ntrino
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:42 am
Location: London, UK

Meet my new friends.

Hi there,

I'm new to the forum, I thought I'd say hello. I'll be hanging around to learn new things about indoor bonsai, a hobby which I hope will bring some much needed tranquility and positivity to my life. I look forward to learning from you all.

I have picked up a few starter trees - a japanese evergreen holly (Ilex Crenata) and a chinese bird plum (Sageretia Theezans). I have made a small home for them, with some supplimental airflow and lighting. I hope this assists with their wellbeing, but it's mainly for aesthetics (they look nice at night with some light over them).

I have some very mediocre pictures I can share. I've had to close the curtains to stop my phone camera from being blasted from the glare of the daylight. If you can excuse the quality, I hope you'll find them interesting.

[img]https://www.firestarta.com/bonsai/b1.jpg[/img]
[img]https://www.firestarta.com/bonsai/b2.jpg[/img]

Would love to hear if any of you have a japanese holly or indeed a sageretia and have any essential tips.

My only question at the moment would be with regards to pruning the japanese holly. It appears to have been pruned using the cut leaf method (shearing the leaf in half and leaving it to die) before I aquired it. However in general growth is not as agressive as the Sageretia and in turn I do not want to agressively prune the holly if it is not neccessary.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I'm looking forward to the development of this years growing season, as I suspect most of you are too :)

nt

TomM
Greener Thumb
Posts: 749
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:28 pm
Location: Cedarville (SE of Utica) NY, USA

nt - a couple questions - how long have you had your two trees? Your lighting set-up looks very appropriate. Nice!! Is your soil fast draining? Hard to tell from the pictures, but I wonder if the trees might be in a regular potting mix or a preferred 'bonsai' soil.
I have no experience with Japanese holly. Yours looks very full. With a lot of bonsai if the foliage gets too thick and dense the innermost or lowest leaves will suffer from lack of light. This happens in nature also and it will result in die-back of many leaves as well as some branches. Thinning out can solve the problem. Wiring of the remaining stronger branches into 'lower' positions would improve the tree's design as well.
I have a similar sized Sageritia theezans as yours (from a rooted cutting). It is about 4-5 years old now. Just allowing it to grow out and beginning to shape it a bit. I spray mist it a lot while it is indoors. It goes back outside, in a protected area, during warmer weather. I'm thinking of up potting it into a colander as an experiment to thicken it more quickly. Can't give much advice but I will enjoy learning from others right along with you. I hope we hear from some more experienced folks. Thanks for sharing your questions.
TomM

ntrino
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:42 am
Location: London, UK

Hi Tom, thanks for your reply.

I have only had the trees about three weeks.

The sageretia was from a garden centre and it did not look all that great, but it's perked up well. The soil is very loose, with a high rate of drainage. It has some larger lumpy loose parts and some fine sand appears to be around the exposed roots by the trunk. I have sprinkled some black volcanic fuji grit on the topsoil mainly for aesthetic purposes but I have heard it has good draining properties too. Water drops right through the topsoil.

The japanese holly (although inexpensive) was purchased from a specialist grower, and the soil is altogether different. It feels more solid, much more packed down and has a fine layer of moss growing on it. It seems to retain water much longer. Water sits on the surface for a few seconds and slowly absorbs down. I would hope that the soil has been chosen appropriately for this plant given the sellers experience.

I am very inexperienced with regards to soil and I am for the moment trusting and hoping that the soils will be adequate to take these trees through another 12 months till next spring when if neccessary they can be repotted.

I have just started them both on a 2 week feeding regieme with Chrysal 4% Nitrogen fertiliser.

I share your opinion about the fullness of the Holly. I have, with this in mind, e-mailed the person I bought it from and asked him how best to prune it, and how agressive I can be. I may then attempt to wire it as you suggest. The sun has only just started coming out more here in London, England. Hopefully it will brighten up through the rest of spring as I fear the holly is not getting as much light as it would like. Thankfully behind the trees is a bay window so it is very large and provides light from multiple angles. I think they'll really enjoy that.

nt

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