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
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.
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.
I am seeing the first signs that winter is finishing at Shibui Bonsai. The Chinese elms are the first to bud up and some now have fresh new leaves. A couple of small Chinese elms have also produced new shoots but no sign yet on the older elm bonsai.
It is June at Shibui Bonsai and that means winter. We have had a few light frosts so far this season but this morning was probably the coldest yet.
Here in Australia we do not have to contend with really severe cold that growers in some other areas get. My cold hardy trees stay outside without any protection all winter without any ill effects, in fact I think it might even be good for them. Low temperatures help to induce some trees to flower better and I hope that some of the pests and diseases will also be killed during cold weather. My ficus, which are NOT cold hardy, live in the unheated poly igloo which provides enough protection to get them through the winter here. Continue reading
We regularly hear of special pruning techniques for bonsai but before rushing off to try it out you should ask: What is the aim of this technique? And, possibly more importantly: At what stage in the life of my bonsai should I use this technique?
As I see it, a bonsai goes through a number of phases in its life.
First phase is ‘Growth’.
Second phase I call ‘Development’.
Then as the tree is close to ‘finished’ it goes into ‘Maintenance’ phase
Each of these phases have different aims and require different techniques to bring about the desired outcomes. Continue reading