"Upon finding that I work as a professional bonsai artist, many people will remark that they once had a bonsai, but it died and with some regret, they gave up".
Based on the Bonsai Basics section of the hugely successful Bonsai4me.com website and an e-book of the same name, 'Bonsai Basics: The Foundations of Bonsai', written and developed over the past 15 years is out now!
All copies are signed by the author.
Lime-hating evergreen shrubs and small trees usually with large, glossy, mid- to dark green leaves. Camellias are favoured as bonsai for their flowers that appear in profusion Of the 250 different species of Camellia known, there are three that are commonly used for bonsai cultivation.
are: Camellia japonica, C.reticulata and C. sasanqua. Camellia
sasanqua is especially favoured, as it is the smallest and most
compact Camellia species; it is however more frost tender than
other Camellias and requires more protection from frost.
The flower buds of Camellia develop on the tips of new branches.
BONSAI CULTIVATION NOTES
POSITION Partial shade and protection from frost.
FEEDING Every two weeks throughout the growing season with an ericaceous (acid) feed.
REPOTTING Every two or three years in early Spring. Ensure that soil-mix is lime-free.
PRUNING Tolerate hard pruning in Winter or after flowering. After flowering, remove spent flowers and trim to shape.
Camellia buds back easily, even from the trunk, after hard pruning.
PROPAGATION Air-layering or ground-layering in Spring. Root semi-ripe cuttings of the current years growth from late Summer to late-Winter.
PESTS AND DISEASES Susceptible to Aphids and Scale insects. Harmless sooty mould may grow on honeydew produced by aphids and scale insects. Virus diseases can blemish flowers.
STYLING Informal upright forms with single or multiple trunks and Cascades in large and extra-large sizes.