Bonsai is not a specific type of tree but rather an art form that involves growing ordinary trees in containers and shaping them into tiny versions of their larger counterparts. If you have the time and resources, you can turn any tree into a bonsai.

Bonsai demands a lot of patience since bonsai plants might take years to grow. Bonsai trees require special attention, including the optimum quantity of sunshine, to maintain their health and optimal development.

This is why it is crucial to learn how to care for them before grabbing any bonsai starter kit you can find.

Different bonsai trees require a variety of care options. While some bonsai thrive in broad sunlight, some like to be placed in shadier locations. Keep reading to learn how to care for your bonsai properly.

In this article, we will be running you through an essential factor in your bonsai care: sunlight. 

Do You Need Full Sun for Bonsai Trees?

Species of bonsai trees require varying quantities of sunshine. Full sun, however, is ideal for most popular bonsai tree species. Some shade-loving bonsai plants grow well, but most bonsai trees prefer full sun exposure exactly like their full-size counterparts.

Can You Place Them Indoors?

Most bonsai trees should be kept outside as much as possible. However, you can move them indoors or provide additional protection if the temperature goes below the range they will encounter in their natural environment.

The amount of direct sunshine your bonsai will require indoors is determined by the type of tree you have. When your bonsai is kept indoors for an extended time (typically the winter), you’ll want to supply as much light as possible to ensure that it continues to develop.

Which Trees Can Handle Low Light Settings?

Bonsai trees that thrive in low light conditions may be hard to come by. In the winter, certain tree species go dormant or slow development. These bonsai may withstand low light for a few months.

However, even with these solutions, you’ll want to ensure that your bonsai gets some exposure to natural light indoors. If you want them to thrive in low-light conditions, year-round rubber trees, fortune bamboo, Norfolk Island pine, Madagascar dragon tree, and Hawaiin umbrella tree are some of the most fantastic low-light bonsai trees.

If you’re looking for a bonsai tree, the north island pine is the only one of the aforementioned species that responds to shaping and pruning in the same manner as other bonsai trees. 

However, they can all produce beautiful tiny trees that can thrive inside. Because these species may have specimens that seem pretty similar to bonsai, the taxonomy of bonsai is more of a contentious issue.

Growing Your Bonsai Tree in Shade

Bonsai trees require the same light and shade as their larger counterparts. Indoor shade gives much less light exposure than outdoor shade for some types of trees.

Consider using grow lights if you can only put your bonsai tree within shady locations indoors. Bonsai require sunshine for photosynthesis. Thus they need at least some sunlight to thrive.

What Happens When Your Tree Is Light-Deprived?

Light deprivation can be a significant issue for bonsai. While bonsai trees have the same requirements as full-size trees, bonsai generally are more sensitive than full-size trees. Lack of light can affect bonsai much sooner.

Your tree may become long and leggy with large leaves, and your soil may become mouldy. This can make your bonsai tree vulnerable to pests and diseases.


If you want to know how to care for a bonsai tree, one of the essential things you will need to know is their specific light needs. Whether you choose full sunlight or shadier conditions, you will need to understand your options to care for your bonsai correctly.

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