Peaceful0ne
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Just need a little bit of advice :)

To begin with I have to say that I have NEVER grown a tree of any sort in my life, I've done a very little bit of vegetable gardening if that helps :P


I am planning to take on a big project of growing a bonsai from a seed, i understand that this will take years upon years, but I believe that the end result (unless I kill it >.< ) will be more than worth it considering the sheer satisfaction!

I have been doing a some research on indoor bonsai trees, I understand that most people would not recommend growing indoors as it proves more difficult due to the environment (temp, etc..) also a big issue being light. Unfortunately I am nearly 21 and hoping to move out of my parents home soon and with money tight i can't guarantee that I will have an outdoor area i can leave my bonsai after I move (flat/apartment if probably going to be the case). So keeping that in mind I believe that I will need to go with an indoor approach.

I have evaluated that because of the temperature inside and that there would not be much of a temperature change on a seasonal basis i would probably need to go for a more tropical tree, I have compiled a list of trees that have been discussed on a different post i found regarding the same matter, fortunately that individual was a little more experienced and had already compiled a list of trees he was considering, from that list i have picked out and did a little research on each of the ones i selected, but i would appreciate it if i could get a little assistance from the experienced members on this forum to help me pick a good tree for a total novice, that will be able to survive in UK temperatures.

For anyone who doesn't know, it is usually pretty cool in the UK, temperatures range from as low as -3/4 Celsius in the winter (it varies for example the past winter i don't think it dropped below 0) and around 25-30 Celsius in the summer (this is more or less, it does vary form year to year) also the seasons tend to be a little strange especially past few years where it was still warm enough to go to the beach in October! (this was about 2/3 years ago).

I would love to be able to grow a brush cherry tree because of the beautiful flowers it produces, but I have also been considering the following: grewia, sageretia, podocarpus and white jasmine. Another tree i was considering was a pomegranate, this is because i could simply buy a pomegranate from a shop and extract the seeds and they would be fresh as opposed to dry (and from what i have read that is easier to germinate).

So in conclusion i would absolutely LOVE some advice as i am trying ym hardest do pick something that i will be able to manage with the conditions i have, the last thing i want to do is try growing something that's going to be overly complex and end up going nowhere or killing it. Also please correct me on anything i have said and was incorrect as i am here to learn!

Thank you to everyone in advanced and I can't wait to hear what people have to say!

Peaceful.

tomc
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Re: Just need a little bit of advice :)

I'm going to stick with my old standby. Get an ivy cutting and pot it up in some cactus mix. From May till October it will grow better out of doors (tie it onto a windowsill). But will live with supplimental light.

Deciduous trees and new growers have near to zero success rate.

If you lash an ivy to a chop stick and prune out every single growing tip with its second leaf, you will end up with a vase shaped (elm) tree. The original stake can be removed after stem hardens.

Also there succulents that are easy and safe starter trees.

Your problem is you need a plant with waxy enough leaves that they don't mummify in HVAC-indoors environment.
Think like a tree
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Peaceful0ne
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Re: Just need a little bit of advice :)

I never would of thought of trying to grow ivy into a tree like state by making it naturally twist into itself, thank you for the suggestion! I will definitely try that before going to an actual tree, any suggestion as to what kind conditions i should keep it in?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Just need a little bit of advice :)

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Peaceful0ne
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Re: Just need a little bit of advice :)

That looks great, I'm sure it would be a good way to get started!

Looking at the leaves on that picture it looks very similar to one that is growing in my garden.

Also i don't suppose anyone knows when would be a good time to take a cutting from ivy? Or woudl it not matter too much considering how adaptable it is?

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applestar
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Re: Just need a little bit of advice :)

Ivy, especially the kind commonly called "English ivy" will not die. I fight an incursion/invasion that have escaped from the neighbors yard out to the woods behind, and are coming in under, over, and through my back fence. :x

If you go out when the ground is thawed and pull a length of vine out of the ground especially where buried in mulch/leaf mould, there will be roots growing wherever it touched the ground.

Good luck. ...maybe. I will try this too though. I suspect the bonsai worthy species are the miniature-leafed ivy and not the full sized ones I'm dealing with 8)
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Peaceful0ne
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Re: Just need a little bit of advice :)

Haha yes, i remember we had some ivy that started growing up our old house, to the point we had to spend the whole day digging up the patio to remove the rest of the roots.

I will probably take a walk in the woods with my dog ^.^ see if i can find some nice ivy, i was thinking about what tom said about twisting a few vines together upright to create a trunk, i will definitely give that a go with maybe 3 vines, if it all goes well and they twist together nicely (thinking very long term now..) i might remove he whole thing from the soil and plant them on top of a small rock so when the roots sprout down towards the soil it will look like the "tree" is holding down the rock.

It's now February, and England is pretty cold, should i wait until spring to look for a vine and try planting it? or will ivy survive the transportation from some forst back home with me now? (its roughly about 9*c outside if that makes any difference)


Thank you!
Peaceful

tomc
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Re: Just need a little bit of advice :)

Ivy left to its own device, grows from the tip(s) of each branch. If you prune out the first leaf and the growing tip, (leaving the second leaf on each branch) over time you will have hundreds of growing tips because some of the earlier leaves will also bud out fresh growing tips. The main stem will lignify readily, making a trunk with many branches. Of a more or less vase shaped tree (elm-ish).

Often the virtue to the guy selling bonsai is how well it tolerates its new growing space. Figs have sort of waxy leaves, but cuttings root by merely holding them near dirt. IMO ivy callus' spontanously (those little nubbins on the stem) so its ready to propagate when ever you take a long enough cutting.

An old hand at bonsai might not make more ivy's because they are fairly high maintence. Which is often just the ticket for a new grower. That your tree needs a trim weekly isn't burdensome. I say its just the ticket because I want you nipping at the edges of your tree and picking up your tree and in general fiddling with your tree every day. You will notice when the pot dries out sooner, you check for things like it being root bound etc etc.

Big box stores here in USA sell cactus mix which will serve for dirt just fine. But making your own dirt will be its own adventure.

Keep an ivy alive for a year or three, and you can move on to Texas Ebony or fushia or acacia for that "blooming" bonsai of your dreams.
Think like a tree
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Peaceful0ne
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Re: Just need a little bit of advice :)

That's great!! Thank you so much! all the replies are just want i needed! and thank you very muhc for your latest reply Tom, it was just what i needed now I'm very excited to get started, i think i might take a nice walk in the woods this coming Sunday and see if i can find some nice ivy with small leaves, last thing i would like to ask the pro's here, how long should i cut the ivy, i was planning to plant some 3 vines within close proximity and get them to entwine, but again I'm not sure what length to cut the ivy when i find the one i want.

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