Help for this newbie please =)

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Help for this newbie please =)

Post  BonsaiPookie on Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:08 pm

Hello! I am brand new to this forum and new to the bonsai world!

Ok so heres what I got and the questions I have. I am looking for the best way to go about this so they are done right!

Ok so what I got was a Serissa (Tree of a Thousand Stars) Which is already bloomed and planted. I just have to care for it and keep it going!

I also got two sets of seeds. Coastal Redwood seeds and Hinoki Cypress seeds.

Ok so my questions are....

What is the best way to germinate / plant the Coastal Redwood and Hinoki Cypress seeds? I have done nothing to them yet, the prepackaged set of seeds, and soil, and such are all unopened still.

And when it comes to the Serissa, mainly curious of best water times/intervals, and fertilization intervals.

ANY information that is good in dealing with these plants will be greatly appreciated! I will supply some pictures too a long the way if people are interested in the progress.

I currently also have some supplies... Any opinions on what I have and suggestions to change or such will be openly accepted!
I have some Peat Moss blend, and Organic Blend bonsai soil mix. Liquinox start with vitamin b-1 (figured it would be good for the seeds?)
Summit year round oil - organic pest control (sounded like a good thing to have!).
The seeds also came with some pumice and vermiculite. I am not 100% sure what those are specifically for AND also cannot tell which one is which since the bags weren't labeled. So would be great if someone could help with the identification of them lol.

Thank you in advance for those who are helpful!

Please try to refrain from making fun of my novice knowledge of bonsai! =)

BonsaiPookie
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Re: Help for this newbie please =)

Post  Ryan on Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:48 am

I don't have any experience with the Hinoki, but I do have tons of experience with growing Coast Redwood from seed.

Coast Redwood doesn't need any cold stratification. Take your seed and place it in between a damp coffee filter. Then place that inside of a plastic bag. Keep it warm and within a week or so the seeds will start sprouting. Then take the sprouted seeds and plant them root side down in some well draining soil. Come spring, place them outdoors.

Ryan
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Re: Help for this newbie please =)

Post  Precarious on Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:19 pm

As to care for your serissa, bonsai tool chest, bonsai empire, bonsai4me are popular sites. Here is a link to one:
http://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Serissa.html
Don't have experience with it to be able to share what does/doesn't work for me. Good luck! We are boring though, b/c we all agree on soil, fertilizer, and technique, and none have strong opinions- NOT!

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Help for Newbie

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Feb 14, 2015 5:02 pm

I am 85 years old, so I don't grow anything from seed. Very Happy
Here is my saikei (tray landscape). The serissas are 11 years old.



Do you know what variety of serissa you have? Their sturdiness varies.
Here are some serissa rules.
I think they do better under fluorescent lights in the winter than on a windowsill.
Excellent drainage. Must use bonsai soil.
Humidity above 65%.
Here in the North, almost full sun outdoors. Maybe less for you.
Do not allow to dry out.
Pinch & prune frequently.
They are subtropical, not tropical. Prefer cool temperatures.
Be very careful repotting. Very susceptible to potting shock until they are several years old.
Iris

About your seed starting mix. Pumice is little white spongy pebbles. Vermiculite is the other stuff, a form of mica. For seeds or cuttings, mix 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 pumice, and 1/3 of your peat-based soil (don't pot a bonsai in this!).
Iris

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Help for Newbie

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Feb 14, 2015 5:10 pm

The Peat Based bonsai mix is for azaleas. I wouldn't trust it for anything else. Does the organic base bonsai mix list the ingredients? The organic component should be 1/3 or less.
The year round oil is probably Neem oil. Fortunately, at least around here, serissa has few pests.
Iris


Last edited by bonsaisr on Sat Feb 14, 2015 5:11 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typo)

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Post  bonsaisr on Sat Feb 14, 2015 5:18 pm

Water your serissa when the soil is dry on top but still a little moist underneath. No time schedule. You will have to check it until you learn. Big difference between indoors & outdoors.
I fertilize more or less once a week. Rotate various houseplant fertilizers. Fish emulsion once a month is good. Use it on your seeds & seedlings.
Iris

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Re: Help for this newbie please =)

Post  BonsaiPookie on Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:00 am

awesome thank you for the replies!!
The Serissa is labeled as (tree of a thousand stars). I can try and get a picture to upload so you can see it. It is very young still.

I am currently using an indoor grow light system for them. Its a bit to cold outside for most of them lol.

The Organic soil mix listed ingredients as Turface calcinated clay, peat moss, pumice. Although it did not list an amount for any of them.

Also for those interested it seems the Hinoki Cypress is to be germinated in a fridge for 60 days before planting. That is what I have found about that one so far.

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Post  bonsaisr on Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:14 am

Your bonsai mix will be adequate if you add 1/3 fine (if you can get it) aquarium gravel, very course builder's sand, crushed granite (course turkey grit), crushed lava rock, or equivalent. Do NOT use crushed limestone.
Your organic component should be chopped bark, not peat moss. Get a decent bonsai soil as soon as possible. Check the American Bonsai Society on the Internet and join the nearest bonsai club. At least contact them. They can help you more than we can.
By the way, be very leery of tropical bonsai advice from anyone in Britain, Florida, or a greenhouse. They are on different planets. I have been growing tropical plants, including bonsai, under fluorescent lights for over 50 years, & I'm still learning. I must have killed at least a dozen serissas before I succeeded with these.
Iris

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Re: Help for this newbie please =)

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