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Planters’ Choice: Bonsai Real Leaf

RealLeaf on 2/9/2019

Friends of RainyDayMagazine gave us a bonsai kit for Christmas. We sowed them on New Year’s Day and will be chronicling our bonsai journey…for many years, apparently.

Real Leaves

All of the bonsai tree types germinated after about six weeks. A week under the full-spectrum LED increased the grow rate, and many of the seedlings are on their second sets of leaves. These new leaves show more of the individual characteristics of the specific plants.

To show what they look like now and how they hopefully will appear many years down the road, we have paired the images of the seedlings now with the mature plant counterparts on the packaging…no pressure 🙂

“Let me introduce myself, as we’re going to be neighbors for a long, long time…”

Flame Tree : Delonix Regia

The Flame Tree is one of the world’s most colorful trees. Its leaves are pinnately twofold (we looked it up) and look a bit like ferns. We can see that even with the first set of leaves.

In its natural state, the tree is a fast grower and takes on a natural umbrella shape.  The flame tree does not tolerate frost and needs temperatures between 50° F / 10° C and 68° F / 20° C in winter, so it is won’t  survive in New England unless it is grown inside as a bonsai.

Bristlecone Pine : Pinus Aristata

Most people know the Pine as a tall tree with a great scent. What many (us included) don’t know is that pine trees are especially popular for Bonsai. This is because they stay green all year, have interesting needle-shaped leaves, and will grow in harsh conditions.

What is also fascinating is that pines are extremely long-lived, and an individual tree can survive for thousands of years. In 2012, a bristlecone in the White Mountains of California was determined to be over 5,000 years old!

Norway Spruce : Picea Abies

Another popular varieties of bonsai is the Norway Spruce. Its needles make for ideal cloud pruning, and the trunks can easily be shaped and styled (or so we have been told). We look forward to learning the techniques and developing our skills with this one.

Black Poui : Jacaranda Mimosifolia

The Black Poui is also known as Blue Jacaranda.  This tree is native to South America, but because of its beautiful, long lasting blue-purple flowers, it can now be found all over the world. It is absolutely stunning as a bonsai and we really look forward to cultivating this one!!!

We will continue to chronicle the progress of these seedlings periodically.

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