I usually repot any native plants in November or December. There were plenty that needed doing this season because I had not repotted for a couple of years. I find that many native plants grow lots of fine roots in the pots and quickly get to the stage where there is no room in the potting mix for water or air to penetrate. This mans that it becomes increasingly difficult to keep the mix hydrated and I have lost quite a few trees because I have not repotted often enough. Continue reading
For a while during the real heat of summer my trees slowed up and gave me a rest from pinching and pruning that is so constant during spring and early summer. The weather has started to cool a little and we have had a few light showers of rain. This is the time of year that the Australian natives just love and they have started to grow strongly. Continue reading
I usually wait until November and December to repot banksias but this year is warmer than normal so I have started to re-pot my Aussie natives a bit earlier this year. First up were banksias because they were not root pruned last year and the root balls were getting pretty solid. Continue reading
The 4th annual Australian Plants as Bonsai symposium was a great event. The fledgling Native bonsai club in Melbourne did a great job organising and scheduling and the venue worked well. As well as the speakers and workshops for symposium delegates there was a display of native bonsai with some awesome trees on show. I didn’t have time to take any photos but Gerard has posted both photos and descriptions of all the trees on Ausbonsai – http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=19796 You’ll have to sign in to view the pictures. Continue reading
Late Spring and Summer is when I prune and re-pot most of my native bonsai at Shibui Bonsai. Continue reading
The flowers have finished on the Callistemon so it is time to prune. Follow this link to an article about how and why to prune Callistemon bonsai.
The branches look a bit untidy at the moment. Callistemon flower on the tips of the shoots that grew last year. For many years I kept it well trimmed but, of course, was cutting off all the potential flowers every time I pinched the shoots. With advice from Derek, a master with Aussie plants as bonsai, I learned to allow the shoots to grow and mature so it can produce flowers. After flowering it is pruned quite hard then new shoots are again allowed to grow and mature for the following year’s flowers.
You will note that the flowers on this species are rather less impressive than many we see in gardens but I think the pale pink blush is nice on this bonsai. Flowers are also smaller than many which fits in well for a bonsai sized tree.
December is summer in Australia so here at Shibui Bonsai it is time to re-pot some of my native bonsai and potensai.
I started the day with my Callistemon ‘ waterswept’ bonsai. This one was slip potted into the current pot a few years ago but has not had a proper re-pot for quite a few years. It has finished flowering so it was time to stop procrastinating and get on with it.
Here is the tree before. The design is based on trees that grow in the bed of the nearby Ovens river with roots clambering over the rocks in midstream and all the growth battered downstream by frequent floods.
This one only produced a few flowers at the top of the tree this year. All the flowers have finished so it is a good time to re-pot.
Summer is also time for repotting many of our Australian native plants. I was repotting some banksias and came across this interesting phenomenon.
We hear so much about Australian Native plants being allergic to phosphorus and needing very careful fertilising. the truth, however, is that only a very few Aussie natives are sensitive to phosphorus and there are also a few plants from other parts of te world that are phosphate intolerant as well. I give most of my Australian natives the same fertiliser that I use on the exotics and they grow very well on it.
The exception is Banksias and here is the reason
That white patch that looks like fungus is actually a patch of specialised roots called proteoid roots that have evolved in some of the proteacea plants to help them extract phosphorus from the nutrient poor soils they tend to live in.