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Bonsai

This is a discussion on Bonsai within the The Jungle forums, part of the Land Plants category; Anyone have some advice on growing bonsai trees? I bought one a couple days ago ...

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  1. #1
    moliviabaxter's Avatar
    moliviabaxter is offline Junior Member
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    Talking Bonsai

    Anyone have some advice on growing bonsai trees? I bought one a couple days ago it's a Portulacaria afra or dwarf jade plant

  2. #2
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    Well watch your watering. Portulacaria are succulent and can rot if watered too much. They will take a fair amount of sun. I am in Indiana and keep them outside during the summer but in dappled shade - no direct sunlight until they have been outside a few weeks. In the fall and through the winter you can keep them on a sunny windowsil or under lights. I have one sitting in my office window - it was a rescue from a big box store. It is literally glued into the pot and soil but it has been growing slowly for the past year and doing fine. I would also be careful fertilizing Portulacaria. Much like many herbs, they are used to poor soil and too much fertilizer could burn their roots. Is it green or variegated? You should post a picture with your questions - much easier to answer that way.
    Good luck with your little guy,
    Don

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    well i have my jade in a small pot. A 2 inch pot with about 2 inches of soil. I find it does well in dry conditions and has turned a tinge of red do to sun exposure. Not really a bad thing. I water it once a week, if that. One time i didnt water it for a month and it wrinkled a bit. It came back with a slow increase in water. Every once in a while when i see new growth from the top ill pinch it off to encourage the kind of shape that i want. Its kinda bushy now and starting to create a bark like stem at the base. I have 3 stalks in one pot. The foliage/ growth is about 2 to 3 times the size of the pot at the moment. I started these from a very small clipping maybe 2 years ago. Seems to be a stress free plant and easy to manage. I havnt had to repot it. Hence the dwarfing effect. Bonsai is a dwarfing technique, not a type of plant or genetics. So keeping it a small pot and trimmed nicely will give you what you want.

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    Sounds like you've gotten some good advice. Bonsai can be a very interesting hobby. I've been learning about the different techniques for about 40 yrs. now. I suggest you pick up some books on the subject. That should give you some invaluable info. Plus, I've learned over the yrs. and having had MANY failures before successes, that most bonsai thrive on neglect, as long as you don't forget to water them! Good luck with your new little tree.
    Here's a few pics of my P. afta bonsai. 28 and 36 years old, approx.
    Best,
    Tony
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    Sorry to hijack the post. Anyone with experience on a fukien tea bonsai? I've had mine for about a month and it was doing well until this week. I noticed it had tiny aphids on it. It's sitting in my office on a windowsill, watered every week. I know this plant is sensitive to chemicals so I don't really want to spray it. Are there any natural remedies to kill these suckers (other than introducing ladybugs into the office? hehehe)

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    @Otis226.... you going to make that basil into a bonsai also...lmao...hahaha...very nice bonsai tree...there is a very nice bonsai store around here...wonderful specimen plants ranging from the low hundreds to thousands of dollars....very cool..some are very old....

    @Joyce184....i don't know if this is feasible or down your alley but......on some of my garden plants. If i have a bug or beetle problem, I make bug juice. Meaning i take some of the bugs, crush them up and mix them with water....mmmm Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice yummy...then spray the plants....they dont like the taste of their own dead and wont eat your plant..idk ..just a thought

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    Andrew - Hmm, Would I need a lot of bugs? Does it matter what kind? I have no problems with this but the people in the office might, muahahaha.

  8. #8
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    This is Henry (I named him), at least it seems like a him to me Lol.

    I think I'm going to look around for some books or just search articles online for how to trim and prune. I have no idea how old he is. He's about six inches tall (estimate).

    Henry is on a windowsill that's always open, because we have no air conditioning. It's facing north so there's never direct sunlight. Should I put it in a East facing window instead?

    Those trees are amazing Otis!
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    @molivia...lol, I felt like my fukien tea needed to be named as well but nothing was jumping out at me at the time I bought it so it remains nameless for now, hehe.

    A relative had a large jade for over 20 years so I can't offer any advice on the bonsai form Good luck with Henry!

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    @ joyce...use some of the bugs on the plant.....otherwise i dont think it will work if its a different bug...just a couple with a cup of water....haha granted my garden is larger so i have many more bugs and more to spray.....ive also heard about using tomato leaves instead of the bug juice...tomato leaves are poison to bugs and us...

    @ baxter...very nice little Henry...haha. i would say between 4 and 5 years old....tho growing conditions could vary. I keep mine in a west facing window with sun from maybe 4pm to 7pm....cool beans..love the quartz...i put stones in almost all my plants....

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