COMMON NAME: Jabily, Elephant Tree
SPECIES: Operculicarya decaryl
The Jabily or "elephant tree" Operculicarya decaryi is a natural succulent bonsai tree or shrub from Madagscar with thickened roots. It is a very slow growing, deciduous, dioecious pachycaul, looking somewhat like a dwarf baobab. It has small 0.078 inches red flowers in winter. The inflorescence is at the end of short branches and often consist of about five flowers. This species is named after the collector Raymond Decary. Young plants of Operculicarya decaryi have a round, football-like caudex and are very attractive.
Bark/Foliage/Flower/Fruit: The trunk is gnarled and somewhat succulent. Jabily is a caudiciform a plant with a fat trunk. The trunk, parallel-sided, bottle-shaped, barrel-shaped, globular or conical, bark irregularly tuberculate warty-bumpy, fissured dark grey. Small, shiny green leaves, which turn reddish in winter months. Very small dark red flowers in late winter. The inflorescence forms at the end of very short branches and are composed of six or less flowers. Plants are either male or female (dioecious) and you need one of each to make seeds. Male plants are rarer than the female plants. Branches umbrella-like, thin, spreading, zigzag. Twigs glabrous or hairy and glabrescent, straight.
Fertilizing: Use a balanced fertilizer (20-20-20).
Repotting: Repot annually, when root bound, during the summer or when night temperatures are above 50°F.
Soil: Use a soil with a good balance of drainage and water retention. It is drought tolerant, but prefers a well-drained, evenly moist soil. Jabily will not tolerate soggy soil.
Insect/Disease: Resistant to most diseases and insects.
Watering: Enjoys evenly moist soil. Poor drainage will cause root rot.
Light: Full sun to light shade is preferable.
Pruning/Training: Prune foliage at any time of year. Clip and grow method also works well. May be wired or use clip and grow method.
Temperature: Protect below 40° F.
Propagation: Easily propagated from tuberous root cuttings. Jabily may also be propagated from stem cuttings using a uniformly moist soil mixture.
STYLES: Broom, Cascade. Informal upright, Informal upright, Semi-Cascade and Slanting
Common Name: Jaboticaba, Brazilian Grape Tree
Species: Myrciaria cauliflora
Jaboticaba bonsai trees are native to Brazil and known for their unique, grape-like fruits. The tree itself has a weeping habit and can grow up to 20 feet tall in its natural environment. When grown as a bonsai, however, Jaboticaba bonsai trees are much smaller, typically only reaching a height of 2-3 feet. Caring for a Jaboticaba bonsai tree is not difficult but does require some special attention. The peeling bark is very smooth, creamy tan with a pinkish tint and soft patches of gray, similar to guava and crape myrtle. The opposite new leaves are pink and then turn green. Growth is compact. In spring Jaboticaba sheds half its leaves.
Flowers/Fruit: During the warmer months white clustered flowers occur all over the trunk, large branches and exposed roots. The edible berry is dark, purplish, globular shaped, ¾” to 1 ½” in diameter. As bonsai Jaboticaba rarely sets flowers and fruit. The fruit contains several potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer compounds.
Fertilizing: Jaboticaba bonsai trees can be fertilized with a standard, prefers a fertilizer for acid loving plants, applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A heavy feeder. Add super triple phosphate (0-45-0) during the growing season as well as fertilizers containing minor elements, especially magnesium. During the winter, it is recommended to fertilize the tree’s structure. To make the mixture more acidic, a proportion of blond peat or coconut fiber must be added. Because of its shallow root system, using chemical fertilizers is not advised. Because the flowering of the jaboticaba bonsai can occur up to three times a year depending on the environment, it is extremely impressive. Use organic extended-release fertilizers throughout the growth stage, but once the particles break down, they must be replaced as soon as possible.
Repotting: These trees are relatively fast-growing and will benefit from being repotted every 2-3 years. When repotting, be sure to use a well-draining potting mix and a pot that is only slightly larger than the root ball. Repotting should be done in spring when minimum night temperatures are in the low to mid 60° F.
Soil: A well-draining soil with some organic material added.
Insect/ Disease: Jaboticaba bonsai trees are prone to a few pests and diseases, the most common being scale, mealybugs, and aphids. These pests can be controlled with regular applications of insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.
Watering: Keep evenly moist but not soggy. You may need to water several times daily during the hottest part of the summer, especially if the plant is root bound. Most leaf burn is caused by intense sun or a lack of adequate watering. Pinching off scorched leaves is a good practice and will cause back budding. Jaboticaba does not tolerate salt.
Light: The tree does best in bright, indirect sunlight and should be watered regularly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Moving to morning sun during the heat intensive months is a good practice to prevent leaf burn.
Pruning/Training: Developing a full canopy is a good goal. Growth becomes very compact using the clip and grow method. Shorten new shoots from six to eight leaves to one to two. Wiring may also be used for training – watch out for bark damage from wire scars. The tree can be defoliated during the spring, but it is slow to recover. Jaboticaba can take severe root pruning but be careful of over watering after repotting to prevent root rot. Jaboticaba can also be shaped by heavy branch pruning. Allow extra room for die back when branch pruning.
Temperature: Jaboticaba bonsai trees are not particularly tolerant of cold temperatures, so it is important to protect them from frost. Protect below 40°F.
Propagation: Usually from seeds, as well as air layering.
Styles: Broom, Cascade. Informal upright, Informal upright, Semi-Cascade and Slanting.
Common Name: Jacaranda, Blue Jacaranda, Fern Tree, Mimosa-leaved Ebony
Species: Jacaranda mimosifolia
Is a sub-tropical deciduous tree widely known because of its beautiful and long-lasting lavender blue flowers that appear in spring and early summer. Native to Brazil, the stunning large trees have been introduced to countries around the world that have warm climates. Jacaranda can reach heights of 80’ or more.
Foliage/Flowers: As a bonsai the fine fern-like leaves of the Jacaranda are its main attraction. They do not close up at night as do many other tropical trees with compound leaflets. The individual leaves are pointed and approximately 1/4” in length. During the flowering season the mature trees are covered with purple-blue flowers. These trees line streets of many roads in cities in South Africa. The fallen flowers leave a blue carpet on the ground under the trees.
Fertilizing: For most of the year use a balanced fertilizer. During fall and early spring, a super phosphate is suggested to promote bloom.
Repotting: Jacaranda is a rapid grower during the summer months and enjoys frequent repotting. It takes severe root pruning; minimum night temperature low to mid 60°’s F.
Soil: Requires a well-draining soil, pH 6.0.
Insect/Disease: There are no major problems with the species. During rainy season protect against root rot.
Watering: Moderate watering in a well-draining soil. During the dry season keep slightly on the dry side, but do not allow to dry out completely.
Light: Enjoys full sun.
Training/Pruning: It is fairly difficult to achieve good branching and ramification of branches, it tolerates severe top pruning. Jacaranda has strong upward growth, which makes it difficult to develop lower branches. New shoots need to be pinched regularly coupled with loose, looping wiring for more compact foliage. Vigilance is required because the delicate branches bruise easily. Removing leaves that grow too large helps to reduce overall leaf size in the long run. Trim the leaves within an inch or so and allow to fall off naturally. With a mature bonsai allow the tree to grow freely in spring to produce bloom. After blooming prune back severely.
Temperature: Protect below 40° F.
Propagation: Can be grown from seed or softwood cuttings. Jacarandas are also available in nurseries.
Styles: Beautiful as group planting Jacaranda should be allowed to develop a large canopy.
Common Name: Japanese Black Pine
Species: Pinus thunbergii
Is known as the king of bonsai and the most iconic conifer in bonsai practice. Japanese black pine’s aesthetic speaks to its longevity and durability. This conifer is a very powerful, aggressive, masculine approach to bonsai because of specific features. Capable of producing two flushes of growth in a single season, Japanese black pine is one of the most vigorous bonsai trees.
It is viewed as a representation of longevity, so you will often see this species at funerals and outside of cemeteries or shrines. In Japanese culture, it is a symbol of the new year and the changing of seasons.
Growing JBP is all about controlling energy, the following is a detailed description for growing Japanese Black Pine in Florida.
For Juvenile trees in development:
Goal is to create structure – establishing primary and some secondary branches. Keep an eye out for taper – bifurcation at each growth junction. At the whorls, prune to leave only 2 shoots. Grow in full sun if possible. Use an inorganic mix with large particles. Fertilize in Feb/Mar, June, Sept. with an organic fertilizer (e.g. BioGold). Use Bone Meal, Epsom Salt throughout the year. Leave a sacrifice branch as a leader to thicken the trunk.
Mycorrhiza is important. Always add some old soil in with new soil to re-inoculate with mycorrhiza. Do not be concerned with needle length during this phase.
For Mature and Refined HEALTHY trees:
The goal is to create short needles and short internodes.
Do shoot selection based on
1. Two buds of equal strength
2. Create acute angles between shoots
3. Lateral direction. It can take 4 years to complete branch structure. Twice a year after conscientious applications of fertilizer, candle prune and needle pluck, shoot select and needle pluck.
Fall/winter work. Do Fall work between the end of October and February:
It should be done after deciduous trees change the color and start to drop their leaves. Pluck needles after growth starts to firm up and harden off. Handling new needles before they have hardened off causes a lot of needle damage. Never remove all the old needles as that will weaken the tree and in adverse conditions, the tree will not survive. Old needles help with the allocation of hormones.
1. Removal of old needles plus some new needles on strong shoots. Remove needles from the bottom of the branch, in between branches, and crossing needles.
2. Thin new growth to two shoots. Keep smaller shoots on strong area (top of the tree and the end of strong branches) keep slightly larger shoots on weak areas (i.e. the interior and lower part of the tree)
3. Cut back strong branches and keep smaller branches.
4. Remove long, leggy, weak shoots.
To prepare for summer work: Do 2 -3 applications of fertilizer in 4 – 6 week intervals using an organic fertilizer. Use more fertilizer for more developed trees.
Summer work is done in June – August: To encourage a second flush of growth with smaller needles and shorter internodes.
1. Cut candles at the gap (do one cut even if there are 2 candles). Leave 6 – 8 pairs of needles at each cut. If you can’t see the gap, skip cutting.
2. Always cut back to the base; remove old needles; leave 6 – 8 pairs of needles.
Cut all candles at the same time no matter how small they are.
In South Florida for Developed trees
February/March start fertilizing. April - candle pinch. June – decandle to get ramification and stimulate 2nd flush of growth. Cut all candles at once. Don’t fertilize if you want shorter needles. Pluck needles on the underside of the branches. Repot in Spring. Pinch in early Spring (pinching is different from decandling! Pinch new growth by cutting straight across with scissors before needles open – there is a very short window of opportunity). Decandle in June to 1st week of July. Candle selection in Fall. Needle pluck anytime. By July – 2nd flush has emerged (1 month after decandling). No fertilizer or less fertilizer
Mid July - cut back to old wood on strong growth from the previous year
Approximately 3 weeks after branch cut back and approx. 7 weeks after decandling, the 2nd flush will be “complete” so select shoots to 2 (cut at the base). Mid September – final fertilization using 2 -8- 4 (low nitrogen), bone meal, Epsom salt, Bio Gold. Fertilize in March June, Sept. Use bone meal throughout the year.
Flower/Fruit: The needles are dark green, paired, and finely pointed. The cones are brownish-gray and abundant. This specimen is also noted for its silky, whitish, candle-like terminal buds. The contrast with the foliage gives the tree an interesting look. Young foliage candles are upright. The bark is black-gray, furrowed, and scaly.
Fertilizing: Black Pines are heavy feeders and love organic fertilizers. However, alternating with inorganic granular fertilizers like Miracle Grow or Dynamite is a good idea. Using only organic pellet type fertilizers (e.g. Bio-Gold) can clog up the soil and lead to root problems during the rainy season. JBP like a slightly acidic pH of 5.5-6.5
Repotting: Repot in the Spring, usually early March in Zone 10, when minimum night temperatures are in mid 40s, as the buds begin to swell and new candles start growing. Repot younger trees every 2 years and older trees every 3 to 5 years. Some people repot every year, but then you cannot remove much of the roots. NEVER root prune and candle prune at the same time.
Root structure will generally mirror the branch structure with large roots emerging underneath large branches. Spread roots evenly at the base of the tree to develop a good nebari. Use “hair pin” like pieces of wire to anchor surface roots, if necessary. Equal parts -Akadama, lava and pumice. May add 5% agricultural charcoal and crushed granite. For weak trees: use an inorganic mix. Take off some old needles on the strong area and let them grow a year before doing restyling and wiring. Haydite is a good coarse layer in the bottom of the pot to provide drainage.
Container: The container may have to be larger than aesthetics dictate so that the feeder roots do not dry out and die during our hot summers. Mycorrhizae, a white stringy fungal material, are very important to pines. The trees produce this fungus on their own in the soil. However, always ensure that some of this fungus is included in your new soil mix. Do not remove all the old soil at once. Change the soil in stages over several repottings. Never remove more than one third of the roots at a time. While repotting, handle the bark carefully since old flaky bark is very desirable. Rough handling of the trunk will rub off the bark. Secure your JBP very firmly in the pot so that there is no movement. If it is only slightly wobbly in the pot, the small roots close to the trunk will not establish themselves. After repotting, place in partial shade for several weeks and protect from temperature extremes and wind, then move to full sun. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely. Black Pines do not like extreme heat, especially around its roots. Keep in partial shade during the hot summer months.
Insect/ Disease: The most common pests you may find in your Japanese black pine include Aphids, Woolly adelgid and Spider mites during summer.
Japanese Black Pine bonsai are most susceptible to pine wilt disease and tip blight disease as well as Lophodermella a fungal disease.
Watering: Like lots of water but not wet feet, so make sure that you use a fast-draining soil to prevent root rot. Water JBP less in the winter while “dormant”.
Light: Grow the Japanese black pine should get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. Some light afternoon shade is acceptable.
Decandling is refinement technique: Bonsai need structure first. Trees also need to be in good growing medium and well fed before decandling is contemplated. Trees in training or development where you need to grow a thicker trunk, weak trees, or when heavy root work was done in the same year, should not be decandled.
Temperature: Protect below 50°F. Cold sensitive.
Propagation: Propagation is entirely seedling based. Sowing seeds in light sand in the early spring is ideal.
Styles: The classic style is informal upright, but it also works really well as a semi cascade. Cascade style can present problems since the Black Pine has strong apical dominance and keeping the lower part of the tree from getting weak takes constant work.
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Common Name: Jamaican Rain Tree, Ebony Coccuswood, Grenadilla, Granadilla, Jamaican Ebony, West Indian Ebony
SPECIES NAME: Byra ebenus
This drought resistant tree is a tough, spiny tree with an erupting growth habit. New branches burst straight up as if ejected by a volcano, cascading onto the countryside below as they become longer and heavier is native to the Caribbean Islands of Cuba and Jamaica. Its' small, waxy leaves are densely gown in alternate formation on the main stems which give the overall tree a simple appearance. This tree gets its' name, Jamaican Rain tree from the sweet smelling, bright yellow flowers that bloom after it rains. As the branches become longer and heavier, they cascade downward. Yellow-orange flowers appear along the branches after heavy rainfall and high humidity. Jamaican Rain Tree has a slow growth habit. The leaves are small, tiny evergreen, opposite leaves and small thorns.
Flower/Fruit Fragrant yellow-orange flowers appear along the branches during the rainy season, followed by pods containing 1 seed.
Fertilizing: Use a balanced fertilizer 20-20-20 alternating with a high phosphate 10-15-10.
Soil: Use a soil with a good balance of drainage and water retention. It likes moisture but will not tolerate soggy soils.
Repotting: Repot during summer month. Root prune sparingly over several re-potting's.
Insect/Disease: No major pests noted.
Watering: Water as needed in a well-draining soil. Do not let dry out.
Light: Morning or full sun to encourage flowering.
Pruning/Wiring: Prolific back budding and angular growth. Buds back on old wood. Top can be pruned heavily. Clip and grow is best, may also be wired.
Propagation: Seeds, cuttings, air-layering. Let pod dry on plant. After removing the seed germinate in damp paper towel.
Temperature: Protect below 50°F.
Style: Suitable for small to medium size bonsai due to difficulty in obtaining a larger trunk: Weeping or informal upright.
Common Name: Star Flower, Lavender Star Flower, Star of Africa, African Star Bush
Species: Grewia occidentalis, Grewia caffra, to Australia and South Africa.
There are about 100 species of evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs and climbers throughout the warm regions of Africa, Asia and Australia. In nature the shrub or tree will grow to a height of 9’. Nectar seeking insects and birds are attracted by the flowers. Lavender Star was named after the English physician, vegetable anatomist and botanist Nehemiah Grew (1641-1712). Lavender Star is a prolific grower.
Foliage/Flowers/Fruit: Evergreen, dark green foliage with fine toothed edges with three to five distinct veins, borne alternately on the stems. The undersides of the leaves are slightly hairy. The trunk development is slow. Star shaped lavender flowers on Grewia occidentalis occur in groups of 1 -3 on new growth called peduncles. The flowers are 1 ½” blooming from spring to fall. Grewia caffra has yellow flowers. Grewia flava, also called Raisin Bush, also has yellow flowers. Fruits sometimes form from the flower and orange fruit develop that will ripen to purple.
Fertilizing: Use a fertilizer for acid loving plants. Add chelated iron to correct for chlorotic leaves.
Soil: Any well-draining soil. They like plenty of water, but not wet feet.
Repotting: In the low to mid 60s, with good draining media.
Watering: Keep evenly moist but not soggy.
Light Full sun is best; will also grow in partial shade. As this species likes more temperate temperatures it may be a good idea to protect against summer’s noon day heat.
Insect/Disease: Scale and white fly can be a problem. Using a fertilizer (rose food) containing a systemic insecticide helps to control this problem.
Pruning/Wiring: Lavender Star will take severe top pruning and moderate root pruning. Leaves reduce well with pinching back. To encourage bloom, allow to grow freely in the early spring until blooms appear. After the first bloom, prune to desired shape and allow to grow freely again. This will produce continual bloom until late fall. The tree may be pruned back hard in the late fall. Wiring may be used but be careful to prevent scarring delicate wood or new growth. Lavender Star is a rapid grower. Flowers form at the end of the shoots.
Temperature: Protect below 50°F.
Propagation: From soft wood cuttings in spring, air layering or seeds.
Styles: Informal upright, Informal upright and Slanting
Common NameE: Lignumvitae, Lignum Vitae, Ironwood, Tree of Life, Guajacum, Palus Sanctus, Lignum Benedictum, Lignun Sanctum, Spanish: Guayacan
Species: Guaiacume officinal
Is an extremely slow-growing broadleaf evergreen tree which can reach a height of 30 to 40 feet. Native to the Caribbean Lignum Vitae, Latin for “long life” or another source says, “wood of life”, is the heaviest and densest wood in the world, and will not float in water, but sink to the bottom. The wood contains resin, which has been used to treat a variety of medical conditions from cough to arthritis; chips of the wood can also be used to brew a tea. In times past the hard wood found many industrial uses. Fortunately, the demand for the wood has been reduced by modern materials, such as polymers, alloys and composite materials. The trunk has a smooth, beige/grey bark. The leaves are opposite, pinnately compound, oval and have a lush green color. The showy flowers are blue, blooming from late spring until late summer, but can produce some flowers year-round. The flowers are followed by 1/2 inch round fleshy, yellow fruit, which contain a red seed. Flower and fruit can appear at the same time. The flower is the national flower of Jamaica and attracts butterflies.
Fertilizing: Any balanced fertilizer 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 weekly or every 2 weeks at half strength during the growing season, once per month during the winter month. A super phosphate in fall and spring helps to promote flowering.
Repotting: Every 2 to 3 years in early spring with minimum night temperatures in the low to mid 60°F. When purchasing a nursery tree, roots should be pruned about 1/4 at each repotting. A few leaves need to be left on branches when pruning until break back develop.
Soil: Any well-draining soil.
Insect/Disease: No pests or diseases of concern.
Watering: They prefer moist but well-draining soil, with generous watering during the summer months, and dryer conditions during the winter months.
Light: It prefers full sun but can tolerate a partial shade.
Pruning/Training: Regular hard pruning is needed to develop strong branching. Clip and grow is best. Only young branches can be wired. Wiring can be done very carefully, as branches are brittle and scar easily.
Temperature: Protect below 45°F.
Propagation: Seed only.
Styles: In nature the plant often grows as single as well as multiple trunks with a spreading canopy. It is well suited for container planting such as bonsai. Informal upright as well is appropriate.
Source: Tropical Green Sheets, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lignum_vitae
COMMON NAME: Limeberry, Limoncillio, Limau Kiah
SPECIES: Trisphasia trifolia.
A member of the citrus family, it is believed this evergreen originated in Java, Indonesia. Today it has been introduced to areas in the Pacific, Indian Ocean countries as well as the Caribbean. Limeberry is often planted as hedge as well as an ornamental shrub. It is described as a glabrous shrub or small tree up to 10 feet tall with terete twigs bearing paired spines in the axils of the leaves. The slow growing plant is producing a nice gnarly trunk and makes a round-topped shrub.
Foliage/Flower/Fruit: The handsome foliage is shiny dark green. The terminal leaflet is ovate with a cuneate base and a rounded emarginated tip. The lateral leaflets are much smaller than the terminal one, broadly rounded at the tip. The petioles are very short. Fragrant flowers appear singly or 2 or 3 in the axils of the leaves. The 3-lobed petals are white. Flowering season is from December to April. The edible small fruit is reddish-orange or crimson when ripe. The fruit contains 1 to 3 seeds. It can be eaten raw as well as cooked to make preserve or candy, as well as used in beverages.
Fertilizing: Regular feeding with balanced as well as acid fertilizer.
Repotting: In early spring after fruiting is over. Roots should be cut back gradually.
Soil: Regular well-draining bonsai soil. Likes moist and humid conditions.
Insect/Disease: Susceptible to a number of pests and diseases, including nematodes, scales, mites, and leaf miner.
Watering: Regular watering in a well-draining soil.
Light: Prefers full sun.
Pruning/Training: In spring allow to grow freely for flowers and fruit. The top can be severely pruned after flowering and fruiting. It usually grows back vigorously. The tree can be wired, but care must be taken to avoid scarring. Clip and grow works well to maintain shape.
Temperature: Protect below 40° F.
Propagation: Can be propagated by seeds, cuttings, and air layering.
Styles: Informal upright.
Sources: Tropical Green Sheets, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triphasia_trifolia
COMMON NAME: Live Oak, Southern Live Oak, Virginia Live Oak
SPECIES: Quercus virginiana
Is a long-living, evergreen or nearly evergreen oak tree native to the southeastern United States. Trees can be found from southeast Virginia, Florida, including the Florida Keys and west to southwest Texas. Depending on growing conditions, live oaks vary from shrubby to large and spreading, reaching a height of 45 feet, but may span nearly 120 feet. Southern live oak can grow in moist to dry sites, withstanding occasional floods and hurricanes and are resistant to salt spray and moderate soil salinity. Live oaks drop their leaves and grow new ones within a few weeks in spring. The leaves are alternate. The branches usually support other plant species such as Spanish moss, resurrection fern and orchids. The wood is very hard.
Bark/Foliage/Flower/Fruit: The bark is furrowed longitudinally. Flowers appear in spring, followed by acorns. The acorns are a rich food source for birds, squirrels, wild turkey, white-tailed deer as well as the black bear.
Fertilizing: Use a balanced fertilizer.
Repotting: From December through February. Allow tree to get 80% pot bound before re-potting.
Soil: Regular well-draining bonsai soil.
Insect/Disease: No major pests noted although Oak Wilt, a fungal disease has appeared among some Florida Oaks.
Watering/: Moderate watering in a well-draining soil. Drought tolerant.
Light: Partial or full sun but full sun for better ramification.
Pruning/Training: Young branches can be wired, whereas older, thicker branches are stiff. Live oaks are very apically dominant and the top needs to be kept in check to keep the lower limbs strong. A very sharp blade and sealing paste need to be used when making large cuts to prevent die-back. Suckers from the roots need to be cut.
Temperature: Protect from freezing
Propagation: Collecting or growing from seed. Best time for collecting is January-February. Try to keep a large root ball. It is best to gradually reduce the tap root in three stages when collecting larger trees. Grown from seed the tap root is easier to control
Styles: Drift/deadwood can be incorporated. Upright, Slanting, Multi-Trunk and group plantings.
Sand Live Oak http://mobile.floridata.com/Plants/Fagaceae/Quercus%20geminata/1064
COMMON NAME: Snowbush
SPECIES: Breynia nivosa
The Snowbush is a tropical shrub from the South Pacific that is well adapted to South Florida. It is named because it gives the appearance of its leaves being covered with snow. Snowbush is closely related to poinsettia, crotons, and other members of the Euphorbia plant family. Snowbush is an upright shrub that can reach up to 8 feet in height if left unpruned. Breynia disticha.
Foliage/Flowers: Is a smaller leaved dwarf form that has many tightly growing stems. The small, rounded leaves show a lot of variation in color. In shady areas the leaves are green with white, exposed to medium to full sunlight darker reds to purple color appear with the white and green leaves. New growth comes in pink. Leaves will become larger when not exposed to sufficient sunlight. The stems are bright red. Small parasol-shaped flowers appear during the summer month followed by seeds pods. New plants can be found growing around established shrubs.
Fertilizing: A well balance fertilizer every 2 weeks during the growing season and monthly during the cooler month.
Repotting: In early spring and throughout the summer months every 2 to 3 years.
Soil: Is happy in any well-draining soil medium but is not salt tolerant.
Insect/Disease: Even though the Snowbush is hardy and healthy it is susceptible to the tiny Snowbush spanworm caterpillar, which can do a lot of damage to the foliage. Snowbush is also prone to attacks by aphids, spider mites and the white fly.
Watering: Keep soil moist during summer months but does not like wet feet.
Light: Full sun to partial shade
Pruning/Training: Regular pruning is tolerated. Can be wired and trained in the normal fashion.
Temperature: Protect below 40°F
Propagation: Grows well from green or woody cuttings and seeds, as well as division of suckers.
Styles: Any upright style is suitable.
Common Name; Muscadine Grape, Scuppernong, Southern Fox Grape
Species: Muscadinia rotundifolia var. rotundifolia
Commonly called the Muscadine Grape is a native, deciduous climbing vine unique to the American South. In nature, it is typically found in dry upland forests with especially sandy or rocky soil, swamps, roadsides, and thickets. It is the most common and familiar grape. Muscadine grapes are large and have thick skin but are good for eating and wine-making due to their sweet, pungent flavor. The grapes appear singularly and not in clusters, and they are purplish-black or bronze in color. The grapes are high in Vitamin C and manganese. Ripe grapes are fully colored and soft and may be stored in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. Over-ripe grapes tend to appear wrinkled. The height and width of the vine vary due to the amount of support that the vine receives. Muscadine Grape is dioecious, meaning that a male and female or perfect flowering cultivar is needed to produce fruit. Differing from other grape species, the tendrils are simple, while other species have forked tendrils. While over 300 cultivars are sold in the Southeast United States, most are female. The cultivar 'Scuppernong' was named for the Scuppernong River in northeastern North Carolina. The Scuppernong grape is the official state fruit of North Carolina.
Grapes not suitable for bonsai are:
Vitis labrusca - American bunch or fox grape
Vitis vinifera - French grape. These grape varieties are not suitable for our South Florida humid summer months where they would quickly succumb to fungus and bacterial disease.
Foliage/Flowers/Fruit: Branches want to grow like a vine. The leaves are alternate, palmate lobes, 5 – 20 cm long and broad. Blooms appear between the 3rd and 6th leaf, between spring and summer. The fruit is a berry known as grape and grow in small clusters of 2 to 10 berries, between spring and summer. The colors range from dark purple to black when ripe. Some wild varieties stay green through maturity. Flowers and grapes only grow on new shoots. Protect the flowers from rain. The big leaves do not dwarf well, therefore the trunk needs to be of reasonable proportion. The trunk of a mature grape is most interesting and very gnarly.
Fertilizing: In Spring when leaves and clusters of flowers appear feed weekly with 1 tbsp of Miracle-Gro™ in 1 gallon of water alternating with Miracid™ also 1 tbsp to 1 gal/water. Continue as long as the plant has flowers and fruit. Fertilize heavily again in the fall.
Repotting: Repotting should be done every two to three years in the dormant season. this will promote the health and life of the grape. Moderate to not more than 1/3rd root pruning is advised.
Soil: Requires a well-draining, some sources suggest organic, soil, pH 5.5
Insect/Disease: Muscadine grapevines are tolerant of most insects. Aphids and thrips can occur. Animal pests such as raccoons, squirrels, and deer consume the grapes and can impact grape production. Diseases may include powdery mildew, black rot, bitter rot, and leaf spot.
Watering: Muscadines like plenty of water, but do not like wet feet. Do not let dry out.
Light: Enjoys full sun.
Pruning/Training: To obtain grapes prune during the dormant season to two to three inter nodes on a branch. Leave a good 2 to 3 inches of stick after the last node to avoid die back. In spring the buds will back-bud and hopefully produce flowers and grapes. After the branch has at least 6 leaves start controlling the growth by pinching to remove most new leaves. Defoliation usually results in more and smaller leaves. Wiring should also be done during dormant season.
Temperature: Protect below 40° F
Propagation: Cuttings during the warmer season. Old trunks can be collected where available.
Styles: Because of its vine like growth styling can be a challenge. The reward of this bonsai is in the fruit.
COMMON NAME: Nia, Neea, Saltwood
SPECIES: Neea buxifolia
Is member of the Nyctaginaceae family, which includes the Bougainvillea. A native to Puerto Rico, as well as the US and British Virgin Islands, the shrub grows to about 15 feet with a trunk circumference of 5 – 6 inches. There is usually a single stem emerging from the ground with multiple branches low on the stem. The taproot is weak with lateral and fine roots, all brownish orange in color. Neea is a relatively slow grower.
Bark/Foliage/Fruit: The bark is smooth and grey. The inner bark is bitter. The wood is soft and does not have discernible annual rings. The twigs grow laterally in all directions. With careful attention the close growth of the twigs creates a compact outline desirable in bonsai. The petioles are short. The ¼" leaves are oblong, opposite or in whorl-like groups. The shrub is especially attractive during the growing season due to the deep red color of its new shoots. Neea bears small flowers in spring and summer followed by little, red fruit in summer.
Fertilizing: Starting in spring, Miracle Grow Time Release fertilizer every 3 month until November. In Spring 2-3 applications of liquid Chelated Iron over the whole tree and roots.
Repotting: Repotting only if the minimum night temperatures are in the high 60oF. Younger trees need to be repotted yearly. Young trees can be severely root pruned, but it is recommended not to root prune until necessary. Older, established trees can be repotted every 3-5 years. Neea like to be slightly root bound, as this enhances flowering.
Soil: Well-draining soil.
Insect/Disease: No major diseases reported apart from the average garden pests like mealy bugs, aphids and scale.
Watering: Neea like to be moist but not soggy and will not tolerate wet feet.
Light: This likes lots of sunshine, however during the intense summer heat filtered sun is recommended.
Pruning/Training: Clip and grow is the recommended training method. The branches and twigs elongate so rapidly, frequent pinching and trimming are necessary. Wiring is difficult due to profuse and erratic branch growth. Young branches can be wired, but older branches become more brittle.
Propagation: Branch cuttings between March and June, air layering as well as seed propagation.
Temperature: Protect below 40° F.
Styles: As the trunk of the Neea grows very slowly it is best to start with a bigger trunk. Shohin is a good choice as well as informal upright and broom style.
Common Name: Orange Jasmine, Chinese Box, Satinwood, Mock Orange
Species: Murraya paniculata
Is a tropical, evergreen tree bearing small, white, scented flowers, which is commonly grown as an ornamental tree in its native countries of Southeast Asia, China and Australasia. Murraya is closely related to Citrus but belongs to the Rue family. Its leaves are glabrous and glossy, occurring in 3-7 oddly pinnate leaflets. The plant flowers throughout the year and produces small, fragrant flower clusters. The Flowers have white or cream pedals. The fruit of Murraya paniculata is fleshy, and colored red to bright orange. Orange Jasmine has been used both in traditional medicine as an analgesic. In the West, Murraya paniculata is cultured as an ornamental tree because of its hardiness and wide range of soil tolerance. It makes an outstanding indoor flowering bonsai tree due to its compact habit and dense glossy green foliage. It is a small evergreen tree or shrub belonging to the Rue family.
Flower/Fruit: The white flower clusters appear throughout the year, providing a beautiful contrast against the dark green leaves. The other attractive feature of the flowers is its Jasmine scented smell. The small orange to red fruit is attractive to birds.
Fertilizing: Is also necessary if your bonsai is to remain healthy and beautiful. Since your bonsai is growing in such a small amount of soil it is necessary to replenish the soil's supply of nutrients periodically. During the growing season this acid loving plant loves to be fertilized with Citrus tree fertilizer every 20 to 30 days. Supplement with iron several times per year. Your bonsai will also respond well to foliar feeding, with a water-soluble fertilizer applied every other month as a spray.
Repotting: Minimum night temperatures low to mid 60 fahrenheit. Repot in spring or summer every 2 to 3 years. When root pruning don't remove more than 1/3 of its root ball.
Soil: Well-draining soil with some organic matter added. pH 6.0 to 8.0.
Insect/Disease: Protect against nematodes don't put on the ground. Scale, white flies and sooty mold can be a problem. Treat with liquid dishwashing soap mixed in water.
Watering: The watering of your bonsai must never be neglected. Apply water before the soil appears dry, never allow the soil to become completely dry. Water should be applied until it begins running out of the holes in the bottom of your pot. It doesn’t really matter “how” you water your tree, but rather that when you are finished the tree has been well watered.
Light: Full sun to part shade.
Pruning/Training: Trimming and pinching keeps your tree miniature. Pinch and trim back the new growth to the farthest safe point. Never should all of the new growth be removed. A little should be left to sustain the health of the tree. Tropical and sub-tropical trees used for bonsai will require periodic pinching and trimming throughout the year. Since different trees grow at different rates, it is necessary to evaluate each tree’s rate of growth and adjust your trimming and pinching to accommodate it. The top may be heavily pruned. Wiring is best during the winter month when growth is slow. To protect the brittle branches wrap them before wiring.
Temperature: Protect below 40° F.
Propagation: From seeds, cuttings or collected from your garden.
Styles: It naturally forms multiple trunks. Can also be trained as informal upright.