Worms and Flowers

Bonsai

Posted in Bonsai by Lzyjo on May 19, 2009

It’s been a tough year for my bonsais. There were quite a few casualties over the winter. I wish someone had told me that bonsai need protection even if the species are hardy to zone 4 or 5. It looked like they were sprouting new growth, but there are a late frost that killed most of it and there been no sign of life since. Among the survivors are.

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St. Lucie Cherry. Prunus Mahaleb.

Grown from seed.

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Royal poinciana. Delonix Regia.

This will be his (yes, I didn’t know bonsai had genders either,) third summer with me. He was born in Puerto Rico and was the only one of the plants I bought that survived.

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Umbrella Tree. Schefflera.

I bought this Schefflera cutting from the Lowe’s. They sell of lot of easy to root cuttings in small pots for 2.97, or something. The problem is they don’t check to make sure they are rooted before they are sold. Roots are definitely something to look for when shopping for the small plants at Lowe’s.

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I am so happy that my Prunus Mahaleb survived. I’d rather have one than none, although I would have been happy if the Japanese maple had survived too. It is discouraging to lose seedlings that take months or even years to germinate. I started the seeds almost 18 months ago and now most of the progress is gone. Maybe it’s time to break down and buy nursery stock.

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7 Responses

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  1. ourfriendben said, on May 19, 2009 at 9:56 AM

    Yikes, lzyjo! I think the problem is that hardiness is usually given for plants in the ground, where they have tons of soil insulating their roots. Containers make it much easier for the soil and roots to freeze, which is why we bring all our containers into the greenhouse for the winter. And I’d think that would be especially true of bonsai, with their extremely shallow pots and thus soil to insulate the roots. i realize that true bonsai must go through dormancy like their full-size counterparts, but wonder if moving them to a cool greenhouse for the winter after frost kills the foliage and initiates dormancy wouldn’t solve your problem.

  2. mcl said, on May 19, 2009 at 10:09 AM

    I’ve always admired the art of bonsai. I actually bought a book about it…and that’s as far as it went. When we planted our Mugo pines, I kept one back, thinking I would try it. I ended up planting it with the others the next year…just have to enjoy other people’s bonsai. That’s probably best. Maybe if we are around in a few years, I will see some of yours. LOL.

  3. Darla said, on May 19, 2009 at 12:20 PM

    Not too good with the bonsai. Hope your survivors continue to thrive.

  4. Lzyjo said, on May 19, 2009 at 1:26 PM

    Yes! You are exactly right. Just as soil in pots warms up faster it also freezes faster. Since then, I’ve been bonsai in winter protection. GRRRRR! I will try to protect the remaining ones next winter or bring them in to my unheated studio/mudroom/laundry, it’s a very utilitarian space. I feel stupid.

  5. Lzyjo said, on May 19, 2009 at 1:27 PM

    Thank you for the encouraging words, Darla. My brown thumb just made an incredible performance.

  6. Lzyjo said, on May 19, 2009 at 1:33 PM

    Maybe I should have bought pre-trainer starter trees to kill. If this keeps up, I may be reduced to viewing only also. I’m not sure bonsai is the hobby for a manic depressive like me. Bonsai are gorgeous. Even if I could only look at pictures I would still be happy.

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