MAIL-BAG #3:  MARCH 2013

             HOW NOT TO WATER!   Some people think that they know best  .  .  .  or follow the advice of those who think they know best.  They "love" our Hawaiian Lava Plantings and never want to allow them to dry out for fear of killing them! They love them so much that they are willing to argue with me that the plants should always be sitting in water!  They insist because the person who gave them our plants have had "great success" and told them not to follow Fuku-Bonsai instructions that came with the plants!

             There are people out there telling you that Fuku-Bonsai's Dwarf Schefflera can be rooted in water and grown in water!  So we bare rooted an older tree, stuck it in a glass of water, and left it for a full year.  Here's what it looks like after we cleaned it up, set it in a glass dish with some chunks of black high velocity pumice ejecta. 




          The glass dish is 6" long x 4" wide x 1 1/2" high. The plant was positioned in the dish to best show the entire tree --- especially the roots!  It's alive after sitting in water for a year.  The original compact leaves are still on the tree.  Three long stem compound leaves have developed during the year and with the start of the growing season, new leaves are starting.

          A closer view of the roots.  Note that only portions of the original roots have not rotted but there are no mid-sized roots.  Fine roots seem to be emerging, but the tree really cannot be considered healthy or growing well. This trial shows that Dwarf Schefflera is a very durable plant that can survive poor care.  But mistreating a plant that is valiantly surviving should not be the goal!  We strongly recommend soaking our Lava Plantings (and potted bonsai) once per week for 30 minutes and after it is almost completed dripping, to place rock plantings on a bed of dry gravel and potted bonsai on a dry surface.  Do not water in mid-week. In very dry areas, place it in a bowl on dry or only slightly damp gravel. The higher sides retain beneficial humidity.

          Dwarf Schefflera can survive terrible care and conditions, but if given proper care,  they will thrive and bring joy!



        This past Christmas, Tita gave Joseph an "outdoor" and an "indoor" bonsai and this started his interest. He looked up bonsai on the Internet, found Fuku-Bonsai, and had us on his list when they vacationed here. 

        Meet Tita Comeaux-Fortier and Joseph Fortier of Hood River, Oregon who are the newest members of the True Indoor Bonsai Study Group.  They start with 3 of our Introductory Workshop Packages and were introduced to the basic concepts by workshop manager Edison Yadao who demonstrated and guided them through as they each did one.  It included a demonstration on how to take and root a cutting.

         We'll ship the two completed ones plus a third kit to their home and look forward to their report as they complete the third one there. 

         There is no workshop fee for members of the Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation and the 3 kits are very cost effective as there is free FedEx U.S. shipping when 3 or more are sent to the same address.   We hope they will consider offering to teach others and that one day we will have instructors in all parts of the country.  For those not able to visit us in Kurtistown, we invite you to join our study group to get needed personal attention and assistance!  



*** Return to the March 2013 issue of Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai
*** Go to Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation home page
*** Go Fuku-Bonsai home page

       Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation and Fuku-Bonsai, 2013