Solanum Laciniatum (Kangaroo Apple)

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Solanum Laciniatum (Kangaroo Apple)

Postby MickCBR » December 5th, 2017, 8:19 am

Morning all.

I'm pretty new to bonsai but have decided to give a shot at something.

I have a two meter tall Kangaroo Apple in my yard (the berries make fantastic relish) and I was thinking of trying my hand at bonsai with it.

I have a number of concerns and thought I would see if anyone has any advice.

Kangaroo apple grows in sand, so am I going to be able to effectively limit it's nutrients to stem it's growth? It also grows a taproot which has bulbous protrusions to suck up nitrogen, does anyone have any advice about bonsai'ing taproot plants?

Thanks
Michael.
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Re: Solanum Laciniatum (Kangaroo Apple)

Postby Boics » December 5th, 2017, 11:04 am

Hello Michael.
Quick look at this species shows a lifespan of around 5-6 years.
Might be better to focus on options with greater longevity?
One of the fabulous things about growing bonsai is as you get old and decrepit your trees get old and beautiful
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Re: Solanum Laciniatum (Kangaroo Apple)

Postby MickCBR » December 5th, 2017, 11:33 am

Yeah I have heard that, but the one in my garden is 7 and this year has fruited more than any other.

It also has a dozen or so smaller ones growing around it, hence the thought to give it a shot.
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Re: Solanum Laciniatum (Kangaroo Apple)

Postby Joel » December 5th, 2017, 12:21 pm

Large leaves, long internodes, soft but brittle stems and general habit suggest it would be a difficult species to make a convincing tree out of.

This may be a turn off or a motivator depending on your personality. If you do persist, good luck and take photos!
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Re: Solanum Laciniatum (Kangaroo Apple)

Postby shibui » December 5th, 2017, 9:23 pm

Hi Mick,
I endorse the earlier comments about this species having very soft wood and being quite short lived - probably not ideal for bonsai.

However, should you wish to try:
Most species that naturally develop a 'tap' root do not need it in pot cultivation and persist quite happily without if they are root pruned early. Brachychiton would be one really good example that normally have a very large, swollen tuberous root but tolerate removal well and adapt to pots and bonsai techniques quite well.
Solanum laciniatum grows naturally in this area but not in sandy soils. Here it is a plant of forest gullies and hillsides so I think it would adapt quite well to any good potting mix.
Bonsai usually uses pruning and trimming to control growth rather than limited nutrients. We generally find we get far better results when our bonsai are well fed and cared for.
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Re: Solanum Laciniatum (Kangaroo Apple)

Postby MickCBR » December 7th, 2017, 8:02 am

Thanks for the input everyone.

I agree with the soft branches and long internodes would be challenging but what harm is there in giving it a shot when I already have them popping up uncontrollably.

I will give it a shot and see how I go, if nothing else, some practice.

Thanks again and I will post pics.
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