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New to Bonsai, Looking for Advice

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:12 pm
by Dionysus9
Hello! Recently purchased, my (relatively) first Bonsai is doing well for the few days I've had it. However, I would prefer a learned opinion on the environment I have it in currently -- I'm determined to keep this tree healthy. It's currently next to a glass reptile habitat, with a 100W fluorescent light 60cm away, and the light passes through a 5mm glass pane. The average temperature during the day is around 73 Farenheit. I'm on the east coast, mid US. I did have a small Bonsai, when I was a child, as a gift (I don't remember who gave it to me, but it was a horrible idea). I've been told that Serissas are fickle but I'm prepared to work with this plant. Please, any advice is better than none.

My questions are:
How important is a moisture tray?
Do I need a warm light or is the 100W fluorescent capable?
What liquid fertilizer is recommended for a young Serissa?
Would sand work as well in a moisture tray as pebbles?
Also, generally, what is the optimum environment for a Serissa?

Thank you for any help you can offer!
Additionally, here's a picture for reference. In it, the plant is not in it's current location, obviously.

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:24 pm
by Gnome

Hello. This is not one of the species I grow so I don't have much for you, sorry. I think the humidity tray is a good idea. Make sure that the pot does not sink into the sand such that water can wick back up into the pot. Other than that I don't see why sand would not work.

As you know by now Serissa has a bad reputation for being difficult to manage. One item I have learned, through reading, is that they do like to experience some cool weather, some even suggest a few light frosts. Apparently, despite their reputation for being finicky, do not take well to pampering.

Hopefully a more experienced grower will come along and help you more.


Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:27 pm
by Dionysus9
Thanks a lot, Norm. I appreciate it.