Sea hibiscus in development - opinions

olympics

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Hi everyone! I just did a summer repot of this sea hibiscus cause it’s roots were growing out of its pot and also did some trimming. The tree responds pretty well given my location. I wanted to get some opinions on its future - I definitely want to bring the first branch down and cut it back to encourage ramification.
I’d like to introduce more movement in the top leader though.
FD6DFDD3-7FDA-40B4-8C66-4F6DD2B3BE76.jpeg0B4B89DE-B4DD-4B66-BAD4-35856062E344.jpeg
 

Katie0317

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My husband chose a sea hibiscus from all the plants at Schley's bonsai in Deland yesterday. It's a large plant with a thick trunk that's ready to be potted but Jason gave ideas to create a new apex and air layer...His ideas were oriented towards turning it into a shohin and making the leaves miniature which isn't difficult to do. Shohin is something I expressed an interest in but my husband isn't interested in shohin and will let the leaves stay big. His tree is older than yours with a fairly large trunk base...(they air layered if from their own stock) and it has thick branches. He suggested removing a large branch and creating a new apex. I think it all freaked my husband out who doesn't have the time to read like I do. The thought of redesigning it isn't something he's ready to do. He's working more than full time and is learning bonsai in between doing a million other thing and managing a lot, so he'll move it into a training pot for now and make decisions on what to do with it later.

I hope someone here with miles more to offer than me will offer suggestions. I'd like to see how it goes for you. The flower on this is stunning btw, in case you haven't seen one in bloom.

Good luck with it! We'll we watching to see how you do with yours.
 

Katie0317

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I'm hoping you get help with this. I need some answers on the same topic!
 

olympics

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I'm hoping you get help with this. I need some answers on the same topic!
I cut it back some more almost defoliating it, and it responded quite well(this was taken a day after partially defoliating)
My current plan is to get some movement in the top branch that is pointing straight up, will need to to cut it back more in the future
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Katie0317

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Thank you Firstflush, I see their videos, but I don't see one on a Sea Hibiscus?
 

Katie0317

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Fantastic! Thank you for posting those. They'll be watched for certain.

Have you read and seen the sea hibiscus in Taiwan and other parts of Asia? They all are doing them in the same way and make all sea hibiscus shohin. It's about getting the leaves smaller and smaller until they're the size of a nickel or quarter. Take a look at the pictures. It's pretty amazing and takes a long, long time. I think they're beautiful but it's one my husband chose so it's his. We both help take care of each others and since we're both new at this we're interested in all of them.
 

olympics

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Fertilizing usually increases growth on trees. Would that mean fertilizing less would yield smaller compact growth?
 

Kernel_mucci

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Super curious how to get smaller leaves. I mist mine regularly, water regularly, and fertilize regularly...and my hibiscus's leaves are the size of my hand.
 

Katie0317

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Super curious how to get smaller leaves. I mist mine regularly, water regularly, and fertilize regularly...and my hibiscus's leaves are the size of my hand.
My husband bought his at Schley's bonsai nursery and Jason went into great detail about how to turn a sea hibiscus into a shohin. He knew I had an interest in shohin bonsai but my husband does not.

Turning a sea hibiscus into a shohin is standard in Taiwan and other asian countries. It's a process of continually cutting back stems, leaves and branches but you can read about it online. Like other bonsai it takes a long time but thats's part of the process. I didn't listen as closely as I should have because it wasn't my decision and it was getting very late and I hadn't eaten a thing all day so was not at my best.

I'd Google shohin sea hibiscus and I'll think you'll find quite a lot. Also, I'd check the videos closely. I'll look myself and see what I find if you'll share what you see. Good luck...Katie
 

olympics

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Latest development as of April 2022. This guy is tough and survived to freezes over the winter. My plan is to ramify the existing branches and keeping a winding leader. The roots are super vigorous in my climate.
 

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Katie0317

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The leaves look really good. It's hard to keep them small like that.
 

olympics

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The leaves look really good. It's hard to keep them small like that.
Thank you! In my very short experience, not letting it grow to long keeps the leaves smaller
I really wanted to encourage shoots to come out of the outer first elbow, can only pray it happens now.
 

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