mmorales94
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new to bonsai: specific question about tree species?

Hi! I'm new to the forum, and also new to bonsai (I actually plan to start caring for some when I get my own apartment later this year.) I was wondering if you all were familiar with the lluvia de oro (golden shower/cassia fistula) tree. It's a beautiful tree with small leaves and yellow flowers that grows vigorously here in South Florida. I was wondering if people have attempted growing bonsai of this tree in the past. I've tried searching online but a cursory glance hasn't yielded any response.
Additionally, I was wondering if anyone has any input on what species of bonsai grow best in California, specifically mid-to-southern California? Thanks in advanced!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: new to bonsai: specific question about tree species?

Hi and welcome to the Forum! Are you planning to keep your bonsai tree outdoors?

People do bonsai the cassia fistula. Here's a beautiful one that has obviously been many years in the development of that thick trunk:

Image
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imafan26
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Re: new to bonsai: specific question about tree species?

You can bonsai almost anything that does not have a taproot. Some are easier than others. The best trees to bonsai have small leaves and do not have brittle branches. While the yellow shower tree does look beautiful in bloom, it is hardly noticed when it is not. It has a rangy habit so it needs frequent pruning to keep it looking good and it drops its leaves. It is a sterile version of the Rainbow shower tree.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

mmorales94
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Re: new to bonsai: specific question about tree species?

Thank you so much for the information! Yes, I plan to grow them outdoors. I know the golden shower tree looks almost plain-jane-y out of bloom, but I think their appearance during the height of their bloom makes it worth it--they're the most common tree found in my hometown, and are also common in my mom's hometown of Colombia, so I have a soft spot for them. I've never heard of the Rainbow shower tree, but I will look into it.

imafan26
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Re: new to bonsai: specific question about tree species?

Be careful. The shower trees are full sun trees and may not do well indoors. Most bonsai trees would prefer to be outside on a stair or on a sunny balcony. If you do keep it indoors, you will probably need to provide artificial light. Rainbow and golden shower trees are common street and park trees in Hawaii. They tolerate traffic and are fairly drought resistant, but they don't grow in the shade. Be careful, if you do keep it in a pot not to over water. It will not tolerate over watering. If they don't get enough light they may drop leaves and get tall but fail to flower.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: new to bonsai: specific question about tree species?

morales just said: "Yes, I plan to grow them outdoors."
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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