Dwarf Sandcherry Help

Soulsyphon

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I'm newer to bonsai, got started last winter. I recently purchased a dwarf sandcherry that I'm working on. I trimmed and re-potted it in the organic bonsai mix from Bonsai Jack. I water it in the morning and in the evening and it's still drying out and getting droopy. Are there any suggestions for a different soil mixture that I should be using or something I'm overlooking when it comes to this situation? I'm in Ohio, Zone 6a. Thanks in advance for any assistance.
 

JoeR

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I have noticed bonsai jacks soil is almost too airy, and in the summer here especially it allows the plants to droop. Apply damp chopped sphagnum moss to the surface of the pot, that should fix it

What's a dwarf sandcherry?
 

GGB

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When was it repotted? and how much sun is it getting? Definitely don't do any repotting now. I have my goji berries (for eating not bonsai) in pure potting soil, couldn't be any wetter and they'll sulk during the heat of the day sometimes, it's because I have them in a really sunny dry exposure. Also I would love to know where you got a dwarf sand cherry, sounds like a fun plant to play around with. I imagine the foliage is awesome
 

jimib

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I had one a couple of years ago. It was real finicky. I had it in 2-1-1 akadama, pumice and lava. It backbudded on old wood easily but branches would just die off for no apparent reason.
 

Carol 83

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I have noticed bonsai jacks soil is almost too airy, and in the summer here especially it allows the plants to droop. Apply damp chopped sphagnum moss to the surface of the pot, that should fix it

What's a dwarf sandcherry?
Helpful that you mentioned that. I used Bonsai Jacks soil to repot a couple of my dwarf Barbados Cherry's. The little one in the Sorce purple pot has been droopy, even though I have never allowed it to dry out. I think I'll add a little organic soil.
 

cbroad

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@Soulsyphon
Are you talking about prunus cistena, or a dwarf form?

I've been working with Purple leaf sandcherry, for a few years and have 4 right now in different stages of development.

I have found them to be pretty thirsty plants in full sun. My furthest along one is in a 5 gal. pot with 50/50 perlite and potting soil, and still needs checking for water every day or every other day. I can only imagine how thirsty these would be in straight bonsai soil...
 

Soulsyphon

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I have noticed bonsai jacks soil is almost too airy, and in the summer here especially it allows the plants to droop. Apply damp chopped sphagnum moss to the surface of the pot, that should fix it

What's a dwarf sandcherry?
It's a purple leaf plum. Pretty when it flowers.
 

Soulsyphon

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When was it repotted? and how much sun is it getting? Definitely don't do any repotting now. I have my goji berries (for eating not bonsai) in pure potting soil, couldn't be any wetter and they'll sulk during the heat of the day sometimes, it's because I have them in a really sunny dry exposure. Also I would love to know where you got a dwarf sand cherry, sounds like a fun plant to play around with. I imagine the foliage is awesome
I repotted it about a week ago. It was in full sun, I moved it to a spot where it gets a little shade early and late day. I got it at a local greenhouse. The foliage is pretty, purple leaves.
 

Soulsyphon

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@Soulsyphon
Are you talking about prunus cistena, or a dwarf form?

I've been working with Purple leaf sandcherry, for a few years and have 4 right now in different stages of development.

I have found them to be pretty thirsty plants in full sun. My furthest along one is in a 5 gal. pot with 50/50 perlite and potting soil, and still needs checking for water every day or every other day. I can only imagine how thirsty these would be in straight bonsai soil...
It's a dwarf form (I think). Yes, I water it twice a day and it's still drying up. I was excited to see what I could do with it. 😁
 

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cbroad

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I was excited to see what I could do with it
They're fun to work with and will continue to push growth basically all season if healthy.

My furthest along one is getting a decent base and starting to get some interesting character. Haven't done any wiring yet this season, but my primaries are almost finished and maybe I'll get to build some secondaries this season.

A few things I've learned from mine:
*They're water hogs. As you're seeing, they'll flag during the heat of the day if they don't have enough water. I think I remember a day last summer when they were still flagging even with moist soil.

*Any new growth from late season pruning probably won't make it through (my) winter. And what I mean is pruning done in September or later. It will still push growth if you prune then, but I think the younger branches can't make it through the winter. Have most of your pruning done by mid summer to ensure that the growth has time to lignify.

*Beware of insect and fungal problems. Being a prunus, bugs and fungus love them. I have had: Japanese beetles, leaf hoppers, aphids, canker worms, caterpillars, and as I found out this year, borers... Trust me on this, get a systemic insecticide for yours. If you get a product with imidacloprid, wait to apply until after they flower because the chemical can transfer to pollen and kill bees.

*They can be prone to frost cracks in their bark. Not really sure how to protect against that, short of a greenhouse that stays above freezing. It hasn't killed mine yet, and has added to the character of the trunk.
 

penumbra

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I see your plant tag but I don't see anything other than two common names that don't match up. Purple Leaf Sand-cherry is Prunus cistena which gets about 8 feet tall in the landscape. Purple Leaf Plum is Prunus cerasifera which can easily get to be 30 feet. I imagine you have P cistena that they are trying to pass off as P cerasifera. Is there a botanical name on the reverse side of the plant tag?
 

cbroad

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I imagine you have P cistena that they are trying to pass off as P cerasifera
The tag is definitely misleading... P. cistena is a cerasifera and pumila hybrid; that's where they get the 'purple leaf plum' from, and the 'dwarf' I guess because pumila doesn't get near as big as regular plums. They could've done a better job about labeling it:confused:
 

GGB

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Whoa! @Soulsyphon I think that might be your issue right there. Doing root work on a deciduous tree a week before the summer solstice is massive stress. I don't know anything about prunus but you're lucky it's even still alive. It's trying to survive the heat after losing a chunk of roots. ..That's assuming you did a spring type "get in there" repot. I would move it to a shadier location for a little while. It's going to have to regenerate roots at a time of year when a lot of trees will be going dormant. If you can keep the pot cool it will have a much better time producing new roots. I forget what temperature trees go dormant at but I'm sure those temps are coming. If it's been alive this long it does seem like it survived the repot, so that's good.
 

penumbra

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Why not post a picture of the plant instead a picture of the plant tag?
 

sorce

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Fersure.

They have those same cherries around here.

Truth truth....every tree that makes a good bonsai, you eventually find one with a decent beginning, a fat trunk, short internodes, etc.... something

I gave up looking at these a long time ago.

And for as pretty as the leaves are, I've never seen one as bonsai.

$20 says @vancehanna has one that's wonderful!

Sorce
 

Cadillactaste

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The tag is definitely misleading... P. cistena is a cerasifera and pumila hybrid; that's where they get the 'purple leaf plum' from, and the 'dwarf' I guess because pumila doesn't get near as big as regular plums. They could've done a better job about labeling it:confused:
So is it a Sandcherry, or a flowering purple plum? I've both...the one in my front yard is a purple plum...HUGE front tree, which sadly after 23 years...is fading. Short lived tree. I even tried a hormone treatment to help store energy than push a lot of growth. But it's inevitable...sadly. Planted for our first son when he was born. You think the nursery would have told us it had a shelf life. The sandcherry...We did an early mistake and planted near a black walnut. Not juglone tolerant which walnuts put out struggled to be happy...We cut it back severely...and transplanted it. It is thriving and doing amazing...also a shorter shelf life...but, enjoyable while its in the yard. The life spans are short...but...if it's a sandcherry...they do really well with hard cutback. Rejuvenates them like no tomorrow.
 

Forsoothe!

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Full eastern sun, no midday sun, some western sun. If it's droopy, move it. They can't scream, but they can drop dead for the short-sighted.
 

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