grewia as bonsai

tanlu

Shohin
Messages
280
Reaction score
7
Location
Washington, DC
USDA Zone
7a
Hi all,

I wanted to know if anyone here has experience growing grewia occidentalis indoors? I haven't seen any nice bonsai photos of this species, and I'm wondering why this species isn't used more often, like Chinese Elm or ficus. I just purchased this stick-in-a-pot yesterday and would like to improve its vigor. Right now it's in a small plastic nursery pot. How much should I water and fertilize it and what kind? When should it be repotted?

T
 

bonsaiTOM

Mame
Messages
210
Reaction score
1
Location
Cedarville, NY, USA
USDA Zone
4
I have had a little grewia 'in-training' as a bonsai, semi cascade style, for about 5 years now. It loves the outdoors in summer months and flowers well. (Lavender Star Flower). Then I cut it way back when I bring it in in the fall and place it under lights. It sulks a bit and mopes along through the winter losing many leaves. I will re-pot in early spring as it needs fresh soil. Mine has not bulked up much - still has the look of a thin stick. So I'm considering going back to a larger training pot and super feeding/no trimming to see where I can take it before placing back into the bonsai pot.

For yours - what can I say? You just bought it. Re-pot in spring if you feel it needs it. Get it growing well. Learn all about it and how it responds. Styling comes later. Enjoy!
 
Last edited:

tanlu

Shohin
Messages
280
Reaction score
7
Location
Washington, DC
USDA Zone
7a
Thanks Tom for the reply.

I'm still learning a lot about this species. I like it for its small leaves and wonderful blooms, but I just can't seem to find any good examples of finished specimens. I've never seen any monster trunk grewia. I already see improvements on the color of the leaves since I brought it home and placed it on my south facing window. Some bonsai nurseries don't really know how to care for many species. I might also place it in a colander in a year or so. The nice thing about grewia is that I can enjoy the blooms while waiting for it to bulk up. How do you fertilize it? Does it like acidic soil? Do you give it iron like many of the care sheets recommend?

T
 

bonsaiTOM

Mame
Messages
210
Reaction score
1
Location
Cedarville, NY, USA
USDA Zone
4
Never had any care sheets or growing instructions. A woman in our club has a small shop and sells them, though it probably came from Meehan's Miniatures originally. It was only recently that I was advised to give it more iron. Have begun to do that and hope for a healthier tree.

Like you I have never seen a really good example of grewia bonsai. Together we can do a search!

See Meehan's here - http://www.meehansminiatures.com/
 

bonsai barry

Omono
Messages
1,374
Reaction score
38
Location
Cental Coast of California
USDA Zone
9
I have one that I am able to leave outdoors year long in our mild climate. I have been frustrated by its slow growth. It sends out skinny little branches that i haven't been able to get to thicken up much. This spring I'm putting it in the ground to grow out more.
 
Messages
137
Reaction score
19
I've been growing them for a few years now from cuttings and air layers. I buy butt ugly ones from the sales table at New England Bonsai Gardens summer sale that have an interesting top and air layer them for nice shohin; or just cut them down to a stub and start a tree from that. Many beginners want a flowering tree in our Basics class and I usually discourage most species but the grewia is a relatively easy plant to grow - doesn't attract the insects as easily as other flowering/fruiting semi tropicals and is not as finicky as other species. Also, they do flower for a long time. They are basically a vine. I treat them as most of my other tropical shohin - well drained soil mix w/ a bit extra moisture retentive particles; a lot of sun and water. In New England outside from late April - October and then indoors under lights for the winter. I keep them a bit on the cooler side in winter. There was a very small one at the 2nd US National Bonsai Exhibit as part of a larger shohin display by Pauline Muth of upstate NY. Very tiny leaves! This can be achieved by constant pinching back. I have not tried defoliating this species. I'll ask Pauline if she would share a picture of it with us or I can post a pic of my air layers (though they are still just in training). We actually do have 2 fairly good sized ones for sale at NEBG - one with deadwood even!
John
RI, the shohin state
zone 6 B
 

tanlu

Shohin
Messages
280
Reaction score
7
Location
Washington, DC
USDA Zone
7a
Hi John,

I also live in zone 6b, but in NY. Do you fertilize them in the winter? If so, would miracid work, or should I use a more balanced fert? Mine was root trimmed and slip potted back into its 4" nursery pot with a little bonsai soil around the original garden soil when I purchased it. If it's safe, I'm planning to repot it again this spring into a bonsai pot or into a 6~7" colander to develop its root system. What are your thoughts? I would very much like to see your grewias in training as well as Pauline's if possible. Right now, mine is pretty much just a stick in a pot.

I actually wanted to attend your shohin workshop at Yamaki, which I believe was in October or September. I love your shohin work and would love to stop by NEBG sometime. Let me know when you have a sale.

Tom, I found these to be the only decent examples of larger grewia. I also read that they take a long time to thicken up.

http://www.bonsaisocietyofdallas.com/convention07/workshops.php

http://www.schleysbonsai.com/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=901

T
 
Last edited:

bonsaiTOM

Mame
Messages
210
Reaction score
1
Location
Cedarville, NY, USA
USDA Zone
4
John - "RI, the shohin state"? Now that's cute! :rolleyes:
I've been to Pauline's many times but do not remember her grewia. Will have to check it out next time I'm there. Her bougie? Oh yeah! Larches? Awesome!
Visit Pauline Muth at www.pfmbonsai.com
tanlu- thanks for the pics. Nice. So glad you started this discussion, and thanks to all the respondents so far. Hope it keeps going.
 
Messages
137
Reaction score
19
Hi tanlu
It really is nothing yet - the air layer was removed just 4 weeks ago. It has nice movement and will make a small semi cascade I think. We'll see. In winter, I do feed a bit. Since all my trees are in an inorganic soil mix, something is certainly needed for tropicals and semi tropicals in winter. I use DynaGro Grow fertilizer for these as well as pellets. repot when you see the tree exhibiting new growth more abundantly. I suppose a colander can work for quick growth as long as you feed aggressively. Good luck.
 

Attachments

  • Image.jpg
    Image.jpg
    171.6 KB · Views: 112
Messages
538
Reaction score
2,738
Location
Rochester, NY USA
USDA Zone
5-6
I have not seen large, heavy trunk Grewia, not even in South Africa where they are native. They were shrubby, multi-stemmed plants mostly.

I've been growing and training Grewia for many years. They are outside during the summer months in Upstate New York. In late September or October they are brought into a cool greenhouse where they remain until May when they are returned to their growing area outside. They are not fertilized during the winter and rarely have insect problems.

In October 2008 I received Lynn Perry Alstadt's large Grewia which was featured in a Brooklyn Botanic Garden Handbook. It was redesigned in 2009 and now part of my personal bonsai collection.

Bill
GREWIA-10:2008.jpg
October 15, 2008

GREWIA-9:2009.jpg
October 16, 2009
 

tanlu

Shohin
Messages
280
Reaction score
7
Location
Washington, DC
USDA Zone
7a
Thank you John and Bill for your photos and helpful care advice. I'm glad many of those who have replied so far live in the northeast!

John, I really like the naturally wild look of your grewia shohin!

T
 

Lobaeux

Shohin
Messages
485
Reaction score
620
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
USDA Zone
10B
I was told this was a Grewia Occidentallis, but it looks much more robust than most I've seen on the Internet.
 

Attachments

  • image.jpeg
    image.jpeg
    138.6 KB · Views: 59

Ironbeaver

Chumono
Messages
636
Reaction score
998
Location
Toronto
USDA Zone
6a
I have one growing indoors, it's had a basic styling and is currently recovering from an awkward repotting job. I'll see if I can get a pic to post tonight.
 

Lobaeux

Shohin
Messages
485
Reaction score
620
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
USDA Zone
10B
I have one growing indoors, it's had a basic styling and is currently recovering from an awkward repotting job. I'll see if I can get a pic to post tonight.
That would be great. I'm trying to get an idea of what to do with this Grewia (I believe it to be). My wife wants a topiary cut, but there's just way too many interior branches for me.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
TRGlover0001 Lavender Star (Grewia) Flowering 8
Lobaeux Lavendar Star - Grewia Occidentallis Miscellaneous / Other 21
Ironbeaver Grewia Project Flowering 7
ABCarve Grewia progression Flowering 39
MaverickLancer Lavender Star Flower (Grewia) Flowering 28

Similar threads

Top Bottom