11 January 2016

Good Luck Pine

Podocarpus macrophyllus
Yew Pine
Southern Yew
Luo Han Song

Foliage with mature seed cones
The oval-shaped fruit which seated on thick fleshy receptacle turns reddish/purplish when ripened, which looks like a little Buddha meditating with a reddish/purplish rope on. The ripe purple-red fruit on female plants are edible, though the seed is not.

If you're buying a Buddhist pine tree bonsai, it's best to purchase a plant with the size trunk you want. Podocarpus trunks develop very slowly, especially in a container.

Podocarpus macrophyllus bonsai

  Podocarpus macrophyllus bonsai

If you're buying a collected tree, be sure it has been in its current container for at least a year (preferably two)

Poducarpus macrophyllus 2
Podocarpus macrophyllus.

Bonsai is often used in the life improvement system of feng shui and are known to be grown on temple grounds of China.

Podocarpus macrophyllus of Odawara Castle Ruins

Buddhist Pine is highly regarded as a feng shui tree

Podocarpus macrophyllus,katori-city,japan
"Podocarpus macrophyllus,katori-city,japan"

The Buddhist Pine, which is not a true pine but a podocarp, is thought to be the harbinger of good fortune. Along with the Bodhi Tree, the Buddhist Pine plays at important inspirational role in Buddhist religion. The fleshy red seeds represent 'disciples' of the Buddha, assuring its owner of never being impoverished

Many believe Luck the pine actually produces attracts good health, that wealth is a by-product of being healthy

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 to 10

When grown outdoors, the evergreen Podocarpus can grow to thirty feet with a spread of about twenty.

Yew Pine, Southern Yew,

Phipps - 008

Buddhist Pine Bonsai in Phipps Conservatory

04 January 2016

Talinum paniculatum

Commonly known as:
  • Old Ladies' Hatpin
  • Pink baby-breath
  • Jewels of Opar

Talinum paniculatum, Old Ladies' Hatpin, Pink baby-breath, Jewels of Opar,
Jewels of Opar do very well in containers indoors in a sunny window

Talinum paniculatum, Old Ladies' Hatpin, Pink baby-breath, Jewels of Opar,
Small pinkish-red flowers on wiry stems

  • Easy care succulent from the Southwest   
  • Well suited for indoors with adequate bright light.
  • A tender perennial with wiry flower stalks topped by a spray of bright pink flowers and ruby-like seedpods. 
  • Has a tuberous Ginseng-like root, 
  • Drought tolerant. Likes a well drained soil. No soggy or flooded soils.
  • Chronic over watering can kill the plant, let the soil dry.
  •  Fertilize at one-third strength during the growing season.

In this novel Tarzan returns to Opar, a lost colony of fabled Atlantis

12 December 2015

Tropical Mimosa: Calliandra surinamensis

Bright pink powder-puff flowers
Bright pink powder-puff flowers

Calliandra surinamensis
Surinam Powder Puff
Pink Powder Puff
Surinamese Stickpea
Tropical Mimosa
 Pink tassel flower

  • Keep in a sunny location.
  • Leaves fold up at dark. Protect from cold!
  • Check soil moisture level daily But only water when necessary. 
  • Keep the soil evenly moist. Never allow soil to dry out.
  • Allow shoots to extend 3 or 4 nodes, then prune back to 1 or 2 leaves to maintain shape 
  • Re-potting should only be done when the nights are warm. 
  • Leaves fold up at night or in dim light.
  • Use a well draining bonsai soil
  • Replenish the soils supply of nutrients periodically during warm weather.
  • A great plant for beginners.

Propagation is easiest from seed
Propagation is easiest from seed

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds direct sow immediately. Flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies and birds. Surinam powder puff has dense foliage and is a fast grower. A flat pod, first green later brown, contains 5 - 6 seeds; it curls open to release the brown seeds.

Seeds Sprouting
collect seeds direct sow immediately

Tropical Mimosa: Calliandra surinamensis
The puffball blooms attract honeybees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
This plant is cultivated for its ornamental purposes; it can also be used for bonsai. Much energy is spent  in the production of flowers and fruit; after flowering don't let the seeds mature if trained as a bonsai. Calliandra is a cold sensitive plant and must be protected from frost and freezing.

Mini forest: Calliandra surinamensis

 Calliandra surinamensis is a low branching evergreen tropical shrub that is named after Surinam, a country in Northeastern South America. The plant usually has branched or multiple trunks and grows to a height of about 15 feet. Left unpruned it grows long thin branches that eventually droop down onto the ground, the bees love it. The flowers appear on and off all year - more during warm weather. This tree is an excellent container plant for the cooler climates where it must be protected from frost and freeze. The puffball blooms attract honey bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The leaves close overnight. Exposure to the sun encourages flowering. From spring to autumn growth is intense and it uses a lot of water. In winter water consumption is moderate. Calliandra does not like soggy soils.

Bud opens....

Bright pink powder-puff flowers

Fertilize with nitrogen - phosphorus - potassium and micro-nutrients for plant health. Fertilizers rich in phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) encourage flowers and fruiting while nitrogen (N) encourages leaf growth.

long thin branches that eventually droop down onto the ground
long thin branches that eventually droop down onto the ground


03 December 2015

Japanese maples have extraordinary fall colors that range from bright yellow through orange and red.

Japanese maples are beautiful in autumn

Protect them from drying winds and direct sun by providing exposure to partial or filtered shade and well-drained soil with more organic matter, particularly in USDA hardiness zones 7 and 8. Leaves often scorch by the hot summer weather in Savannah.

The Japanese maple are often grown as bonsai.

This one was grown from seed

is Misho.

  Acer palmatum, Japanese maple, momiji
Keep Outdoors in a partially sunny location.
Temperate tree that is frost hardy.
Check the soil daily but only water when necessary.
Never allow the soil to dry out- keep the soil evenly moist.
Allow shoots to extend 3 or 4 nodes then prune back
to 1 or 2 leaves, to maintain the shape
Re-pot in spring before buds extend
Japanese maple foliage may be injured by spring frosts. 
Fertilize at one-third strength during the growing season.
  Can be easily grown from seed. 
A great plant for beginners.

Acer palmatum, Japanese maple
Fall color: Acer palmatum, Japanese maple "Otohime"

used as an accent tree

Colored leaves of Acer palmatum

Japanese maples are beautiful in autumn


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