Author Topic: Questions from a complete newcomer  (Read 1625 times)

secretlyacactus

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Questions from a complete newcomer
« on: August 09, 2014, 01:57 AM »
Hello all!

I am a self professed newbie to bonsai. I've spent quite a while growing and propagating cactus, which I know quite well, and have volunteered at a variety of gardens, but have never spent any time with bonsai. I'm wildly interested in it, and would love some advice.

I'm currently a college student, and live in university housing. So, outdoor space in terms of a balcony or greenhouse aren't really options. I live in zone 6b, which features incredibly hot, arid summers and cold, harsh, long winters. I am open to both deciduous or evergreen plants, and want some input on, well, everything, I guess! I was gifted with the book "Indoor Bonsai for Beginners' by Werner M. Busch (fitting name) but was looking for additional sources.

So I guess my main questions are, what might be a good species of tree to grow in my zone? What are some good resources about indoor bonsai? What are you guys' personal preferences? Or, any other useful information to impart upon me.

Thanks!
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Questions from a complete newcomer
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2014, 10:42 AM »
I find indoor growing to be more difficult and quite limiting as to the species that will tolerate indoor conditions.

In your zone you've got quite a lot of options, for outdoor species.  Trident maples and JBP are fairly bulletproof, if you can find an outdoor spot.
 

Anthony

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Re: Questions from a complete newcomer
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2014, 11:53 AM »
SAC,

these two will grow indoors, once they have good light -

[1] Buddleja indica [ was Nicodemia Diversifolia ] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddleja_indica

Image below, shrub is between 17 to 20 years old, trunk is 1 inch plus. Flowers are heavily scented at night.
It is supposedly an old time Victorian plant.
Mother plant was grown in Philadelphia, in a dorm, with a window facing west.

[2] Malpighia punicifolia [ weeping form ] flowers similar to the m.emarginata [ Barbados or West Inidian cherry - edilble, tasty cherry , very high vit. c. content ] but fruit is smaller and inedible.
Apologies no images.
Also grown in the same dorm. You could also try the M.emarginata
Good Day
Anthony
 

DougB

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Re: Questions from a complete newcomer
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2014, 12:14 PM »
Being in a college dorm room and all of your studies and activities makes it very difficult.  An option to consider is to volunteer at one of the best bonsai collections in the country, The Pacific Bonsai Museum http://pacificbonsaimuseum.org/.  And of course join the local bonsai organization,http://www.psba.us/
 

Sorce

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Re: Questions from a complete newcomer
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2014, 01:18 PM »
Excellent responses.

Anthony, I love that you are able to bring these not so well known species to light. Along with your diligence in study, I trust these are interesting trees that will survive indoors. Thank you!

I grow orange, ficus benjamin, and ginseng ficus successfully with just window light.

Any tropical can be ok for a few years. The slow indoor growth will likely fit your schedule, and when you move on you will know exactly how to make them take off, and complete your design.

Put a couple of cactus in front of them, and it is highly unlikely they will be disturbed!  ;)

Find a rooftop to study on, grow em up there!   ::)

Welcome!

Sorce

 

Anthony

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Re: Questions from a complete newcomer
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2014, 01:52 PM »
Sorce,

thank you. My brother-in-law has some almost 10 year old succulents in 1' [ thimble pots from Bonsai at the Monastery ].
Growing at an eastern window, and as close as can be had for tree-like shapes [ not the Elephant Bush from SA ]
Watering is once a week, he soaks them in a small cup filled with water.

Perhaps SAC has some succulents he can grow as Bonsai ?
Good Day
Anthony