My Bonsais

A forum dedicated to bonsai, the art of growing dwarfed, ornamentally shaped trees or shrubs in small shallow containers.

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My Bonsais

Postby lmrk » Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:22 pm

Hi everyone. Thought I would share pictures of my bonsais with you, if you are interested.

Here's the link:

http://s213.photobucket.com/albums/cc31/lmrk5705/My%20Bonsai/?start=all

There are multiple photos of each one, so you can see them from different angles. I also used the same display stand so you can get a perspective as to the size of each plant.

A few points:

There are a few that I don't know what they are :oops: In particular, the ones entitled "Unknown Group" which has 3 little trees. I bought it from my neighbour when she moved about a year ago (along with the small juniper). It was dying so I repotted it a few weeks ago, and it's now got heaps of growth. If anyone knows what it is, I'd appreciate it.

Also, the ones entitled "Pink Shrub" - again, don't know what it is. It has green leaves on the bottom and pinkish ones on top which are gradually changing to green. It also has small pink flowers (you can just see the blooms coming out if you look closely). I think it may be a native, but not sure. It's very pretty though. It was a huge shrub when I bought it, but cut it down substantially. The trunk is very thin.

The ones entitled "Juniper Cascading Unknown" - again, don't know what it is - it's like a Christmas tree. It was huge so I hacked it back and planted it on an angle so it would cascade. Think it's a bit sick though. No hint of growth since I planted it :cry: .

The ones entitled "No idea" - self explanatory. Found it in the throw out section of a nursery and bought it cos it was growing at interesting angles. We had a big tree when I was a kid which looked like this - had big purple flowers. It's doing really well.

The Black Stallion is growing like crazy - its at least doubled in the few weeks I've had it. It sits on the kitchen windowsil with the window open, so it gets the sun but not too hot.

The boxus I bought at Bunnings for $4. It was huge, but I cut it back and it's doing well.

The Japanese Holly I've had for a year, but only potted and pruned it a couple of weeks ago. I thought it was dying, but only this week it has strarted sprouting.

The Azalea I have had for about 2 years - it's tiny and although healthy, doesn't grow much. It had a pink flower until a week ago when I had to pluck it off as it was dead.

The Chinese Elm is growing out of control - I know it needs a good prune, but I killed one that I got for Christmas last year, so I'm terrified to touch this one in case I kill it too :lol:

I have 2 Nandina's - one is healthy and growing really well with lots of new shoots. The other is really sick - it was huge when I got it, pruned it to a wonderful shape, but don't think I watered it enough and it started dying. I repotted it (with better draining soil) and watering it more, and it has now got some new shoots, so it may be on the mend, but it has lost the wonderful shape it had when I first potted it.

The Geranium is a classic - potted it on a whim as I was going to throw it out as it was sick, but now it is thriving - go figure!!! 8)

The Camelia isn't doing too well. As I don't have much room, it's in a place which gets little sun - no growth since potting it and the leaves aren't looking the best, so it may not last.

And this brings me to the biggest problem - the Corokia. I've had it for about 5 years, and I swear it hasn't grown one little bit in that time. I think it may actually be dead, but as I'm clueless when it comes to these plants, I really have no idea, so I just keep watering it in the hope that one day something will happen :shock:

Anyway, ideas, thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated! :D

Cheers

Leah
Does a watched bonsai ever grow?
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Postby guzzigirl » Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:56 pm

thanks for showing those lmrk. I'm only just starting out trying my hand with Bonsai myself. Do you have a local Bonsai group? They might be useful in giving tips on identification and care.
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Postby taffyman » Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:04 pm

Good photos Leah.
I'm not sure what your group is - it looks very familiar but I can't for the life of me think what it is.
Your Juniper in the blue pot is Juniperus Procumbens - Prostrate Juniper, and the one in the red pot, I'm pretty sure is Juniperus Chinensis - Chinese Juniper.
The Unknown1 could possibly be a Crape Myrtle - Lagerstroemia.
The red leafed one - or at least the green leaves look very similar to a Metrosidros, especially with the underside being a lot lighter than the top.
Perhaps you could take them down and ask Man, seeing them in real life, he may be ablet to tell you what they are.
Leah, most junipers in Bonsai pots are not fast growers and if any roots were removed when repotting it may take even longer to produce new foliage. Be patient, it appears to be quite healthy in the photos.
Don't be afraid of your Chinese Elm girl - did you put it in the Bonsai pot? If you did, then you've obviously done something right for it to put out so much foliage. Get stuck into it, and give it a good haircut - but don't take all the leaves off the branches. Leave as many leaves as possible but don't be scared to give it a good pruning. You can cut the branches back to six or eight leaves and it will put out new growth from the base of those leaves. At the moment, most of the branches we can see in the photos are growing dead straight from the tree. If you cut them back then the new growth from those branches will be in a different direction. Choose which direction you want a particular branch to grow and find a leaf on that side. Clip about 3mm above that leaf and it should shoot from the base and grow at the angle you've selected. You won't kill it or set it back just by pruning it if you make sure there are some leaves on each branch. It's very healthy so it will have no problem with putting out new shoots. If you let it get too far out of control, it will be very difficult to bring it back without some radical 'surgery' on it.
With regards to the Corokia (Corokia Cotoneaster) - I tried two quite a few years ago and managed to kill both of them. After some research I've just found this link:
http://www.bonsaiforbeginners.com/corokia.html
Bit of advice though, move the moss away from the base of the trunk - it appears to be a bit wet in that area and that can cause you problems with rot. Moss in pots gives trees a good appearance but it shouldn't be up against the trunk. Looking at the leaves it's also possible your soil is too wet as well - it needs to be moist but not wet. Most tough trees do better being a bit on the dry side and too much moisture will encourage root rot.
Here's something I found interesting. I did a search on Google for Meterosiderus Excelsa and it came up with only one link - this one:
http://www.gardenexpress.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?p=52452&sid=a5db6ced99c60c952e513234e503cdc8
It's one of mine from this very forum! I actually spelled it wrong in my post and again when I did the search :shock: I'm famous - I'm on Google ImageImage
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Postby lmrk » Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:00 pm

Thanks Taffy. I knew you'd have the answers :D

I will take my Chinese Elm along to the Bonsai Northwest meeting on 12 Nov and see if I can get someone to help me prune it. I just can't bring myself to touch it :shock: I bought the Elm and the pot separately from Simon at Orient Bonsai nursery, which isn't far from me. The tree was about $15 and the pot only $8. Here's the link:

http://www.orientbonsai.com.au/

Simon has a much greater variety of trees than Man does, although Man's trees are probably bigger and better quality. But Simon has the most enormous collection of fantastic and reasonably priced pots. He told me you pick your tree first, THEN the pot (not the other way round, which I had been doing).

As instructed by Simon, I pruned the roots (I LOVE doing this - the best part of the whole bonsai process in my opinion) covered the base of the pot with grit, then a layer of bonsai potting mix with a few pellets of dynamic lifter mixed in. I then wired the tree into the pot, covered it with potting mix, added some slow release fertiliser and covered with blue grit to keep the moisture in. It wasn't doing so well the first couple of weeks, and when I told Man that I had used dynamic lifter, he said that was way too strong and it would burn the roots and kill the tree :cry: . So I thought, "you've done it again - the Chinese Elm serial killer"! I moved it from the air conditioner compressor (when you have only a tiny balcony, all space is utilised!), where it only got about 1 hour of morning sun, to the balcony plant box where it now gets about 3-4 hours of morning sun, and it has taken off unbelievably as you can see. I also bought my Star Lavender and its pot from Simon. I prefer to buy the trees and pots separately as I like to pot them myself.

I'm glad (in a perverse kind of way :wink: ) that you have not had success with the Corokia. Man and Simon told me that they're easy to grow, but no matter what I do, it just seems to stagnate (or remain dead, whatever the case may be)!

I've move the moss away from the bases of all the trees. I only put the moss on as "Sunday Best" dressing for the trees' photographic session!! 8)
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Postby Luzy » Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:37 am

Hey Leah - what a great collection! Are you sure you've only got a small balcony? :shock:
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Postby lmrk » Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:29 am

Luzy wrote:Are you sure you've only got a small balcony? :shock:


Hahahaaa!!! :D :D Yes Luzy, unfortunately I only have a small balcony. There are multiple pictures, so it's all smoke and mirrors or smoke and lenses as the case my be!!! I have 3 lots of wire baskets attached to the balcon wall, a huge plant box which hangs over the balcony, and I use the air conditioner compressor and the kitchen windowsill to store my bonsais (you can see some in the pictures)!!!!! But I have some idea's for more rennovations to the balcony so I can have even more bonsais!! I've got an addiction! :D
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Postby Luzy » Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:11 pm

Go Leah! You've got to feed those addictions! :lol:
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Postby taffyman » Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:19 pm

Hey Luzy, Leah will be looking for a 5 acre block pretty soon to house all her trees :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby lmrk » Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:20 pm

taffyman wrote:Hey Luzy, Leah will be looking for a 5 acre block pretty soon to house all her trees :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:


AAAAHHHHHH.........a backyard........I can only dream!!!!! :lol: :lol:
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Postby Luzy » Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:44 pm

One day, Leah... it'll happen. Then you'll be after that five acres taffy mentioned - I am! :lol:
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