I recently attended a bonsai show at Matthaei Botanical Garden in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I was blown away by the amazing trees in the show. I was even more amazed by the houseplants that were used. Did you know houseplants make beautiful bonsai? I’m going to show you a few of the ones I saw.

Houseplant Bonsai

The narrow-leaf ficus (Ficus nerifolia) below was my favorite plant there. It is a 60-year-old plant but has been in training for 40 years. Isn’t it spectacular? The one on the right is 1 year old and in training for 6 months. Same plant, many years separating them.

Tiny houseplant

It doesn’t have to be trained and wired to be in the bonsai show. Look at this little peperomia in a tiny pot. My finger is there for size comparison.

Peperomia 'Eden Rosso'

Peperomia ‘Eden Rosso’

Trained to look OLD

This ‘Green Island’ ficus (Ficus microcarpa ‘Green Island’) is 45 years old and has been in training for 30 years. The point of bonsai is to make a plant look like its full-size counterpart in the wild. You get to choose the shape, though. It could simply resemble a tree standing tall and straight, a tree growing over a rock as the one below, or windswept like a tree hanging over a cliff. You are in charge and with a houseplant, the final shape can appear at a much faster rate than with the hardy trees that must have a winter rest. Houseplants grow all year, only slowing down in the winter months.

The schefflera or miniature umbrella tree below is 18 years old and has been in training for 14 of those years.

Schefflera aboricola

Schefflera aboricola

The sun was coming in the window and overexposed this picture, but look at this grove of trees.

Ficus forest

Ficus forest

I love the tiger bark ficus (Ficus microcarpa) as they have interesting bark texture, and quite often they are sold already trained in this serpentine shape.

tiger bark ficus

Tiger Bark ficus

Flowering Houseplant Bonsai

Last, but not least, this blooming desert rose or adenium, was absolutely breathtaking! Look at those flowers!

Care of Your Plant

I hope you enjoyed seeing these amazing bonsai houseplants. They take special care and need water frequently, some every day, as bonsai soil dries out quickly. If you have the time and do not travel extensively, these plants could be for you. If you are gone for a week or two, a plant sitter would probably be necessary. Growing bonsai is a creative experience and the best part- you can have more houseplants because bonsai plants do not take up much room. Fitting more plants in is definitely a plus. Do you have bonsai?

Please use this picture below to pin on your houseplant Pinterest board.

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