matthewr88
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Help identifying Bonsai (Serissa)

Hello Everyone!

I've seen you guys have helped people ident their gift bonsai.. well I have been given one as a gift, and it would be great if I had a clue what it is.. as the tag it came with only read "Indoor Bonsai Tree"..

here is a picture of it...

[admin]Dead link removed[/admin]

I hope you can help me out :)

Thanks in advance!!

Mat

opabinia51
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That is ficus or fig tree. Very nice, looks to me like it needs a little pruning though.

Note: as a bonsai, you will not get any fruit from it.

matthewr88
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Thanks mate, although you may have got it slightly wrong...

I remembered the tree came with a tiny instruction manual.. it has the name Serissa Seroides... which upon a quick google search tells me its not a ficus but a Serissa of some sort (Seroides means generic or something) possibly Serissa Foetida. I think i've just missed it flowering, so I'll have to wait till next year. Also, this plant is a lot tougher to care for than a ficus, so a bit more work needed :D plus you're not supposed to prune these till the domant months, so glad I didnt take your advice and start pruning away hehe...

Thanks anyway, any advice on looking after this plant is greatly appreaciated..

Cheers

Mat

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Matt you are correct; that is indeed Serrisa (Thousand Stars, etc. etc.)

You are also correct that this is not exactly a beginners tree; needs very balanced watering, only a touch of a dormant period, not too moist in the soil but higher humidity around the leaves (lots of misting and a humidity tray seem to work well here). Fairly regular fertilization, especially during flowering times, and if you do ANY wiring, you should wrap the wire as the bark is VERY tender and the cambium is kind of thin (the old Japanese way is to wrap it in raffia; I have had good luck with using airline tubing for fishtanks (in varying gauges) to slide over the wire and provide a good cushion.

There is a cultivar called 'Kyoto' with very small leaves that I like a lot, and a varigated leaf called 'Mt. Fuji' that's really pretty too. Keep an eye open...

THis aapears to be a very nice twenty to thirty year old tree in the coiled (or drasgon) style, which makes me think it's out of China. Lucky thing you; we don't see many this nice on this side of the big pond. Take good care and let us know if you have more questions...

Scott
(The Helpful Gardener)

matthewr88
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Thanks Helpful Gardener :)

I at first watered the soil every morning, but the last couple of days have stopped that and now have a hummidity tray and mist it every morning. I have a tooth pick in the soil to check (which i've been doing every morning).. some leaves went yellow and dropped, but i've read that is likely after being moved.. its seems to have calmed down now because the leaves have darkened slightly and the dropping is stopping... plus I have come home to find a flower has opened!!! :P I'm reading alot about this plant in partical, I want it to look its best... I've had it about a week and I'm hooked already lol... I'll post some pictures if it blooms some more :)

cheers

Mat

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Excellent Matt!

Yeah they are finicky about light, much like Ficus, and tend to shed a touch between moves, but you are right, it sounds like she's around the hard corner and straightening out nicely...

A pretty tree; I sure will enjoy seeing more photos...

I'd encourage everyone to post pics of their trees; a good way to get pruning advice and see how yours stacks up...

Scott

BTM
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Watering you Serrisa

Serrisa are a bit temperamental with watering, it's a fine line between over and under watering. They love bright light and need it to bloom regularly. So make sure that you don't over water. ( not every day)
Wait until the top of the soil is a little dry before watering.
It's a great little tree, enjoy....
matthewr88 wrote:Thanks Helpful Gardener :)

I at first watered the soil every morning, but the last couple of days have stopped that and now have a hummidity tray and mist it every morning. I have a tooth pick in the soil to check (which i've been doing every morning).. some leaves went yellow and dropped, but i've read that is likely after being moved.. its seems to have calmed down now because the leaves have darkened slightly and the dropping is stopping... plus I have come home to find a flower has opened!!! :P I'm reading alot about this plant in partical, I want it to look its best... I've had it about a week and I'm hooked already lol... I'll post some pictures if it blooms some more :)

cheers

Mat

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Good advice, BTM!

CrazeUK
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Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 2:00 am
Location: Manchester, UK

Hey guys..i am a TOTAL newbie

Hey all, i am a total newbie writing from the UK. At first i ought a unknown tree from ikea, see the attached pics.
(can anyone identify it). This had real issues, it had insects andi caught 3 slugs around the tray. It looks failry young to me. However it is having trouble, the leaves are darkening and falling off, infact entire sub branches leaves are dying.

I also bought what i know as a Serissa Seroides, from B&Q. I didnt realise they where difficult to keep, anyways, i have had it for about 3 weeks now, and keep it well pruned. Its placed in a large white room (my bedroom) which has plenty of sunlight, i sprey it twice a day, and water it once every morning (water can warm up as the day goes on).

I think it is floweering, i saw a small white bulb appear. Which has opened up, i didnt realise it did.

I do have aproblem with both trees though, their leaves are growing quite large. I have to keep taking the large ones of, what is that?

So in summary:
The smaller tree has dying subbranches and leaves. (did have insects (little spidery type things and slubtgs).

The larger tree (is it healthy, is flowering a indication of happiness?)
But is growing long leafs.

How often should i feed them fertiliser?

Can both the trees be kept inside? i have a garden FULL of weeds, and i hate insects.

Thanks
Saff


My apologies for linking to my private site. I have tried displaying the images here, but i am having issues, so done the below as the last resort. Apologies again..

1 - The Serissa seoides..It doesnt look unhealthy does it?
https://www.bhamfamily.com/photos/bonsai/pic1.jpg

2 - The serissa flowering...only has one!
https://www.bhamfamily.com/photos/bonsai/pic2.jpg

3 - The unknown--unhealthy inseted (not now tho)https://www.bhamfamily.com/photos/bonsai/pic3.jpg

4 - Same one again
https://www.bhamfamily.com/photos/bonsai/pic4.jpg

5 - Long leafes on unknown
https://www.bhamfamily.com/photos/bonsai/pic5.jpg

matthewr88
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I try to access the pictures but it come up error 403, forbidden..

Mat

CrazeUK
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Location: Manchester, UK

My apologies

Sorry about these teething problems.
I switched the hotlining function of on my website for security.
I have now enabled, it, access should be ok by tomorrow.

I will get their eventually.

Thanks for your patience.
Saffwaan

matthewr88
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Hey CrazeUK, glad you got the pics working...

Do you have the plants inside all the time? I know a lot of books say and advice is given that the serissa is an "indoor" bonsai... I kept mine inside for months with is leaves going brown and mass dropping of leaves (about 10-20 a day!).. I also had the tree on a moisture tray, but it made no difference...

In the end I went to a local Bonsai specialist, which is also part of the local bonsai club, and they run their bonsai in competition... and win... I'm told by a very eccentric lady to put the bonsai in the garden in the wet and cold, and that these trees aren’t as delicate as the book makes them out to be. In fact one of her friends got fed up with a serissa not thriving no matter what he did and threw it on the top of his garden dump... made up of rubble and bricks with dirt mixed in it.. The tree thrived in this environment much to their amazement…

So I was told, stick the tree in the garden (as long as its above 7 degrees) and let it soak up the sun… do not water it until it is bone dry, and then only dunk it in a bucket of water until all the bubbles have gone… now my tree is growing well, and at the end of the summer last year at one point it had over ten buds each with up to four flowers open!! Serissa’s flower buds each contain 4 flowers... I can’t wait until temperature rises to get it flowering again this year...

So the formula is… natural sun light... and a bit of tough love and they with thrive... smother them and they will start to die…

Hope this helps here…

Laters

Mat

CrazeUK
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Location: Manchester, UK

thanks

Hey Mathew, thanks for the advice,
My room is huge, with LOADS of natural light. And i trry keeping them misted and watered about twice a day. (don't give that much water).

To be honest, i did plan on putting it outside, but 1, the garden is over grown with weed (my securioty feature) and 2. I hate insects and wouldnt want any in them, evebn the smallest ones!

lol.
I take it their is no other way around?

matthewr88
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hehe, one other thing i was told not to do was misting.. promotes the growth of mildew...

I cant think how you could keep it indoor really, unless you can keep it near an open window in you bathroom or something :?

don't know much else, I'm no expert hehe

Laters

Mat

Down2Earth_Gardening
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Location: Christchurch

BONSAI - Serrisa 'Thousand Stars' (Pruning & Re-potting)

I've already seen many tips on this type of bonsai but I still have some questions regarding pruning and re-potting.

I have the same bonsai as matthewr88 and was given the small pointless instruction sheet.

The instructions quote to remove any new runners to keep the shape of the bonsai. Well this bonsai gets these great little white flowers and I want to make sure that I'm not cutting of any buds. When does it flower and how should I be pruning? How often?

Also, I will be re-potting soon because it seems like the roots are popping out the sides and the water is very slow to drain. I will be going to Hong Kong in the next two weeks and figure it would be great to get a really nice pot + stand. How big should the pot be? Also I have read something about having to anchor the rootball with wire for a few months :? Is this necessary for a smaller tree?

Thanks,

Craig[/img]

matthewr88
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Update..

Hi everyone!

Thought I'd give you an update on my Bonsai's current status...

Well, things went a bit ary with my tree.. In August 06 my wife and I had our first baby, after having moved into our new house. The tree had been living in our garden on a garden table and had been doing very well, as our gander gets alot of light, but parts are shaded slight by the house, so it perfect for the tree. However, as winter drew in and temperatures dropped I put him in the conservatory with a view to keeping it warming and watering it when needed. As you can imagine, with a new born baby your time and attention is taken up with other problems. One day my wife comes in from the conservatory and tell me to take a look at my bonsai. Its leaves were totally dry and had all died, just literally hanging on. So I quickly watered it hoping it would spring back to life.. after a couple of weeks there was no change and all the leaves had fallen off completely. It resided in the conservatory for a couple of months, only getting some water every now and then, and it wouldnt seem to adsorb any water and would just sit water logged... things looked pretty much ended for my Bonsai...

Once the temperature had risen to a sensible level I stuff him back the garden.. pretty much as a shine to itself.. I consided purchasing another Bonsai but felt it would probably befall the same fate delt by my neglect this poor plant had, so decided to just keep this leafless Bonsai sitting on the table in the garden...

We went on holiday for a week in May, and my Grandmother in law decided she would do some gardening for us whilst we were away. We arrived back, and I looked out the window into the garden to see the Bonsai's pot lying empty next to the shed, and the plant nowhere to be seen.. I went outside to see if I could find it... I found it... on the top of our garden recycling bag.. several branches were now snapped and the earth it was in had partly fallen away... We quickly retrieved him and cleaned the roots up, all the smaller roots looked like they had died or rotten... we put some bog standard compost in the pot with some stones at the bottom to aid drainage.. the tree was a bit unsteady in the pot.. and a few times when it was windy it got blown out of the pot... not much was really happening with it, and I got told by friends and family to bin the tree....

Well.... with my patience and the trees amazing resilience it has begun to grow again! The base of the plant had begun to sprout leaves and halfway up the trunk there are buds breaking through the old bark... I'm hoping the old branches will fight back into life, but I'm not getting my hopes up... I've since bought some proper Bonsai compost from B&Q and repotted it again and am keeping an eye on it daily... once it gets going well I'll try and get some pictures up :D

Very stubborn this plant lol

Mat

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Mat,

Welcome back, I've only been around here about a year and don't recall seeing this thread before, glad the tree is coming around for you. Please do post some pictures for us to see. This is not a species that I am familiar with except from reading. Perhaps if you get a few moments you would be so kind as to take a look at two recent threads, thanks

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5854
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5860

Glad to have someone around with hands on experience with this species. Don't wait so long before checking back in next time.

Norm

matthewr88
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Now have some questions, hopefully someone can help.. the leaves are growing back ok.. but they are growing alot larger than they were before.. now I'm not sure whether to start trimming to get the size down or just leave it till the plant has re-established itself.. any ideas?

Mat

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Gnome
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Mat,

From your description it sounds like this tree has had a rough time of it recently. I think I would be reluctant to do much with it now except encourage growth the help revitalize it.

One of the things that leads to smaller leaves is having many growing points, this spreads the trees resources over a wider area. If you only have a few shoots right now the trees energies will be focused on that limited number of growing points. Other possibles might be excessive fertilization or too dim of a location. Just some ideas to consider.

Norm

matthewr88
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Thanks Gnome..

I haven't fertilised at all, and the tree is in good light... it must just be a case that it has few leaves at the moment, so I'll leave it to do its thing and wait to see how things go...

Mat

ynot
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matthewr88 wrote:
I haven't fertilised at all, and the tree is in good light... it must just be a case that it has few leaves at the moment,
Mat
Matt,

I apologise if I have missed it in a previous post in this thread [A distinct possibility I assure you as my time has been very limited lately :( ]... But could you be a bit more descriptive as to the 'good light' you refer to.

Oversized leaves are often a sign of poor lighting conditions though as Gnome notes the current leaf size could be due to it's limited foliage.

good luck and I am happy to see it has come back for you.

ynot

matthewr88
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by "good light" I mean it sits on a table in the back garden a good 3 metres away from the back of the house.. the garden gets sun light for the majority of the day.. from about 7-8am till dusk... so plenty of light :wink:

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