The serissa bonsai: coming from Asia, with leaves with a characteristic odor
Characterized by a showy flowering that occurs from the beginning of March to mid-September, the serissa bonsai derives from a small evergreen shrub from South East Asia and China. The flowers, on the other hand, are quite large, with five petals, slightly pink or white. It is a bonsai (with a peculiar wrinkled bark, which from light brown becomes, with the passage of time, almost white) that does not manifest specific needs or cultivation problems: the only necessary precaution is not to change its position. The bonsai serissa it prefers rather humid climates, and consequently requires fairly constant watering. Unlike what happens with most bonsai, in fact, in this case it is advisable to always try to keep the soil slightly moist, so as to facilitate the growth of the plant, taking care, however, to avoid water stagnation, dangerous in how much harbingers of fungal infections. The leaves should be sprayed every day with rigorously distilled water, precisely to promote high levels of environmental humidity. Furthermore, fertilizer must be added to the watering once a month, in limited doses since it is a species that shows that it suffers from chemical fertilizer. As for the soil, the ideal one is composed of two parts of sand, one of peat and one of clay. It must be well drained. The repottings, on the other hand, must be done once every two years, taking care, as well as changing the pots, to prune the roots for a fifth of their length. Except for the flowering period, any period of the year is fine.
- bonsai serissa">How to prune the bonsai
The bonsai must be pruned in the first days of spring, pruning the branches both to promote oxygenation and to direct the foliage towards the desired shape. Furthermore, during the year, the shoots must be topped (but not during the flowering period, of course), leaving three or four leaves per branch. In order to make the flowering last longer, it is advisable to eliminate withered flowers. The plant needs prolonged exposure to the sun, but care must be taken: in fact, while it loves particularly bright places it must avoid direct sunlight. Taking into account that it significantly suffers from sudden changes in temperature, it can be placed outside in summer, but not in winter, since temperatures below ten degrees could compromise its survival. As regards the multiplication, it occurs by cuttings: it is sufficient to take, in spring, semi-woody cuttings, which must then be buried in a mixture composed in equal parts of peat and sand. It is worth noting that this bonsai is not overly sensitive to pest attacks, nor is it easily exposed to disease. The most serious health problem may concern the drying of the leaves, but it can be avoided simply by sprinkling them with a generic anti-cryptogamic four or five times a year.
The enemies: aphids, spider mites and mealybugs
Occasionally, moreover, attacks by red spider mites, aleuroids, aphids and above all scale insects may occur, which are particularly threatening for the roots. The latter are revealed in the form of whitish encrustations that appear on the stem and leaves: it is simply a woolly material, which forms the envelope that protects them. To remove encrustations, you can proceed manually, or spray the affected areas with a linseed oil solution. It is good to know, however, that the scale insects will probably recur, given that their eggs are in the soil: in this case, more drastic interventions may be required. The pathologies of bonsai can be countered and prevented with anti-parasitic products available on the market in all garden centers, applying consecutive treatments according to the recommended doses. An aspect that must be taken into account in the maintenance of this bonsai of Asian origin is undoubtedly the fertilization, which must be done every ten days in March, that is when the vegetative restart occurs. The best product consists of a mixture of organic liquid fertilizer with specific stimulating fertilizer for bonsai. It is advisable to interrupt the administration in July and August. It may also be useful to use an organic mineral fertilizer enriched with vitamin B in the event that it is intended to promote rooting.
Bonsai serissa: A plant that is easy to handle
There serissa it is very suitable for the art of bonsai, because it gives life to particularly decorative plants: it is no coincidence that it is widespread, in China and Japan, even among less experienced bonsai enthusiasts, who are able to work it with the utmost ease. The plant, in essence, lends itself to modeling and leaves large spaces for action.