ALOHA!  I'm David Fukumoto,  Fuku-Bonsai's founder and president.  I'm trying to build a Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai community of those with a common basic knowledge who are willing to help others as part of a life long True Indoor Bonsai hobby. 

           I've been successful in teaching by email to those who can write captions and send good photos. This is difficult but the only way to assist isolated individuals as there are very few knowledgeable individuals who are willing and able to teach one-on-one.  I'll try to help as much as possible!





                   A transformational concept and strategy for those who have the interest, resources, and energy to master the art and culture of True Indoor Bonsai!





             TRUE INDOOR BONSAI™ is the most successful form of bonsai.  Fuku-Bonsai's specialty utilizes Dwarf Schefflera, the most durable house plant with ideal bonsai traits. If you can grow house plants,  you can grow our True Indoor Bonsai!   Traditional temperate climate outdoor bonsai are difficult and usually end in failure . . . another effort . . . another failure . . . especially when beginners try to grow them indoors! 

              Most trees sold as bonsai are really outdoor plants requiring high light, specific growing conditions, and a high degree of skill.  Some are imported plants from China or tropical plants.  But just calling them "bonsai" or "indoor bonsai" doesn't make them easy-care houseplants and most bonsai failures are due to unethical sellers and ignorant, wishful buyers.  Our Dwarf Schefflera grows relatively quickly compared to traditional temperate climate outdoor bonsai. It is long-lived and can be trained into masterpiece quality in both extra large and as mini-bonsai. It will grow indoors year around in homes and offices. 

              The more light the more compact the growth.  Water weekly by sitting the pot to the rim in water for 30 minutes.  Remove and tilt so water streams out, and as it breaks into drips, set it on a dry plate or on dry gravel.   It will also grow outdoors whenever night temperatures are above 55°F with better stronger growth.  In the summer, in warm climates, give it some shade protection when temperatures exceed 90°F and increase watering and fertilizing outdoors.



              Fuku-Bonsai pioneered True Indoor Bonsai since 1962, was the first Hawaii certified export nursery in 1973, and has been growing Dwarf Scheff as bonsai longer than anyone else. The spectacular entry tree is mounted on a 6' diameter revolving concrete disc.   This is an exceptional plant that can be trained into more styles than any other plant!  It can be grown as mini-bonsai as in the photo above that shows the natural size leaves and a few of our smaller trees just inches high! 

               BONSAI SUCCESS IS SIMPLE COMMON SENSE!  The workshop result is really the potential of the tree at the start of the workshop! We produce the finest Introductory Workshop Packages and our customers are the most successful.




                   PREPARED BONSAI STOCK is already 3-5 years in training and has lower trunk character, multiple trunks, or low branches within 1" of the soil surface and a shallow complex root system within 1/2"of that soil surface.  Fuku-Bonsai professionally trains these to the highest standards that culls out weak and non-branching trees.  ALL Fuku-Bonsai plants meet our high-potential standards so beginners start AFTER the most difficult part of bonsai.  THIS IS THE KEY TO BONSAI SUCCESS!

               INTRODUCTORY WORKSHOP PACKAGE (IWP) includes ten carefully selected components with extensive cultural information and features the Prepared Bonsai Stock.  For those who want to learn, the Beginner Study Group is the best route.  Order four  IWP units to learn two ways to do Sumo and two ways to do Roots.  With four you get free shipping.  Join the Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation ($12 annual dues) and get a lot of personalized assistance.  The complete package totals $131.80 and is a good investment that starts you off with four trees.  Learn to grow them successfully,  and when you do,  you'll build the interest and confidence to decide to pursue additional bonsai goals!


              RECOGNIZE THAT LEARNING BY EMAIL IS VERY DIFFICULT FOR BOTH THE STUDENT AND THE TEACHER!  Yet it's the only way as there are very few qualified teachers.  The alternative is to come to Fuku-Bonsai to learn.  We have taught many by email with the following:

      1.    TOTALLY UNDERSTAND THE WORKSHOP BEFORE YOU START!  Review all information in the Introductory Workshop Package.  Go to the Fuku-Bonsai website and review the past issues of the Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai of how past students completed workshops.

      2.    PLAN THE ENTIRE WORKSHOP BEFORE YOU START.  Break up the workshop into 8-12 parts and write our detailed captions for each step including: "STOP; take photo #___!"

      3.    WITH THIS AS YOUR PLAN,  STUDY TO SEE IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS!  Doing bonsai requires you to visualize, plan, but be ready to adjust as you go.  Remove the plant from the pot.  If you're not sure,  call me at (808) 982-9880 or send me an email to and don't do anything until you are confident.  With preparation and confidence comes success!

        4.    THINK LIKE A TEACHER!  Even though you may be a beginner, put yourself in my position. Write your captions as if I were your student and teach me!  By thinking like a teacher and wanting to share what you know,  you'll really learn a lot more. I hope you go on to teach others! 

       5.    SUBMITTING YOUR WORKSHOP REPORT.  Create an MSWord document on your computer or; if necessary, recruit someone to help you.  Type in a title for your workshop including your name, city and state, IWP workshop #, and goal (Sumo or Roots). 

       6.    TAKE HORIZONTAL PHOTOS WITH A PLAIN BACKGROUND (3X4 size and ratio;  72 pt resolution if possible) and paste them in the MSWord document after each caption.  This should be a manageable size document to send as an email attachment. If you have any remaining questions, please state them.  If you have a good understanding,  write a conclusion of what you learned, and perhaps a bit about your next workshop that you've begun planning.  

       7.    GENERALLY, I WILL RETURN A CRITIQUE WITHIN A FEW DAYS DEPENDING UPON THE WORKLOAD HERE.  I can best help those who include detailed information and clear photos.  It's easy to see if the plants were firmly secured if a photo shows lifting the plant by the trunk!  If all is well and you're ready to go on to the next workshop, I'll ask you to have a photo taken of you with your finished plant and a possible conclusion.



          Good workshop reports are published in the Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai and this is win-win!  It really would be boring if I wrote all the IWP Reports over and over again!  I think that beginners do a better job by reviewing previous reports and continue to add improved ways to do things. 

               By the time you complete your first four IWPs you'll have a good understanding of the basic techniques.  If you like the idea of continuing, join the Fast-Track study group to design more complex projects and receive assistance and special materials and unlisted older stock ideal for your custom project. Those who can plan, execute, write and photograph projects are valuable as it provides needed content for the Journal.  So we appreciate and try to make it win-win-win!

                   ADVANCE INTO THE NEW PREMIUM INTRODUCTORY WORKSHOP PACKAGE with older, higher-potential prepared bonsai stock and other materials in bulk including media and even rocks! Fast-Trackers are valuable members of our Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai community! 

               CONSIDER TEACHING!  Obtain eight or  more IWPs (or a mix with PIWPs) at a 25% discount with free shipping or 50% discount and free shipping when 16 or more are sent to the same address.  Use some for your collection and the rest to  teach others.  If they want to continue, consider forming a club and set up classes on a continuing basis.




                  In becoming a comprehensive resource,  a national supplier of high-potential True Indoor Bonsai plants, and a source of individual personal on-on-one assistance we are now positioned to lead the teaching and advancement of True Indoor Bonsai on a national basis. The partnership co-sponsors the website and the monthly email Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai.

              It is the first such vertically integrated organization with capabilities to assist individuals and groups throughout the United States in this innovative and specialized field.  The partnership co-sponsors the Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center & Hawaii State Bonsai Repository in Kurtistown, Hawaii, that features a large, varied collection of all forms of artistic pot plants. The display includes educational exhibits.            

              Beginner workshops can usually be arranged on very short notice and a supervised Introductory Workshop Package can be completed in as little as 30 minutes if visitors are on a tight schedule. Intermediate or advanced workshops are available by prior appointment.  We are building a Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai community and you're invited to join us!  The Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation annual dues are $12.

               For more information, contact David W. Fukumoto, Fuku-Bonsai president & founder, and editor of  Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai.   Email:    



              PO Box 6000 (17-856 Olaa Road), Kurtistown, Hawaii 96760,  Phone (808) 982-9880


*** Return to the December 2014 issue of Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai
*** Go to Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation website
*** Go to Fuku-Bonsai website
         © Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation and Fuku-Bonsai, 2014