Article by Lee Dobbins
The Brush Cherry can add wonderful color as well as interest to your garden. This evergreen shrub will enhance your gardening efforts by yielding puffy white flowers along with round berries all in contrast with it’s glossy leaves which can have a lovely red tint.
The Brush Cherry Bonsai is an evergreen shrub that loves a warm climate like that of it’s native Florida. They do grow best outdoors, but if you live in a cold climate and simply must have one, you can try growing one indoors provided that you can give it enough light. This shrub can grow to upwards of 35 feet in it’s natural state, but will reach a height of about 14″ as a Bonsai.
If you are thinking about planing a Brush Cherry in your garden, be sure that the winters will be mild. The tree does fine in hot weather but ideally should be grown in temperatures ranging from 46 to 68 degrees.
Plant your Brush Cherry Bonsai in a slightly acidic soil and be sure it gets plenty of water in summer months, but don’t over water it. You should give it enough so that the soil is moist, but not so much that there is standing water in the pot. Let the soil dry between waterings. Bonsais love humidity so you might want to mist your plant and use a humidity tray. The bonsai should be set on top of the humidity tray so that it collects water that drains from the freshly watered bonsai.
Fertilize your Brush Cherry Bonsai every two weeks during the summer and a couple of times over the winter. The best type of fertilizer to use is an organic liquid fertilizer such as a seaweed fertilizer or fish emulsion. If you use a chemical fertilizer make sure you dilute it to half strength.
Pruning should be done with care and kept to the summer months. Pinch the leaves with your fingers and try not to use sharp objects like sheers on your Bonsai. Your Bonsai should be wired during the active growing season. Don’t forget to prune the roots as well, the Brush Cherry can survive quite well even with a two thirds loss of roots so you can be a bit aggressive in this task, however you want to be sure not to prune them too much when repotting as this can cause a negative reaction.
Bonsais should be repotted every two years, and the Brush Cherry is no exception. Repotting should be done in early spring and the plant should be watered thoroughly and kept in the shade for several weeks after repotting to help the roots grow into the new pot.
Although it is fairly hardy, pests can be a problem with the Brush Cherry especially the Caribbean fruit fly, aphids, red spider mites, meal bugs, and scales. You should treat your Bonsai with organic pesticides and insecticides and be sure to inspect it regularly for pests and other disease.
To add the finishing touch to your beautiful Brush Cherry Bonsai, think about adding moss to the pot which will help improve moisture retention as well as add to the beauty of this fun garden plant.
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for many gardening online publications. Visit Bonsai.garden-corner.com for more articles on Bonsai care.
Maintaining a bonsai garden is fun and easy with these DIY tips from a bonsai garden professional – free video. Expert: Mike Hansen Bio: Mike Hansen, owner of Midwest Bonsai, has been growing, caring, selling, and instructing others in bonsai care for years. Mike is an expert bonsai master.