First set of Bonsai

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First set of Bonsai

Postby Kyle GoldCoast » November 23rd, 2017, 1:48 pm

Hi all,
So I've been interested in Bonsai for a couple of years, loving the pictures and designs of some Bonsai and the created landscapes. Ive recently finished my degrees at uni and moving in a full working role and postgrad I've decided to take up Bonsai as well.
Ive done a heap of reading and jumped into different topics on here and seen some great bonsais and topics you've discussed. I do however have a couple of questions if anyone could give me some insight.

I live on the Gold Coast in Queensland and its pretty hot here most of the year and over the summer it gets scorching hot, like 35degrees by 8am we got last summer. Does the misting of the bonsai burn or cook the leafs or branches?
Also in regards to fertiliser I've read a few different things, and I know it might be different for different species but is there a general rule for liquid fertiliser? Every 2 weeks, 4weeks, month or even longer? I know there is changes with season also.
Another thing I would like to know if anyone can give me some idea is the growth rate I should expect over the growing season (spring/summer).
Ive got some new growth already on my Ficus and my Serissa is getting new leafs at the end of branches.

Here is my little collection I've gathered over the past 2 weeks, but I'm sure its going to get bigger over the coming months. I've repotted the Ficus, Serissa and Azalea as they were bought from Bunnings and looked like they hadn't been repotted. Also the pots were actually bowls I bought from Vinnie's, I drilled a hole in the base and added some small bumper legs to them to allow for proper drainage.
Let me know what you guys think.
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Re: First set of Bonsai

Postby robb63 » November 23rd, 2017, 7:26 pm

Hi Kyle & welcome.
Good to see your collection up and running, hope it grows well and multiplies.
I'm in a warm area too and near the coast. A little less heat than you but similar.
Regarding misting on very hot days I do it all through summer and a few times/daily. No problems.
Three years now misting in 40 degree days and no leaf burn or similar issues.
Fertilizing is easiest to follow manufacturers instructions as they vary. However wait a few weeks until
growth starts after you repot, then fertilize. I start at half strength first month then full strength.
Helps to keep them in semi shade too strait after repotting, especially if reducing/cutting roots.
If you have no semi shaded areas for the hottest days then a piece of shade cloth will help heaps.
Keep on reading too, info here on this site is great. ie; search button , wiki pages & old posts[my favourite]
I'm sure you can find a good + helpful bonsai nursery nearby, way better than that hardware joint.
Look forward to hearing how you get through summer
cheers
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Re: First set of Bonsai

Postby shibui » November 23rd, 2017, 7:29 pm

Hi Kyle and welcome to bonsai.
Everyone thinks their area gets hotter/colder/ windier/ etc than anyone else. The Gold Coast may get warm but I think you also have high humidity. Those of us who live inland get plenty of +40C days but with very low humidity so very dry which dries out the trees far more than hot, humid.
Misting does not cook or burn leaves. It can promote fungal growth which may cause black patches on the leaves which is a similar result. Far better to water the roots properly but don't be frightened to water the leaves as well because that can clean the leaves and helps keep the tree healthy. A quick water does not always soak right in. Better to water them then water again after 5-10 minutes. The second water actually soaks in better.
I aim to fertilise every 2-3 weeks but I'm happy if I get them done every month during the growing season.
Another thing I would like to know if anyone can give me some idea is the growth rate I should expect over the growing season (spring/summer).
not sure what you are asking here. We often talk about increasing trunk thickness to make more impressive bonsai. Beginners often talk about length of shoots? I actually aim for my bonsai not to grow. They are great the size and shape they are so why would I want them to grow?
Developing trees are often allowed to grow long shoots to increase the trunk size or to grow a larger bonsai but most are pruned regularly so they don't get bigger. different species also grow at different rates. Ficus might grow 30-60 cm if you let it but serrissa may only grow 20cm each year. growth rates also depend on how well the tree is fed and watered and whether the pot allows plenty of root growth. I don't think anyone could predict growth rates for your trees.

Hope you have success and enjoyment from your bonsai.
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Re: First set of Bonsai

Postby Raging Bull » November 23rd, 2017, 7:49 pm

Hi Kyle,
I'm on the Gold Coast too and have started with bonsai only a year ago. They are all doing well and I've learned a lot and had a great amount of good advice from the good people who seem to always have time to answer a newbie's questions on this forum. :worship:
If you would like to come over and have a look at my set-up send me a message. :tu: I've built a 3 tiered shelf and fitted an automatic watering and misting system to it. With the way my collection is growing I'll have to build another one soon :roll: .
Cheers, Frank.
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Re: First set of Bonsai

Postby Kyle GoldCoast » November 23rd, 2017, 8:05 pm

robb63 wrote:Hi Kyle & welcome.
I'm sure you can find a good + helpful bonsai nursery nearby, way better than that hardware joint.
Look forward to hearing how you get through summer
cheers


Thanks for the input about your experience in summer heat and misting. I've had a search online and there isn't anywhere on the Gold Coast that I can find that is a Bonsai nursery or specialise in Bonsai's so at the moment Bunnings is all I have, and I'm not one to turn down a good old Bunnings BBQ snag.
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Re: First set of Bonsai

Postby Kyle GoldCoast » November 23rd, 2017, 8:12 pm

Raging Bull wrote:Hi Kyle,
I've built a 3 tiered shelf and fitted an automatic watering and misting system to it. With the way my collection is growing I'll have to build another one soon


Thanks Frank. I've built a two shelf table for my Bonsai set and doing the last coat of varnish to it tomorrow. How much did your watering set up set you back? Take much to make it? Also have you found any Bonsai place on the Gold Coast?
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Re: First set of Bonsai

Postby Kevin » November 24th, 2017, 2:04 pm

Kyle GoldCoast wrote: I've had a search online and there isn't anywhere on the Gold Coast that I can find that is a Bonsai nursery or specialise in Bonsai's

Hello Kyle,

A few members from the Gold Coast have recently mentioned "Red Dragon Bonsai Nursery" at Currumbin.
A link to their Web page is attached below:

http://www.reddragonbonsai.com/

Welcome and Happy Bonsai'ing,
Kevin
Last edited by Kevin on November 24th, 2017, 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First set of Bonsai

Postby Raging Bull » November 24th, 2017, 7:17 pm

Hi Kyle,
I bought all the bits and pieces for my watering system at the big green shed(where else?). It has only a simple two outlet auto timer on it and the rest is black poly-pipe to which I've fitted micro irrigation fittings. It wasn't very expensive and quite simple to make, attached to the shelf unit with cable ties. You can see on the photo the three misting nozzles which are on one line and the micro sprinklers on the other line. The timer was less than $30, but I'm going to upgrade the watering system to one with more outlets as my collection has increased since I've built it, and end of summer I'll be away on a holiday. I've also covered it with shadecloth with a roll down blind at the front which I found works very well, as the trees are thriveng. Hope this helps you.
Cheers, Frank.
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Re: First set of Bonsai

Postby Kyle Goldcoast1 » September 23rd, 2018, 9:55 pm

Hi all!

So after a little drama and around 6-8 weeks of neglect i felt like giving an update on my first set of bonsai. I have grown my bonsai collection and found that I enjoy taking bowls and pots from op shops and adding small pre-bonsai to them. With my budget I am yet to get a larger bonsai, however I am in the process of growing and training a hibiscus bonsai (a post will come soon).

Anyway here is an update of my very first bonsai, the Serissa. She is been cared for and hen neglected, and this coming spring to summer I am going to be taking much more care and even keeping up with fertiliser scheduling (I have only added fert 3 times over 12 months).
The series did thrive for several months but lately has been dropping some yellow leaves and looks a bit frail. I repotted it today and did some re-structure, which turned out bad as I split a trunk. With a bit of quick fix raffia tape hoping the split heals and I still have a trunk in a few weeks.
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Re: First set of Bonsai

Postby Raging Bull » September 24th, 2018, 10:31 pm

Hi Kyle, good to see you're still bonsai-ing. If you need personal advice why not come along to the Gold Coast Tweed Bonsai Club. We meet once a month at Eleanora and there is a friendly helpful bunch of people there.
Cheers, Frank.
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Re: First set of Bonsai

Postby shibui » September 24th, 2018, 10:33 pm

You need to know that leaves only last a finite time before they get too old to work properly. in the meantime new leaves have grown. Then the plant sheds the older leaves. On pines the cycle takes 3 years, some broadleaf evergreens drop leaves after 12-18 months. Maybe your Serissa dropping leaves is part of the natural cycle of growth and renewal. Current leaves look healthy.
Your wiring and shaping efforts are reasonable and should improve with practice.
I doubt that there's anyone who has been doing bonsai for more than a couple of years who hasn't broken a few branches while attempting a bend :oops:

Clubs are a great source of practical help if you can get to one occasionally.
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Re: First set of Bonsai

Postby Raging Bull » September 25th, 2018, 8:16 am

Hi Kyle,
My serissa was looking a bit sparse over winter too. Now with spring it's opened a lot of flower buds and is continuing to do so. Once the flowering has decreased I'm sure it will put on new growth. I have also found that the serissa is very brittle, and I've cracked or broken a few branches too :whistle: . I don't wire mine any more, I use the clip & grow method to get the branches headed in the direction I want them to.
Cheers, Frank.
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Re: First set of Bonsai

Postby Beaumatsu2 » September 26th, 2018, 2:37 pm

Hi Kyle,

Glad to hear you’ve started Bonsai.

I used to live on the Good Coast but I had to move away for work. I just thought I’d add that there is a fantastic club on the Gold Coast which is called the Gold Coast - Tweed Bonsai club. Here is a link to their Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/groups/1830683553871411

Red Dragon Bonsai Nursery is also fantastic for your Bonsai supply needs.

I hope you have a great Bonsai journey.


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Re: First set of Bonsai

Postby Kyle Goldcoast1 » October 3rd, 2018, 8:33 pm

Raging Bull wrote:My serissa was looking a bit sparse over winter too. Now with spring it's opened a lot of flower buds and is continuing to do so. Once the flowering has decreased I'm sure it will put on new growth. I have also found that the serissa is very brittle, and I've cracked or broken a few branches too :whistle:
Cheers, Frank.


I have slightly neglected my bonsai over the past 6 months as I finished my uni studies, but aiming to keep up with regular fertiliser schedule and maintenance.

I will try and post updates of new bonsai projects and progressions soon, I'm wanting to do a water fountain bonsai landscape, a unique pot landscape and one of those juniper with partial deadwood (need to investigate this technique more)
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