MAILBAG - MARCH 2014

                As you can tell from the full range of articles, it's been an interesting month.  Since we began the Journal of Tropical and True Indoor Bonsai, I've heard from many more of our customers that may not have contacted us in the past.  Some have actually been under watering and the trunks are shriveled even though the leaves are green.  They report the tree looks better when they soak the plant for several days as I've been advising those with shriveled trunks and the trunks are now nicely rounded and plants doing well.  I think I'm getting the word out to not over-water, but there's still some of that when they take the advice of those who are not familiar with Dwarf Schefflera.

               I think that Dwarf Schefflera requires very different care from most plants.  First of all, it's a tropical and needs to have a very porous potting mix.  But it doesn't like loose soil and I think most who are transplanting don't tie down the plant and don't pack in the potting media enough.  Dwarf Schefflera seems to love it when it's root-bound and really doesn't need frequent repotting.  So if you're visiting the Big Island, please visit and I'll be happy to talk story and help answer any questions.

              This month I share with you an interesting photo from Barry Grayson who sent the photo in last month's mailbag.  His dwarf orchid blooms! Barry lives in Manhattan and I think that's the top of the Empire State Building behind the building in the center of the photo so he's quite a way up high.  

 

       The tree was a joint project several years ago when he was renovating his plant room and wanted a tree that was very different from all of his other bonsai.  Most trees are upright so I suggested a new type of cascade like I used to see when hiking in eroded hills with gullies. 

        Occasionally I'd see trees that were bare-rooted by erosion with long roots that were blown back and forth by winds.  At that time, I was just starting to train "Roots" and thought it would work if I simply let if fall over the edge of a pot and create it's own crown. 

         Barry like the idea and we found a nice tall pot on the internet and had it shipped to him.  I created a temporary wooden pot and when I thought it was ready, it was shipped to him and he completed the planting and shaping.  I had almost forgotten about it and delighted to receive the photo when the dwarf orchid bloomed!

        Nice tree and orchid Barry!  Mahalo!

 
Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation and Fuku-Bonsai, 2014