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Thread: Bonsai

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  1. #1
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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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    Don Keim
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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
    Attached Images Attached Images   

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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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    Tony, DUDE! that plant in the middle is SWEET!

    Quote Originally Posted by Joyce184 View Post
    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)
    Try mixing up some dishdetergent in a spray bottle and thoroughly wetting the plant (underside of leaves too). Start off with about 1tsp per quart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pavel View Post



    Try mixing up some dishdetergent in a spray bottle and thoroughly wetting the plant (underside of leaves too). Start off with about 1tsp per quart.
    detergent used to be made with phosphate which is beneficial to plants.....but not anymore..it prob still works tho...but i dont know whats in it anymore

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joyce184 View Post
    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)
    Joyce,
    Fukien Tea are notorious for attracting all sorts of buggers. The few I've had ALWAYS had ants on them and I would spray and put ant poison on and around them weekly. I'm sure ants are the reason your tea has aphids. Ants usually heard aphids like cattle for the nectar they produce. If you want to try something non poisonous, about 10 drops of liquid soap with maybe a bit of alcohol in a 32 oz. spray bottle and spray the heck out of the plant. You can repeat this every few days, as it shouldn't hurt the plant. I'd leave it out of direct sunlight until the spray dries of course, but other than that I think you'd be fine.
    Cheers,
    Tony

    Guess I should have read the rest of the posts before offering this advice, :0. but it do work! Thanks for all the nice commenst on the tree. The older they get the easier they seem to be to take care of, (they get more stable). The basil is there due to lack of much yard space, and it may keep some bugs off the trees??

  9. #9
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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

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtantaR View Post
    @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

    Good idea, but i think that only works with stinky bugs-i use it with ants and vege bugs-PEUW! those things are STANKY!

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