New serissa — help me not kill it please :)


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Lawrence, KS USA
I got what I *think* was a pretty dang good bargain on this serissa today, the nursery gave it to me for eight bucks because it looked like h*ll (I am so bad at taking “before” photos, you’ll have to take my word for it), having been exposed to too much hot dry air and too many customers picking it up to look and then putting it back in a different spot and orientation (I’ve read they’re quite fussy about both of those, yeah?).

This is what it looks like after trimming off all the many many crispy bits and I’m kind of over the moon about it. That trunk! Those roots! My twelve-year-old says it looks like two trees got stuck together while they were making out and she’s not wrong 😂

I’m still very very new to all this, and I’m unsure about a few things:

First, should I get it out of that soggy peaty nursery soil and into something grittier right away, or let it acclimate to its new home first?

And second, my summers here get super hot and dry (it’s gonna start hitting >90F this week and that won’t let up until September, and we’ll usually get at least a week straight of temps topping 100F with 20 mph winds out of the south). I was thinking this little guy might be happier indoors in my tropical nook, where I’ve got LEDs and a steady humidity level of 80% and in which my carnivores (bog and rainforest) all live quite happily.

Am I way off base with that? Should I put it outside where it’ll get afternoon shade and try to shelter it from our punishing dry winds?

And lastly, how the heck would you go about styling this, when the time comes?

Thanks for you input :)


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Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
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B’ham, AL
Keep it outside, in afternoon shade, water daily when it’s not raining outside. Don’t try to do “all the bonsai things” to it at once if you want it to live. Don’t repot it this year, that window is closed now. Wait until next spring. The roots need to be strong to sustain the summer heat. Especially if you’re new and don’t know much yet.

For this year, keep it trimmed to a profile you like, enjoy the flowers, learn to water, and shop for a pot to use next spring. Pull it inside when your fall night temps dip into the 40s.

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