately warm so let’s see what some of these ficuses are doing this is one of our thick trunk ficuses and if you keep it well water you see i stand them on trays so that the water collects underneath so there’s dampness and they all are well watered at any time in the life of a bonsai you should make sure that the soil is always damp when i tell people to let it dry out they go to the extreme and let it dry out too much so to be on the safe side i always advise people to keep the soil damp so if you keep it damp they will stay this lovely green color but look at this one here these yellow leaves they’re growing in exactly the same place these two so when you see leaves like this falling don’t despair it is quite common if you look out of your window and you look at the great big deciduous trees like the oaks and the sycamores and the elms they do shed the leaves in winter so although the ficus is meant to be evergreen they do shed leaves i remember when i used to visit india there are lots of ficuses many varieties thousands of varieties that almost shed a hundred percent of their leaves so they shed almost all the leaves in winter so don’t worry this is ficus reducer i think some people call it the tiger bark focus but it is sold as ficus reducer they will get these little like black spots if you can see this picture and then the leaves will turn yellow and they will then drop so this is quite common let it getting leaves to drop is quite common i will show you another uh few ficuses and i will explain to you why there is a difference between these big ones here these are the big ones i did in that demonstration earlier on if you remember i style a lot of these big ones there are three big ficus here this one this one and this one at the back you see what beautiful leaves they have they haven’t started shedding but they will now the other extreme is this one this is the cascade one if you remember i did and this is another one and look at the leaves that are shedding on this one and i tell you why this has happened look at all the leaves falling i’m not worried this tree is not dying it’s just shedding a lot of the leaves i kept this ficus in my other hall which was very warm and dry now let me just switch this camera off and walk you to the other room and show you the conditions there the conditions here are almost like a ordering greenhouse because being a conservatory i water the plants quite heavily and there’s always a bit of moisture in this room now let me take you to our zen meditation hall where it’s much drier so here i am i’m now walking out on the nursery all the benches are almost bare only the hardest of plants the scot pines are left outside they are very hardy they can stand temperatures minus 10 minus 12. they come to no harm although they’re in small pots so this is the bleak scene in winter and this is my zen meditation hall and here we are this is the great big zen meditation hall that we have and this room is always heated and the temperature here is i would say 20 degrees centigrade but because it’s a hall with lovely wooden floor and lovely decor i can’t keep it so damp so some of the trees here are kept here for winter care and i keep them here more or less as experiments more than anything else i also have some customers trees here the trees with the red label our customers who keep that trees here in winter and look at it this one also has the odd yellow leaf coming so don’t despair and i have some other big ficus and they will also shed all their leaves this tree gets completely bare so you can see the yellow leaves on this and by march i can expect the tree to shed completely there’s another ficus here and you can see how the leaves are shedding here so don’t worry when you see that the tree is not dying i have my lemon trees they need protection and the jade trees are here for protection looking out onto our center and there are a few more ficus in here and you can see all the leaves that have fallen on the floor this is the jade tree they can’t stand frost so they’re kept in here so this is where i keep my plants and this is our heater or convert inverter so it’s an air conditioner that produces cooler in the summer and warm warmer in the winter we call it an inverter so this is where the plants are kept this is where i do my exercise so this is the room where some of the indoor bonsai are kept so we keep our trees in different locations to protect them from frost and i’ve been doing experiments to see what is the ideal condition so this room being warm and fairly dry would replicate what most of you would have as your living room so although it not ideal what you can do is to put them on trays and fill the trays with water so that you get a lot of humidity this is the variegated ficus benjamina starlight and you look at the leaves that are falling over here so again do not panic do not panic it is quite normal for these so-called evergreen trees like the ficus to lose their leaves in winter and when you see blotches like this you see the yellow with the black blotches that is the color of the leaves just before they shed and many people think it’s a disease it’s not it’s just that they’re about to shed so i hope this gives you reassurance i will now go back into the conservatory and show you one or two other plants so i’m now back in the conservatory and i’m going to show you these plants which are the ficus benjamin or starlight and as i said they do shed leaves so if you see them shedding leaves do not think that the plant is dead or dying they will get new leaves in the spring so you just got to grit your teeth and hope for the best the jade tree of course portula carrier they are what i call a lazy person’s tree because they are succulent which is similar to us cactus they don’t need a lot of water so they can stand dry conditions and they are ideal for the room and they survive the winter extremely well the ficuses as i said do shed some leaves these are duranta duranta uh is a tropical hedging plant and look at the leaves that shed on the duranta so again when you see all the leaves shedding like so do not do not panic the tree will come good again and in fact you may lose all the leaves of this tree and it should be okay but for some reason these green duranta which are different from the variegated one they don’t seem to shed their leaves so much so all the plants behave in slightly different ways and it’s only by experimenting and trying will you get to understand and know these plants so coming back to this ficus this ficus which is shedding a lot of leaves compared to the one on the left look at the one on the right this one on the right was kept in my zen meditation hall which was very dry and because it was very dry it was shedding more leaves these ones this one on the left has been kept in this cool humid atmosphere so that hasn’t shed so many leaves so this is something new i i’ve learned i’m always learning new things because unless you try them you don’t realize what these different plants go through and what they do and behave this is another one which was kept in the zen meditation hall and see the number of leaves that it is shedding i think it got too dry too dry and too warm can cause these problems the rest of my ficuses are looking very good these are little scenes that we make again they like a cool room i didn’t try it on a dry warm room but they seem to be okay and for those of you who like to know what i grow i grow my own chili plants and that’s a people tree this people tree ficus religiosa the cutting was made by a dear friend of mine who went to budgaya and this is a cutting from the very same tree from bordegar where buddha sat under a ficus apparently when he attained enlightenment so this is a very sentimental plant made from a tiny cutting no bigger than one inch long and my dear friend in fact has passed away it’s so many years ago so these are the winter quarters for my trees so there are the few ficus that have the yellow leaves which again to reassure you is perfectly normal i will now take you to our front greenhouse where we keep our other indoor trees and i will talk a little bit about them as well we have two greenhouse complexes the back greenhouse is where i do most of my videoing and the front greenhouse is where we have our shop selling pots and also we keep our indoor trees here now this greenhouse we do not heat i cannot afford to heat a big greenhouse like this because it would be astronomical so this heat simply relies on being protected and in the coldest winter nights when the outside temperature is like -5 the temperature here could be like freezing zero degrees so it does keep its warmth quite a bit so for those of you who are not familiar with the indoor plants there are some which like cool temperatures and some which can stand warmer temperatures the only indoor plants that like indoor warmth are the ficus the bougainvillea now this is a bourgogne villa we’ve got them here they shouldn’t be here but they won’t die but they prefer to be kept much warmer than this and of course we have our lemon trees they need little more warmth but i believe they can stand freezing so this greenhouse is kept mainly for the cool indoor plants ficus potula carrier bougainvillea they need warm temperatures but all other indoor plants like a very cool room these are chinese arms and you can see that they are in good condition but not all of them are in good condition this is a batch which has been growing much later in the year they were fed later in the year so they stay greener but these ones have lost almost all their leaves so do not panic if you see your indoor elm losing leaves so these yellow leaves in winter is quite normal but i just noticed we are not even into february and look at the new shoots on this one loads of new shoots on this earth so this is getting the new leaves for the spring i will show you another batch of indoor elms and if you see them you will absolutely be horrified look at them all yellow leaves and they’re shedding and when you see indoor elms like this you may think that the tree is dying but do not panic or do not despair keep them well watered you can even keep it in a cool much cooler room like a garage and keep it watered if you don’t like the sight of these leaves that are getting yellow and shedding but believe you me they will be all right don’t be tempted to put it in a warm room to force the growth if you keep it too warm they will get very floppy lacks growth and that growth is not a very strong growth it is better to get tighter into notes by keeping them growing in a cool room so it may cause you confusion as to why some of the elms are green and some are shedding as i said the ones which are green were fed much later in the year so they continue to grow these were fed much earlier so they have lost their leaves there are other trees which we grow and sell for indoor bonsai this is protocorpus portacarpus is a very popular plant it is called the buddha pine and it’s the nearest thing to the ew or the pine but it’s not a pine it’s more like a than the eu texas family i think although i’m not a botanist and they prefer to have a very cool environment zero degrees to about 10 degrees is about the best uh or ideal temperature for them this is another large podocorpus now again look at two quite distinct different elms this is a large chinese arm with almost all their leaves intact and yet this one has lost almost all their leaves this was grown outdoors both were grown outdoors but they behaved so differently now let’s come to the pomegranate the pomegranate they have these beautiful fruit and beautiful flowers in the summer but they do shed their leaves so look at this one this one has almost lost its entire crop of leaves so again this is quite normal this is pistachio and pestacia is a mediterranean plant and they can stand quite cold temperatures up to freezing but they don’t like it too warm so this is quite an easy one to keep these succulents are quite hardy but i protect them in this greenhouse the other variety which many people buy his brushed cherry brush cherries is a syngym and this is what they look like but even they will shed some leaves another tree which causes people a lot of problem is the pepper tree pepper tree the botanical name is centro xylem uh pipperitium so this batch they have retained all their leaves but i do warn you that this is the same type of tree here and you look at the bench here look at the leaves that have shed this is pepper tree this is typical pepper tree behavior so if you see your pepper tree behaving like this do not panic it is absolutely natural for it to do that but be patient and by february or march you will get a completely new crop of leaves i keep them in batches you see look at this batch are all turning yellow at the same time and they will shed their leaves sagaretia is a difficult tree to keep this is more akin to the pepper tree i would say it is not quite like the chinese arm but they can’t stand too much cold i think they can stand freezing but you mustn’t subject it to temperatures of like minus three minus five it would suffer if you did that so sagareti needs to be kept just above freezing so i think i’ve covered most of the different varieties that we have here and i think i’ve shown you this structure before inside this greenhouse i have a little bubble plastic tent where i keep plants which are more susceptible so these ficuses here they have gone down to like minus two but they don’t seem to have suffered this is a lemon tree this is in here so winter seems to be not a very pleasant time for looking at your trees because they always look a bit bedraggled but by the spring you will see them getting a new crop of leaves so this is the life cycle of indoor plants and don’t panic when you see leaves shed because it’s all part of the natural process so i hope you’ve enjoyed this little reassuring video [Music] foreign

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