23 May 2017

Airlayer Removed today

Acer palmatum Japanese Maple
Koto Hime 

Air-layering as a way of propagating bonsai material. Layering will often create a ring of fine surface roots that yield an excellent nebari in a short period of time.

The leaves on Kotohime are among the smallest of the Japanese maples. The growth habit is upright with heavy branching. Trees may eventually reach 5 to 6 foot tall, but only after many years. The very small leaves are palmate, resemble a human hand. New leaves are bright red at the leaf edges, with green at the centers, then become bright green. 'Hime' means literally 'Princess' but here indicates a dwarf.

Root development at separation
of the layer from the parent tree

Koto Hime Japanese maple
has a strong vertical growth habit

Root development at separation
of the layer from the parent tree

Acer palmatum Japanese Maple
Koto Hime 

Keep Outdoors in a sunny location.
Deciduous tree and fully frost hardy.
Check the soil daily but only water when necessary.
Never allow soil to dry out, keep the soil evenly moist.
Koto Hime Japanese maple has a strong vertical growth habit
responds well to drastic pruning- allow shoots to extend 3 or 4 nodes
then prune back to 1 or 2 leaves, to maintain shape
Horizontal branches must be wired into place
Repot In Spring before buds extend
Koto Hime Japanese maple has a strong vertical growth habit
Fertilize at one-third strength during the growing season.
A great plant for beginners.

21 May 2017

Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar munching on a Serissa

Caterpie munching on a Serissa

Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly caterpillar is green with eyespots.

Serissa are a popular bonsai subject

Serissa grow best in high light and thrive in sunny, warm locations. Better lighting conditions will result in more frequent flowering. Serissa does well in partial shade. Best results are from plants that have sun in the mornings and shade in the afternoons. Expect any Serissa to drop its leaves when temperatures fall to near freezing.

Among the most popular of the Chinese tropical plants, the wild Serissa, also known as “Tree of a Thousand Stars” is known for thousands of small white flowers, and characteristic raised roots. Most Serissa Imports are the Thousand Stars.
USDA Zones 7 - 11

Serissa foetida
Serissa as a Bonsai, trunk in dragon shape, ca. 16 years.

The dragon is a symbol of happiness in Buddhism, the shape of a dragon is often found in the design of bonsai.

Japanese Boxthorn, 1951-2007

A Japanese Boxthorn (Serissa japonica) bonsai on display at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the United States National Arboretum.
According to the tree's display placard, it has been in training since 1951. It was donated by Shu-ying Lui.

19 May 2017

How often do you water a bonsai? 

Water, whenever they need it!!!

water spray
it needs thorough soaking so
the entire root system is wetted

With days in the 90′s and nights in the 50′s to 60′s Bonsai can require water on a daily or even twice daily basis

Don’t Forget To Water!!! 

As with any plant in a container, a bonsai’s need for water will vary greatly upon the size of the tree, the size and type of pot as well as the location. Do not just 'moisten' the bonsai soil, it needs thorough soaking so the entire root system is wetted Never assume that because it has rained your tree has received enough water particularly during the summer.
Place bonsai in the shade

30% shade in Savannah

Place Trees In The Shade- This will help the most. Full-sun in New York is about 30% shade in Savannah. Our plants growing in full-sun this summer are showing signs of stress. While plants are adapted to the sun, there can be too much of a good thing. The plants given shade/filtered light are greener and healthier than those in full-sun for the summer. 

Soil maintains a comfortable, stable temperature year-round, but in containers roots can be overheated due to high temperatures. Shade the containers to  cool down soil temperatures and prevent overheating . 

Water the Foliage- Watering the leaves of your bonsai will cool the foliage. The heat and low humidity evaporate the water off of the leaves before it can take the water out of the leaves. This is especially important for trees that have been allowed to dry too much between watering as it reduces their stress. Please keep in mind that watering the foliage in the cooler night and evening temperatures may cause fungal problems for certain species. In hot, dry air this moisture evaporates before there can be a problem. 

Do Not Bring Temperate Bonsai Inside- Due to the constant use of air conditioning, bringing bonsai indoors that have been growing outdoors will not be the best thing for them. Air-conditioned air, while cooler, is extremely dry. Dry air with low light is stressful for temperate plants, and it is the worst thing for hardy trees.

Do not forget to water bonsai
There is no faster way to kill trees.

The soil needs thorough soaking so the entire root system is wetted. Bonsai soil should be open enough to allow water to penetrate throughout and to ensure that excess water is able to pass out through the drainage holes immediately. If the soil does not lose some of its moisture content between each watering, it is permanently wet, leading to problems associated with overwatering.

Juniperus procumbens nana
  • Green Mound Juniper
  • Japanese Dwarf Garden Juniper
  • the "Karate Kid" tree

Junipers and pines will not give warning by wilting in advance. If they have been forgotten, follow the previous three steps and hope for the best. There is not much else one can do.

Temporary Watering System

As with any plant that is in a container, a bonsai’s need for water will vary greatly upon the size of the tree, the size and type of pot as well as the location. With a temporary watering system bonsai can be watered automatically during the heat of the summer and during times of vacation. A programmable water timer connected to a hose bib and then to garden sprinklers can be positioned around the bonsai. The timer contains a valve that at preset times opens the flow of water into the hose/sprinklers, watering your bonsai. This watering system is also useful on hot summer days where the bonsai can be watered thoroughly using the water-timer.

14 May 2017

Dwarf Asiatic Jasmine blooms!

Trachelospermum asiaticum minima
(tray-key-low-SPER-mum)    (a-see-AT-ee-kum)

blooms are rare

A dwarf star jasmine with small yellow and green variegated leaves evergreen small-growing vine with glossy leaves that are much smaller than those of the standard Trachelospermum asiaticum.

May 13, 2017
Grown from a cutting in 1980

‎September ‎23, ‎2008

The plant has a tight, compact growth with ovate to elliptic leaves ranging from quite tiny to around 1/4 inch in length.

If unpruned it will climb or crawl on the ground, but it can be pruned to make a miniature shrub. When treated this way it makes a nice bonsai. A popular bonsai subject in Japan but not seen very often in the US.

in 2008

Usage: Container, Groundcover, Hanging Basket, Rock Garden, Wall, Topiary, Bonsai, Espalier

Drought Tolerant
USDA Zone 7-10.

New growth is pinkish-bronze.

Red winter foliage

Despite its common name, Asiatic Jasmine
 is not  related to the true jasmines.


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