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Planters’ Choice: Bonsai Update

Fall 2019

Friends of RainyDayMagazine gave us a bonsai kit for Christmas. We sowed them (the bonsai, not the friends) on New Year’s Day and will be chronicling our bonsai journey…for many years, apparently.

Bonsai Update : Spring 2019

The pine seedlings were transitioned to the outside by the start of June. We kept them in the shade at first and made sure they were well hydrated during the change in locale. The brighter natural light, air movement, and other “outside” influences will hopefully help these little guys get well established before we bring them back inside in late Fall.

We have gotten very good at growing other things in the bonsai pots, in addition to the bonsai…

At this stage, we cannot really tell any of the pine seedlings apart; it’s a good thing we had labels on most of them!

The goal is to grow them to three or four inches in height before deciding whether to begin the shaping process.

It’s easy telling them apart; just look at them!

The only plant we kept inside was the black poui (Jacaranda Mimosifolia). We didn’t want to take any risks with it, as it was the only seed of its kind to germinate.

Note to the RainyDayKitchen crew: “This is NOT a rare basil. DO NOT ADD IT TO THE SALADS. Thank you.”

Bonsai Update : Fall 2019

Mostly but not completely good news

Nine months in and we are happy to report that three of the four types of seedlings are still with us!

The only one that failed was the Flame Tree (Delonix Regia). We are not really sure what we did wrong. It was quite vigorous for a while and then just went down hill for no apparent reason.

Black Poui : Jacaranda Mimosifolia

The surprise of the lot is the Black Poui (Jacaranda Mimosifolia). The seedlings had a growth spurt in July and has not looked back. It got big enough for us to start trimming it (to encourage branching).

Maybe some day we’ll have something resembling the photo on the side of Planter’s Choice box.

When does a bonsai turn into “just” a plant? Possibly when it grows to this size.

The rest of the “kids”

All of the pine seedlings are doing great. Some of the seedlings, um, misplaced their labels, but that hasn’t interfered with their growth. One even started branching on its own!

A perfectly sized Christmas tree—for a dormouse.

A petite pine party

One unexpected thing that happened during the Summer was the germination of the tangerine seeds we randomly tossed into a pot of dirt. Now that they are “up,” we hope that they stay healthy and continue growing. A tangerine bonsai tree would be SWEET!!!

“Bob?” “Cheryl?” “Oh my Gawd you look great!”

NOTE: One of the things we really like about Planter’s Choice is their responsiveness: we pinged them regarding our problem with the Flame Tree and they got us replacement seeds right away.

Additional note to the RainyDayKitchen crew: “These are NOT exotic beans. DO NOT ADD THEM TO THE CHILI. Thank you.”

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