This species is easy to grow in tropical climates and is suitable to for all bonsai styles. Its leaves are oval in shape and grow alternately. The bark is smooth and light in color. Wood is beautifully marbled.
flowers of Diospyros are small and clustered.
Basic Care and Culture:
1. Light requirement/position- can tolerate partial shade to full sun. A location with good air circulation is best.
2. Watering- at least twice a day during summer. A good drenching of the soil is beneficial to the tree.
3. Fertilizer application- at lease once a month is enough (14-14-14) or any organic fertilizer available to the grower. I personally use fish emulsion and sea weed extract as foliar feed and soil drench.
4. Soil- good draining soil mix is recommended. I use coarse river sand with some wood charcoal.
5. Repotting – It is a good practice to repot this tree every two to three years to maintain its good health.
Frequent pruning is necessary to maintain the shape of Diospyros bonsai. As we compare the pictures on the left with the pictures on the right, new shoots have already grown in just about seven days.
Defoliating and Cleaning the branch structure
Firstly, remove all unwanted growth like the ones growing in the junction of the truck and the branch.
With this tree, it is worth noting that the new shoots grow only just below the cut and almost never further back along the branch.
Clean the trunk bark and branches with a toothbrush and water to remove dirt and algae; this combination of algae and dirt hardens in the heat of summer and can cause damage to the tree. It is also unpleasant to look at.
As we can see in the pictures above, the tree was totally defoliated. I do this twice a year in order to increase branch ramification.
Before and After Pruning
The foliage mass is pruned to a neat silhouette and inward and downward facing shoots are removed. I also ensure that no more than two shoots grow from any one point on each branch. Cutting off these unnecessary branches produces a cleaner, more defined look. The picture in the left looks confusing to the eye; however, the branches in the photo on the right have been pruned and cleaned up and are now pleasing to view.
After pruning:Branch side view
After Pruning Branch Top View
More views of the bonsai before and after defoliating.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and have learned a few tips on cultivating Diospyros. Happy Bonsai growing!