What Bonsai Is Not
Bonsai is not what is sold in big box stores. These are what the bonsai community refers to as “mall bonsai” or “mallsai.” Some examples of mallsai are as follows.
Bonsai is not meant as an indoor hobby. There are a few plants that can survive (not thrive) inside, namely Jade, Ficus, and Chinese Elm, but plants are meant to be outside. If something is sold as an indoor bonsai and it is not one of these 3 species it is being labeled incorrectly usually in an attempt to sell more bonsai. Even though these 3 species can survive inside, they all prefer to be outside during the growing seasons so they can thrive. I personally never suggest a bonsai come inside. I put my Chinese Elms outside year-round, and only bring my Ficus inside when temperature drop too low for it to survive.
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