The Hawaiian Umbrella Tree comes in a dwarf version that makes a beautiful bonsai. In fact, of all bonsai trees, this particular one is probably the easiest to grow and maintain, making it perfect for beginners. Since the Hawaiian Umbrella Trees can tolerate low light conditions, it is ideal for indoor growth. Full of banyan roots, the leaves are miniature and shaped like umbrellas, which together, form a beautiful, green, and dense canopy.
This particular bonsai needs to be watered well about every two to three days. Although you do not need a green thumb to grow a Hawaiian Umbrella Tree, there is a secret to success, which is never to allow the soil to dry completely. In fact, experts recommend you soak the soil until it is thoroughly wet. When you do water, allow enough water so it actually runs out of the containerís drain holes. In addition to frequent watering, this bonsai tree also enjoys an occasional misting.
For fertilizer, the Hawaiian Umbrella Tree should be fed in the springtime with a good, all-around bonsai fertilizer. To maintain the shape of the tree, all you need to do is provide an occasional pruning to keep the miniature shape. Unfortunately, the Hawaiian Umbrella Tree is prone to both disease and insects. Therefore, you should inspect your tree several times a week to look for problems. In most cases, a good spray of the trunk is all you need to keep the tree clean and healthy.
The soil for this tree should be acidic with a pH level between 5.6 and 6.0. In addition, the soil should be mildly alkaline with a pH level of 7.6 to 7.8. When the tree blooms, you will enjoy a magnificent red color, usually in late winter and early spring, although it can bloom in mid spring as well. Keep in mind that all parts of the Hawaiian Umbrella Tree are poisonous if ingested. Therefore, you always want to keep the plant out of reach of pets and children. Finally, you can propagate the Hawaiian Umbrella Tree with softwood cuttings and seeds, which would need to be sown immediately, as they do not store well.