It’s always great to add some greenery to your home. But an issue some people may have is the amount of light—or lack thereof—a plant can get in their home. 

When it comes to the question of how much light a plant will need to thrive, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Every plant has varying needs when it comes to light exposure, and it’s essential to be aware of a plant’s specific needs when you plan to bring them into your home.

If you want to get a bonsai tree for your home, we’re here to help you figure out how much light you actually need. The answer isn’t that straightforward, so we’ll cover all the bases just to make sure. 


Does a Bonsai Tree Need Sunlight?

Light, in general, is essential for a bonsai tree’s health. The UV rays present in sunlight can have a positive effect on the growth of a bonsai plant. So, it’s best to place your bonsai tree in a sunny area. Bonsai plants typically need around five hours of sunlight each day, whether through a direct or indirect source. 

It’s also best to be familiar with the light needs of the specific bonsai plant you have. Some species do better by getting sunlight from an indirect source, especially in the winter.

It’s also important to be aware of the possibility of burning your bonsai tree from light exposure. This can happen when you move them to a sunnier location from a shady area. A rule of thumb to follow is gradually increasing the light exposure so that the plant can get used to the added light first. 


Where Is the Best Place to Put a Bonsai Tree Indoors?

While it is perfectly fine to keep bonsai trees indoors, the problem is that they may not receive enough sunlight for them to grow. So, if you are going to keep a bonsai tree indoors, it’s best to find an appropriate spot for it.

The ideal place for bonsai trees indoors is by a south-facing window. This gives them the best chance to grow and become healthy. Without enough bright light, your bonsai tree may weaken and eventually die. So, it’s important not to keep them far away from a window or other light sources. 

And before you decide to buy a bonsai plant for indoor purposes, it’s essential to know which species will thrive best in that setting. Some bonsai species may not do as well indoors compared to others. For the best chances of survival, tropical and subtropical bonsai plants, such as Ginseng Ficus, Chinese Elm, Jade and Hawaiian Umbrella, are ideal. 


How to Use Artificial Light for Bonsai Trees?

Earlier on, we mentioned that light, in general, is vital to a bonsai plant’s health. This is because you don’t necessarily need sunlight to grow a bonsai tree. You can also go with artificial light sources.

You have the option to use fluorescent lights, LED lights or HID lights. If you’re going with the fluorescent option, T5, T8 or CFL bulbs work best. You should have the light on the bonsai plant for 16 to 18 hours each day, and they should be around 8-10 inches away from the canopy. Avoid placing it too close as it may burn the leaves. 

For an LED light source, it’s best to go with a 50-watt bulb and have it 10 inches away from your bonsai plant. And if you’re going with HID lights, it’s best to place them 20 to 24 inches away from the bonsai tree as they tend to be hotter than the other two options. It’s also essential to have proper ventilation to prevent the hot air from the HID lights from negatively affecting your plant’s health.


In Summary

Bonsai trees require a bright light source to grow and stay healthy. They typically need five hours of direct sunlight each day, but if you’re keeping them indoors, they may not get enough light intensity. To give them the best chances of survival, it’s crucial to place them by a south-facing window and supplement them with artificial light sources.

If you want to grow bonsai trees on your own, Bonsai Shop has got you covered. We provide bonsai starter kits in Australia, as well as other bonsai essentials, such as pots, tools and accessories. Our exclusive range of DIY starter kits includes everything you need to get you started on your bonsai journey and create your unique bonsai tree. Shop now!