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A common misconception is that bonsai are primarily indoor plants. The evergreens (about 90 percent of all bonsai) are actually outdoor plants and require cool temperatures below 40 degrees in winter when they go dormant. In very cold temperatures, they can be protected with mulch or placed in cold frames. For indoor use, tropical varieties such as ficus, bougainvillea and Fukien Tea are the most suitable.
Over the years, the Rocherolles have seen a marked growth interest in bonsai in America. In Japan, bonsai styles are quite rigid, but bonsai growers in the West are taking a more liberal approach. Shanti Bithi brings in experts during the year to talk, and the nursery offers classes every other Saturday on different aspects, such as planting, pruning, restyling. And, above all, patience! After all, it's one of the world's slower art forms.