Orange Jasmine as bonsai?

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Orange Jasmine as bonsai?

Postby brebirodan » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:50 pm

Hi all!

Tried searching but came back with zilch!

Has anybody used Orange Jasmine AKA: Murraya Paniculata for bonsai? I have some LOVELY species of this in my front yard keeping the peeping toms at bay (I love hedging plants!) and I have taken four cuttings for propogation. Just not sure where to plant?

To bonsai or not to bonsai, that seems to be the question!
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Re: Orange Jasmine as bonsai?

Postby taffyman » Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:09 am

Hi Daniel.
Murraya Paniculata can make excellent Bonsai. Not too sure what you mean about 'where to plant'. If you mean to grow your cuttings on for a while, I'd use black plastics to start with.

Some information on Cultivation:
From a book I have on Bonsai Species Guide:
Position: Full sun (as you already know if you have them as a hedge).
Watering: Daily throughout the growing season, less frequently in winter - keep soil lightly moist but not soaked.
Feeding: Every two weeks between mid spring and early autumn. In winter, feed every four to six weeks.
Repotting: Every second year in spring.
Pruning: Prune at any time during the growing season. Trim new shoots back to two leaves when five or six have been produced.
Propagation: From seed sown in autumn. From softwood cuttings in spring or summer.

Because of our climate up here, Murraya's don't really shut down in the winter - at least mine doesn't, so they can be worked on just about the whole year through.

That same guide says for Position "The tree needs plenty of light and warmth, but should be shaded from hot summer sun. In winter, maintain a minimum temperature of 17 deg C."
That's rubbish! Our temp goes into the high 30's/low 40's here at times in the summer and down to less than 4 deg C here at times during the winter, and it hasn't affected the one I have in any way. If you get frosts then yes, it would be a good idea to give it protection - I don't know how they'd take sub-zero temps.

I use whatever fertilizer I have at the time - chook, cow, charlie carp, blood and bone, slow release etc. In fact they aren't really particular about what type of fertilizer they get, but they do like something, and the more regular you fertilize the better and more growth you'll get.

Hope that's of some help - and for more info, follow the links below:


http://www.tropicalbonsai.com/MurrayaPaniculata.htm

http://www.bonsaihunk.us/MurrayaPaniculata.html

or using Google, type in murraya paniculata + bonsai and go to images up the top of the page - there are hundreds of photos there.
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Re: Orange Jasmine as bonsai?

Postby Pam » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:11 am

When we lived in central NSW there was a large one down the road from us, and Winter temperatures often reached minus six degrees. It was under the overhang of a verandah, though, so would have had frost protection.

Dan, may I suggest that you don't even think of starting with a rooted cutting? Find a more advanced plant and bring it back to the size that you want, because it's never going to develop a decent trunk in a regular sized pot.

What I would do, based on past experience of dealing with murraya is to dig one from the ground. My head doesn't handle strong flowery smells, and when we came here there was a murraya growing close to the back door. Rather than simply toss it I offered it to a neighbour who was happy to take it off our hands. I cut it back by a third, to about a metre and then sprayed the whole thing with an antitranspirant that I made up, consisting of one part pva wood glue to ten parts of water.

I then carefully proceeded to dig around the dripline. The neighbour and my hubby decided to come along and give me a hand, with crowbars in hand. From observation, you need to follow what they did VERY carefully:

Shove crowbar in below the plant , and then lift plant very roughly from the ground!!! :shock: :shock:

After all my careful efforts at digging to that point, I was shocked that it now had very little root on it, maybe 30 or 40 cm at most, on a plant that had been a metre and a half high, and they'd totally bare rooted it. The plant never looked back!
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Re: Orange Jasmine as bonsai?

Postby taffyman » Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:01 pm

I did something very similar to Pam with the Murraya I have. It was growing in a friends garden and they were going to hack it off and poison it - I offered to remove it for them. This was in the middle of summer, but if I wanted it I had to do it then. They have a sort of native/hardy type garden - they never water so if something doesn't survive on its own it becomes a bit of firewood.

This Murraya was close to 2 metres tall so I tried to get as much root as possible with it. Ha! I followed one root for two metres and I still didn't find any feeder roots. The ground was as dry as a bone and incredibly hard to dig. I thought to myself "Aah, stuff this for a joke". I backed my car up, put a rope round the tree and on to the tow bar then drove forward. I literally tore it out of the ground and all I was left with from below the soil level were a couple of fairly thick roots about 300mm long but no feeder roots at all. I cut the top down to about 500mm, leaving only about a dozen leaves over the whole thing to reduce transpiration (I like your idea of the pva and water Pam, that's a really good idea - must remember that one (Y) ). I brought it home and put it straight into a styrene box (where it still is now). It did nothing for the rest of the summer and winter but put a few new shoots in spring. Again, that's all it did for another summer season, but then in the next spring it really took off and hasn't looked back since.

I think the issue of summer/winter protection for a lot of trees and shrubs used in Bonsai is because of the different growing conditions. Plants grown in a cooler climate may tolerate frosts, but their roots don't get that cold because they are below the surface. Put them into Bonsai pot and it's a whole different ball game. Because the roots are now in a shallow soil mix, they can be susceptible to freezing conditions - and if the roots freeze, the tree will most likely die (that's why it is very difficult to grow aerial roots on figs in cold climates - the first sign of frost or freezing conditions and the roots will die). Likewise, bringing a particular species to a warmer climate can cause the reverse problem. The roots can get too hot in a Bonsai pot. If they do, the tree usually 'shuts down' - the sap stops flowing, and if it's over an extended period, it can eventually die. Either that or the roots get so hot they virtually cook, go black and die. Result? Another dead tree.

An example. Maples are reasonably happy growing in the ground up here on the Fraser Coast, but in a Bonsai pot they really need summer protection to stop the roots getting too hot. When the roots get too hot, the leaves burn on the edges and eventually fall off - and that's from my own experience.

I totally agree as well with what Pam said about using more advanced material. From a cutting it can take quite a few years to achieve a good looking Bonsai, but from advanced material cut down a much more pleasing result can be achieved in a relatively short time. If you really want to use cuttings, then I'd suggest you wait till the cuttings have rooted and then plant them in the ground for a year or two to grow on a bit. There is also another way to grow Murrayas that is better than cuttings, and that is to gather up some seeds and plant them. I would guess you know that Murrayas are very prolific at setting seeds - and just about all of them are viable. When grown from seed, you can create a far better looking tree than from cuttings. Cuttings are usually straight and parallel, but when grown from seed, a good tapered trunk can be achieved as the tree grows - and from seed will actually produce a better looking tree in a shorter time than from a cutting. Once the wood matures on Murraya, it becomes quite hard and brittle and is difficult to shape with wire, whereas from seed you will have a lot of green material to work with that is far easier to shape.
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