There are many kinds of bonsai.  Outdoor Japanese temperate climate bonsai require a high degree of skill and meeting the specific needs of the plant.  Their needs are different in each part of the country and the best information would be from your local bonsai club or the source of your bonsai.  Although it's easier to grow tropical trees and keep them sufficiently warm in winters,  many of these plants still need a lot of light.  There are really just three rules for easy success:

RULE#1:  Choose plants that will grow well in your environment or change your environment to fit the needs of your plants. 

                If you want to grow bonsai indoors,  start with a proven houseplant.  If you choose a juniper bonsai,  grow it outdoors.  Just because a plant is trained as a bonsai doesn't make it a house plant.  Too many visitors to the Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center killed their first juniper bonsai.  Many believed it could grow indoors because the person who sold it to them said so,   because they didn't get information,  or just because they wanted to grow it indoors. 

RULE #2:  Choose trees that already have character.

                Bonsai training requires a high degree of skill and many years to develop character.  You get what you pay for.  We're trying to make our plants "customer-proof."   From the huge number that we've researched,  we only produce a very few varieties with proven success records.  We grow a huge quantity and aggressively cull out those with limited potential.  We use a large number of techniques that we've developed since 1962 and each plant has a lot of character.  We've been blessed with a loyal clientele,  strong word-of-mouth advertising, and mostly repeat business.

RULE #3: For optimum growth, create the best possible growing environment.

                Fuku-Bonsai offers only plants that are the most durable and successful proven houseplants.  Each already has a lot of character. Although we can address Rule #1 and #2, the challenge is to create the best possible growing environment and care. In creating strong plant growth, you'll be able to actually train the tree.  Most people who are successful at growing houseplants know the basics of good light, proper watering, temperature above 60F, and when to give the right kind of fertilizer. The next sections address basic factors in more detail.

February 2001; March 2002     

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