The 11 Best Indoor Bonsai Trees for Your Home

Written by August Croft
Updated: August 6, 2023
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Contrary to popular belief, not all trees are considered to be the best indoor bonsai trees out there. In fact, most bonsai trees prefer to be grown outdoors, given the fact that trees are rarely cultivated indoors! But what plants or trees do well as indoor growing bonsai trees, and how can you best care for these specimens in your own home? 

In this article, we will give you a list of some of the best indoor bonsai tree options, including ones you may not have thought of before. We will go over just how easy some of these trees are for both the beginning and experienced bonsai hobbyists. If you want to grow and care for your own bonsai trees indoors, this is a good place to start! 

Looking for some of the best bonsai trees to try growing outdoors? Here’s a list of 12 of the best options, depending on your climate.

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Infographic of 11 Best Indoor Bonsai Trees for Your Home
Place your indoors bonsai by a nice, bright window or purchase grow lights if necessary.

The 11 Best Indoor Bonsai Trees

best indoor bonsai trees

Some of the most popular and easy-to-care-for bonsai tree species can be grown indoors.

©Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz/Shutterstock.com

If you are new to bonsai care and cultivation, it’s important to note that indoor-grown bonsai trees are often harder to cultivate compared to outdoor-grown bonsai trees. In fact, most bonsai trees adapt well to the seasons, typically only requiring protection from cold weather or harsh sunshine when grown outdoors. Only tropical or sub-tropical species can survive indoors.

However, it isn’t impossible to grow bonsai trees indoors. You just have to choose the right plant or tree species to begin with! Some of the most popular and easy-to-care-for bonsai tree species can be grown indoors. Just make sure you have a nice, bright window to keep your tree in, or purchase grow lights if necessary. With all this in mind, let’s check out 11 of the best indoor bonsai tree options for you. 

1. Ficus Ginseng

best indoor bonsai trees

With a large base, the

Ficus ginseng

is a striking bonsai tree.

©Bulgn/Shutterstock.com

With a thick and swelled trunk at the base, the Ficus ginseng makes an eye-catching choice for an indoor-grown bonsai tree. In fact, it is one of the most commonly grown indoor bonsai trees out there, especially when you consider just how easy it is to care for. Your Ficus ginseng will not appreciate cold temperatures or drafts, so make sure you keep it in a location that is warm and stable. However, this is a fairly hardy bonsai tree to begin with if you are new to cultivating! 

2. Ficus Microcarpa

ficus bonsai tree

Popular for its ease of care, the

Ficus microcarpa

bonsai tree produces unique aerial roots.

©windmoon/Shutterstock.com

If the Ficus ginseng is popular, then the Ficus microcarpa is even more popular. This is the number one bonsai species for beginners as well as those seeking an indoor option. It grows quickly and thrives in an indoor climate, preferring temperatures between 50 to 65°F. Ficus microcarpa plants also produce aerial roots that can be draped and displayed in beautiful, unique ways. 

3. Rosemary

best indoor bonsai trees

The woody branches and fast-growth habit of most rosemary plants make it a great specimen for bonsai trees.

©iStock.com/Artfully79

Did you know that you can grow herbs as bonsai trees? Besides thyme, rosemary is the number one herb to use in a bonsai tree format. The woody branches and fast-growth habit of most rosemary plants make it a great specimen for this endeavor. You can easily keep a rosemary bonsai tree on a windowsill in your kitchen, alongside any other herbs you may typically cook with. Plus, you can always harvest from your rosemary bonsai tree, so long as you don’t take too much all at once! 

4. Chinese Elm

best indoor bonsai trees

You can grow an entire stand of elm bonsai trees in a single container.

©iStock.com/Feverpitched

Another popular bonsai tree species for beginners has to be the Chinese elm. This is another common bonsai tree and a great option for those of you who can’t decide whether or not you want to keep your bonsai indoors or out. The Chinese elm is particularly hardy and easy to prune, capable of living outdoors in the summertime and indoors in the wintertime. Plus, it produces small leaves that are delicate and attractive. 

5. Schefflera 

best indoor bonsai trees

The dwarf umbrella tree makes a great indoor bonsai.

©Mid Tran Designer/Shutterstock.com

While it can’t be cultivated in the same way as other bonsai trees, the Schefflera or dwarf umbrella tree is a great choice for an indoor bonsai. The branches of this common house plants are too soft to be wired or manipulated, but thoughtful and consistent pruning may help you shape it the way you want. This option also grows aerial roots, giving you creativity and free rein with its design even if you can’t bend it and shape it in a traditional fashion. 

6. Dwarf Jade

best indoor bonsai trees

With bright green leaves and gray trunks, jade bonsais are striking.

©iStock.com/prabhjits

Popular as a succulent plant as well as a bonsai tree, dwarf jade plants thrive in full sunlight, even indoors. You may be able to grow this particular bonsai tree outside, but cold temperatures will kill it. The trunks of the dwarf jade bonsai tree start green but turn brown with age. Additionally, the leaves may develop a reddish tinge if your tree is properly cared for. 

7. Sweet Plum

best indoor bonsai trees

The average sweet plum bonsai needs warm temperatures.

©Claude Huot/Shutterstock.com

While it may be a bit fussy, the sweet plum makes a wonderful bonsai specimen when grown indoors. It requires temperatures ranging anywhere from 55 to 75°F, though full sun is not necessary. Pay special attention when watering this particular bonsai tree, as a single skipped watering date may spell death for this fussy choice! However, its bark is beautiful and peels in an artistic and unique fashion, making it popular despite its picky nature. 

8. Fukien Tea

best indoor bonsai trees

The

Carmona

bonsai tree is very popular for its small flowers.

©Marcos PR/Shutterstock.com

With glossy green leaves paired with gray bark, the Fukien tea bonsai tree is a beautiful indoor specimen. Also known as the Carmona, Fukien tea bonsai trees prefer indoor temperatures over 70°F. With consistent pruning, your Fukien tea bonsai tree will produce thick branches and dense foliage. However, take care of the trunks and branches as the bonsai tree ages. It can get brittle, especially when exposed to colder temperatures. 

9. Snow Rose

best indoor bonsai trees

Also known as the snow rose,

Serissa

bonsai trees remain delicate.

©iStock.com/taviphoto

Also known as Serissa, the snow rose bonsai tree isn’t made for the faint of heart. Or rather, this bonsai tree needs an experienced cultivator to help it reach its best size! Popular for its narrow trunks and flowering foliage, the snow rose bonsai tree hates being moved. However, this is also a great option if you are looking for a bonsai tree to move outdoors during the summertime. Serissa bonsai trees enjoy warm weather, but they can be extremely fussy if moved often. 

10. Money Tree

best indoor bonsai trees

Popular for its associations with luck and wealth, you can craft a common money tree into a bonsai tree.

©Mid Tran Designer/Shutterstock.com

If you have ever received a money tree when moving into a new home, you likely know about the meaning behind this. Popular for its associations with luck and wealth, you can craft a common money tree into a bonsai tree. However, it’s best to choose an option that doesn’t have a braided or twisted trunk. They can swell and crush each other, resulting in death for your bonsai tree. 

11. Boxwood

best indoor bonsai trees

Most boxwood bonsais maintain their small, delicate leaves.

©iStock.com/MarcBruxelle

Another popular bonsai tree option for growing both indoors and out has to be the boxwood. Typically grown as a hardy and resilient shrub outdoors, boxwood plants make fantastic bonsai specimens. They need protection during the winter, which makes them ideally suited to being grown indoors. However, the natural breezes and temperatures in the summertime will help your boxwood bonsai thrive! 

Summary of the 11 Best Indoor Bonsai Trees for Your Home

Here’s a recap of the 11 best bonsai trees to grow indoors.

RankTreeIdeal LocationCare Level
1Ficus GinsengIndoors: Warm and
stable temperature
Fairly hardy Bonsai tree to begin with if new to cultivating
2Ficus MicrocarpaIndoors: 50-65°FNumber one for beginners
3RosemaryWindowsill in kitchenTop herb to use in Bonsai format
4Chinese ElmOutdoors in summer,
indoors in winter
Popular with beginners
5Schefflera IndoorsThoughtful, consistent pruning needed
6Dwarf JadeIndoors or outdoors
in warm temperatures
Also popular as a succulent
7Sweet PlumIndoors: 55-75°FMay be a bit fussy
8Fukien TeaIndoors: over 70°FTrunks and branches may become brittle as it ages
9Snow RoseIndoors, possibly
outdoors in summer
Needs an experienced cultivator
10Money TreeIndoorsChoose one without a braided or twisted trunk for easier care
11BoxwoodOutdoors in summer,
indoors in winter
Versatile option for inside and outside

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Musat


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About the Author

August Croft is a writer at A-Z Animals where their primary focus is on astrology, symbolism, and gardening. August has been writing a variety of content for over 4 years and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theater from Southern Oregon University, which they earned in 2014. They are currently working toward a professional certification in astrology and chart reading. A resident of Oregon, August enjoys playwriting, craft beer, and cooking seasonal recipes for their friends and high school sweetheart.

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