Serissa?

remraf

Seedling
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
USDA Zone
5
Hello,Good day;
Anyone have experience with Serissa? I've
been growing them for about three years and
they will not flower.Inside in fall under
40 watt fluorescent's for 12 hours a day.
One fall had a Kyoto serissa that just would
not stop flowering, now nothing? Am I not
noticing dormancy? Also is there a way to
keep moss in check? It does real well under
lights and starts climbing trunks!Thanx all
 

grouper52

Masterpiece
Messages
2,371
Reaction score
3,580
Location
Port Orchard, WA
USDA Zone
8
I've avoided serissa all these years because of the stories of difficulty and finickiness, and because I'm not keen on indoor lighting set-ups and such. Then, a thread here at B'Nut started by Will a few months ago started me re-evaluating them, and shortly thereafter I saw one with the sort of wild Chinese style nebari/exposed-root that appeals to my strange tastes. So three weekends ago I stopped by to see Robert Cho at Asia Pacific Gardening in Kent, WA, and among other things I went around looking at his serissa, which he imports by the thousands from China for the mallsai side of his business. I wanted to get one, so I did, one of his larger and least "mallsai" ones, but not until I had picked his brain about them. Here's what I recall of what he told me, which, since you're already very knowledgable from years growing them, probably will not be of much help, but I offer it anyway.

If they flower, he recommends cutting the flowers off before they open, since they rob a great deal of vigor from the branches they appear on and can weaken them to the point of die-back at times. So your quest for flowers may not be an altogether good thing from the standpoint of the tree's overall health.

They really don't like leaves touching each other, so keep them sparsely trimmed to avoid that.

Outdoors in summer when nights no longer fall below 50F.

Partially sunny windows are fine/ideal (unless one has a greenhouse), as long as the windows are not drafty in winter. Humidity tray.

Routine care is fine - they respond well to a bit of neglect. Less is more.

I've set mine in an appropriate window, trimmed it a bit initially so that no two leaves are touching, given it recommended care and simply enjoyed it - in the three weeks I've had it, it has not had a single leaf turn yellow or fall off or look sickly. I'm very pleased with this tree, which evokes the word "Bitchin'" every time I see it! I'm a believer now, and it's such a nice bonsai just as it is that I couldn't care less whether it ever has flowers.
 
Last edited:

irene_b

Omono
Messages
1,415
Reaction score
2
Mine do dang good year round here in Texas....Just protect from freeze.
And the leaves touch and they flower like crazy. And yup do neglect them a bit.
Mom
 

Bill S

Masterpiece
Messages
2,494
Reaction score
18
Location
Western Massachusetts
USDA Zone
5a
A couple of things come to mind, the first being that there are varieties, some flower more profusely than others. Second have you pruned the tree for style, if so you probably removed the flower buds.

Other than that I defer to groupers enthusiasm for these, and add that they will be fine( rather like it) if they get a couple of light frosts before you bring them in, they also work better if treated more as a diciduous rather than subtropical, don't baby them.
 

grouper52

Masterpiece
Messages
2,371
Reaction score
3,580
Location
Port Orchard, WA
USDA Zone
8
Just wanted to say that humidity trays has to be one of the hardest bonsai-myths to kill. It will change the local humidity by 1-2% at best, if not less.
I'm not a fan of the humidity tray idea/theory myself, either, just telling what a guy who's been dealing in serissa's for decades recommends. Besides, indoors you gotta put SOMETHING under the plants so the water doesn't run out all over the counter/table/floor - why not call it a humidity tray.

Interesting info about the helpfulness of as light frost or two, Bill - the idea not to baby them seems to be true for a surprising number of "delicate" subtropicals.
 
Messages
2,776
Reaction score
15
Location
Michigan, USA
USDA Zone
5
Just wanted to say that humidity trays has to be one of the hardest bonsai-myths to kill. It will change the local humidity by 1-2% at best, if not less.

Isn't a rise in humidity by 1-2% better than no rise at all? Now multiply that by twenty tropicals, each with their own tray and in close proximity to each other.......



Will
 
Messages
271
Reaction score
2
Location
Scandinavia
USDA Zone
3b
Isn't a rise in humidity by 1-2% better than no rise at all? Now multiply that by twenty tropicals, each with their own tray and in close proximity to each other.......



Will
Fine, I guess I was a bit drastic. Of course, if you fill a pool with gravel and put a green-house over that you'll get high humidity. For the average amateur grower, with a few bonsai and limited space by the windows, humidity trays is a waste of time. I doubt 1-2% will give any kind of noticeable increase of growth/health. If one really wants to know exactly how much the humidity increases I suggest buying one of them hygrometer-thingys (or whatever they're called) and make a setup like you suggest and see exactly how much it will increase. My guess is that you won't see the 10-20% you're talking about. Multiplying percentages doesn't make much sense to me, I'm just guessing here but if you'll get a 5% increase I'd be impressed. In a central heated house during winter where the humidity can go down to 15-20%, 5% isn't gonna do much for a fig.

If you're really looking for an increase in humidity, get an electric humidifier.
 
Last edited:

Ichigo

Sapling
Messages
27
Reaction score
0
Location
Florida
USDA Zone
10
I think I'm going to have to go with the "it won't hurt and it stops messes perspective" on the humidity trays regardless of their effectiveness in making the area humid.
 
Messages
2,776
Reaction score
15
Location
Michigan, USA
USDA Zone
5
My guess is that you won't see the 10-20% you're talking about.
I never mentioned any such number.

....5% isn't gonna do much for a fig.
No matter where you start from, a 5% increase is a lot, and one would be doing very well to achieve this.

If you're really looking for an increase in humidity, get an electric humidifier.
Have one, use it, still use humidity trays for the extra little boost in my plant area, thanks.



Will
 
Messages
226
Reaction score
3
Location
Santa Cruz, CA
USDA Zone
8
Well I am no experienced serissa grower but I bought one for 3 bucks in a 4 inch pot in may. I brought it home and up potted into 1 gallon. I read all the bad reports afterwards but decided to hold my ground on a little neglect and man this thing is firing, in full bloom and sending out vigorous shoots everywhere above the flower heads after they die. Its had one light frost and it hasent phased it whatsoever, although I will put it under the eve if it frosts harder. I think the common mistake with these and other subtropical plants that are finikey is that we pay to much attention to every yellow leaf and people bring them indoors when the temperature gets anything less than a cool night in Rio. I found that letting the soil dry up quite a bit, as much as I dare really helps. I really like this plant and am not convinced yet that it is hard to grow, that might change in the future though, we will see.
 
Top Bottom