Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

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Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  Gentleman G. on Sun May 15, 2011 2:19 am

Hey, everybody. I purchased a small Grewia at the Texas State Bonsai Convention this weekend. I found some info on the species but it was very general. Just wondering if anybody on the forum has had any experience with this plant. I read that they can be "cut back hard" if need be, but can they be totally defoliated? Any info or experiences???

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Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  bonsaisr on Sun May 15, 2011 3:16 am

I grew mine up here under fluorescent lights, so I don't know how much of the info is relevant. I never defoliated. If you pinch regularly, you will get dramatic leaf reduction & good ramification, like a maple. Keep doing this for two years and it will bloom while in show trim. It is supposedly frost hardy, but not as a bonsai. Keep it above freezing. Don't put it in a long show. One or two days are OK, but after that the leaves will fall off.
The main drawback with this species is that after a few years, the trunk doesn't thicken but the branches do. Eventually you have to completely restyle it. Mine became completely hopeless & I eventually threw it out. It will probably do better in your climate.
Iris

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  Gentleman G. on Sun May 15, 2011 4:24 am

Thanks! I understand a lot of members aren't blessed/cursed with the tropical climate we have. I always take that into consideration when reading posts. I don't plan of defoliating, I just think I may end up working with this species more depending on how this one does. It is a stick in a pot, but it's a pretty cool stick in a pot, I couldn't resist.


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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  coh on Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:09 pm

Was just searching for Grewia info and this is the only thread I found. How is your tree doing? I picked one up a couple of months ago and have had it under fluorescents...it's put out a lot of new growth and is covered with flower buds, some of which are now opening. Very cheery sight on a cold, snowy day. This plant is very much a "pre" bonsai and has a lot of growing out to do, so I'm also interested if anyone has experience with it. I'm just letting it go for now, hoping to add some girth. Iris mentioned the trunks are slow to thicken and I think I've read that elsewhere as well...


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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  drgonzo on Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:40 pm

What a lovely flower contrasted 'gainst the snowy background...

I think I'm starting to become more and more interested in these guys...."Look for a thick trunk to begin with"...check!

I'm such a sucker for a pretty flower in the snow I really am...
-Jay

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  coh on Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:30 pm

Found one other thread about grewia - though only a few posts. Mike, can you give an update on your tree?

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t3373-first-bloom

Also, I thought Bill Valavanis had posted a photo of his grewia, but I can't locate it...might have been on another forum. Maybe he can post it here (hint hint!)

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  drgonzo on Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:49 pm

Chris
is the flower fragrant at all?
-Jay

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  coh on Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:52 pm

Jay, I haven't been able to detect any fragrance at all...

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  William N. Valavanis on Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:39 am

Chris,

OK, here is a photo of my Grewia bonsai, all the way from Tokyo!

Bill



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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  coh on Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:48 am

The wonders of technology...thanks for posting that!

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  Lost2301 on Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:03 am

I have had one for 3 years now. My first year it almost died in the winter because of spider mites. It only had a few leaves by spring, but it came back during the summer. I tried several things from the garden center and it was not working. The second year it was attacked by white flies during the winter and almost died. I new it was in trouble when the leaves started turning yellow and dropping. Its now in its third winter and it is doing great. I used a systemic insecticide on it and all the other tropicals. I have no bugs of any kind this year, except for a few spiders who are starving.

I tried numerous things in the 2nd year to get rid of the white flies. As soon as treated 1 tree they would move to another. Leaves would start turning yellow and dropping off. I would check the tree and sure enough it had white flies. I ordered a bottle of "Dominion 2L 21.4% Imidacloprid" and it worked great. No more white flies or any thing else thre rest of the winter. I had no bugs during the summer either. I reapplied in fall before bringing the trees in. I have a yellow sticky trap hanging up and all I have caught is wasp.

I have cut mine back hard and it responds well. I repotted it last year and it is doing well. My mother's cat is harvesting the lower leaves. I grow mine under full spectrum fluorescent lights in the winter and the internodes are real close. In the summer it sits outside under a patio cover and gets sun from the west in the afternoon.

Mike

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  drgonzo on Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:51 pm

Lost2301 wrote:My mother's cat is harvesting the lower leaves.
Mike

If it's been treated with 21% Imidacloprid the plant itself becomes toxic, The Dominion 2L is what they use to eradicate subterranean Termite infestations. From my reading the effective dosage for plants is MUCH lower around 1.47%. I remember reading a precaution to keep animals from "grazing" on plants that have been so treated. Other than that I'm glad it worked. Imidacloprid may wind up being my final solution to my epic battle with scale.
-Jay

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  Poink88 on Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:20 pm

drgonzo wrote:Imidacloprid may wind up being my final solution to my epic battle with scale.
-Jay
Jay, Have you tried Neem oil?

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  drgonzo on Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:50 pm

Poink88 wrote:
drgonzo wrote:Imidacloprid may wind up being my final solution to my epic battle with scale.
-Jay
Jay, Have you tried Neem oil?

Yes Dario we're on Neem now actually! But I'm not afraid to take it up a notch
-Jay

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  coh on Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:57 pm

Lost2301 wrote:I have cut mine back hard and it responds well. I repotted it last year and it is doing well. My mother's cat is harvesting the lower leaves. I grow mine under full spectrum fluorescent lights in the winter and the internodes are real close. In the summer it sits outside under a patio cover and gets sun from the west in the afternoon.

Mike
Mike, thanks for your input regarding grewia. How far along is it in the "development" process? (For instance, mine is basically nursery stock, many years of work ahead) Got any photos?

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  Lost2301 on Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:57 am

coh wrote:
Lost2301 wrote:I have cut mine back hard and it responds well. I repotted it last year and it is doing well. My mother's cat is harvesting the lower leaves. I grow mine under full spectrum fluorescent lights in the winter and the internodes are real close. In the summer it sits outside under a patio cover and gets sun from the west in the afternoon.

Mike
Mike, thanks for your input regarding grewia. How far along is it in the "development" process? (For instance, mine is basically nursery stock, many years of work ahead) Got any photos?

The first two years the tree was barely alive. I have let it grow freely for 2011 and have only cut off long branches to keep it in check. It has a nice crown now and probably could be worked on. I have bought a new pot for it and will be repotting it this spring. I can send a photo of it then.

I also purchased another starter tree from a nursery and brought it home. I set it down in the living room and promptly forgot about it. Well I remembered it after seeing most of the leaves turn yellow. The all fell off and have now budded out again. I am getting new branches where the leavers were, which is good. The internodes on this tree were about 1" apart and it looks like there going to be much closer growing under my lights. I am going to try for a cascade design with it.

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  tanlu on Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:58 pm

Hi,

I'm now on my second grewia, but it hasn't flowered yet. The first one died because it was my 2nd bonsai tree ever and I no idea what I was doing. One thing I realize now is that they are very thirsty trees and MUST have some organic material in their soil. My current grewia is also a stick in a pot, but I'm planning to put it outside once there's no chance of frost.

I posted this thread on bonsainut and got some helpful replies!

http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?6672-grewia-as-bonsai&highlight=grewia

T

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  coh on Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:55 am

Thanks for posting the link to that thread. Now I know where I first saw the photo of Bill's tree...

My grewia is blooming prolifically, but is also losing some of the recently produced leaves...they are yellowing and dropping. Doesn't look too serious, but am wondering what's causing that...

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  tanlu on Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:41 am

Hi Chris,

I wish mine would bloom, but it's just a stick in a pot with TONES of long shoots and enlarged leaves. I wonder if it's from just being inside. Is your grewia older?

T

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  coh on Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:50 am

I don't think so...mine is probably a fairly recent cutting. The "trunk" diameter is less than 1/2". When I received it a couple of months ago it looked like it had been pruned fairly recently. It quickly exploded with growth from all over, which extended out 10" or so...then just started produced flower buds everywhere. I could post a photo but it just looks like a tangle of branches. No training has been done yet, and I'm hoping to just let it grow through the summer to put on as much size as possible...then trim it back before bringing it indoors in the fall.

I've got it under a set of fluorescent lights along with several other tropicals. Temps range from upper 50s at night to 70s during the day. I am fertilizing regularly since it has been growing strongly.

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  tanlu on Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:28 pm

Coh, your's sounds just like mine! What kind of fertilizer do you use, and how often is regularly? Is it in a bonsai or nursery pot? Perhaps one of the major differences is that I just keep mine by a bright window instead of under growing lights. My room is quite bright and I get lots of direct sunlight for at least 4 hours a day. When I purchased it at a bonsai nursery it looked so sad with only a few tiny leaves on it. The lady at the nursery was severely misinformed and I think she's been growing lots of her tropicals with in a green with no direct sunlight all year and too much water. It was just $10 so I figured why not. But now I just want it to flower!

T

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  lennard on Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:28 pm

Gentleman G. wrote:Just wondering if anybody on the forum has had any experience with this plant. I read that they can be "cut back hard" if need be, but can they be totally defoliated? Any info or experiences???

Gentleman G

This species is indigenous to my area growing with Buddleja saligna and Olea europea var africana. These trees are frost hardy and goes without any rain from May - September in their natural habitat.

I have dug some trees but getting one with descent taper and an interesting nebari is as rare as......nice pine bonsai here in RSA. The trees grow as scramblers and even with big trees taper is very rare.

The trees can be dug and chopped but building taper the normal way is very difficult because the fast growing new leader fattens up too quickly close to the trunk causing reverse taper. The fleshy new bark/cambium adds to this.

Slowing the growth of the branches by regular pruning helps to lesson the problem. Using sacrifice branches lower down to try and get some taper is not very successful because the sacrifice branch get thicker than the main trunk very quickly.

The tree can be defoliated when it is actively growing and responds well by a lot of back buds and smaller leaves.

This tree is not used very often as bonsai here in RSA but I am experimenting with a few - I do love the flowers.

Here is one of mine showing the thickened area:



Lennard


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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  tanlu on Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:15 pm

Wow Lennard, this is extremely informative! Thanks for contributing to this thread! I really like grewia as bonsai, but I'm thinking I'm going to have to find an alternative to the traditional/typical fat tapering trunk. You say it goes without rain for several months in it's natural habitat, but I find that mine is quite thirsty and will wilt if I don't give it water within 3 days.

Do you have any nice photos of it in the wild? I'm also not getting any flowers yet. How do you make it flower? Perhaps it's not getting enough light?

T

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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  coh on Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:38 pm

Lennard,

Many thanks for the insights from the native region of grewia. Sounds like it's going to be a difficult tree to develop...but at least the flowers are beautiful. One question I have is related to its winter dry period - does the tree shed its leaves during that period? You say it tolerates frost, what kind of winter temperatures are typical in that area? I wonder if it requires a cool, dry winter for proper long-term health.

Tanlu,

In response to your previous message - I've been fertilizing every 2 weeks mostly with dyna-gro 7-9-5. The plant is still in a nursery type potting mix (peat based), so it will be interesting to see how it responds when I eventually get it into a bonsai-type soil. I've got my tropicals under a set of 6 fluorescent tubes which are on for about 16 hours a day. I don't know how that amount of light compares to your set-up. Maybe the plant is still recovering from what sounds like a stressful existence before you obtained it.

coh
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Re: Grewia Occidentalis (Lavender Star Flower) questions...

Post  tanlu on Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:46 am

Coh, I think you're right about it's former stressful environment contributing to me not seeing flowers. It's exploded in large fuzzy leaves on 8" shoots that are still extending. It's in a mix of bonsai and nursery soil. I'm planning to repot it into a larger nursery pot this spring and leave it outside until the first frost. How well does it respond to wiring?

T

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