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Syzygium Paniculatum

How to Care for Syzygium Paniculatum Bonsai (Brush Cherry Bonsai)

If you’re hoping to ensure that your Syzygium Paniculatum bonsai tree grows beautifully and healthy, it’s crucial to keep it up properly.

In this article, you will find a guide to the care of Syzygium bonsai trees (also called Brush Cherry trees).

Syzygium Paniculatum Bonsai Key Facts

Scientific nameSyzygium paniculatum
Common nameBrush Cherry, Lilly pilly
Height3-15 meters
Width2-10 meters
Flower colorWhite
Flowering timeSpring
Soil pH levelAcid, neutral, Alkaline
Soil Azalea bonsai soil, Akadama
LightSunny, light shade, half shade
FertilizerLiquid bonsai fertilizer, Biogold or Hanagokoro
WateringRegular
FruitsRed edible fruits

Syzygium Paniculatum Bonsai (Brush Cherry) Care

Location

Syzygium paniculatum does well outside.

During warm months, when the temperature does not drop below zero degrees Celsius at night, a Syzygium Paniculatum can be grown outdoor. A Partial shade and airy climate are the well-suited outdoor location for Syzygium paniculatum.

Also, this bonsai plant can tolerate full sun. But, in midsummer Syzygium paniculatum should not be allowed to dry out in the full sun during the day.

If you want to grow the Syzygium paniculatum plant indoors then place it at the window so that it can get enough direct light.

 If you put the indoor plant outside in late spring. A shady location is necessary at least for the first two weeks. If it is immediately placed in full sun, its leaves can be burned by the UV light.

Overwintering

Syzygium paniculatum should be protected from severe frosts in winter. The plant can tolerate light frosts down to -5 degrees Celsius for a short time.

This means that bonsai can be overwintered in a light and very cool greenhouse. In the periods of permafrost brief heating is required.

Overwintering at 5-10 degrees Celsius seems to be ideal.

During warm winters, the nighttime temperature should not drop below 15°C, and the day temperature should not exceed 19°C.

In exceptional cases, wintering at 20-23 degrees Celsius is possible, but not advisable.

Watering

During a growing period, the Syzygium paniculatum needs lots of watering. You need to water the plant every day, sometimes twice a day in summer.

Watering it two-three times a week is sufficient in warm wintering and for cold wintering once or twice a week is enough.

While watering, make sure the root ball is slightly dry on the surface. Although the plant is slightly drought tolerant, it should not be kept too dry over the long term.

Also, Syzygium paniculatum does not like waterlogging.

Fertilizing

Mainly, Syzygium paniculatum is fertilized in the growing season (March to September). For this bonsai plant, use fertilizer such as Biogold or Hanagokoro.

You can use liquid bonsai fertilizer, apply twice the amount instructed on the bottle during the growing season. As most liquid bonsai fertilizer does not contain too much nitrogen. 

After repotting, if you have removed many roots, pause the fertilizing for a few weeks. As plants first need to form new roots so that they can be able to absorb the fertilizer.

Also, Fertilizing is not necessary for cold wintering.

Pruning

In pruning, cut the shoots back to 2-3 leaflets. Also, from the end of April make sure not to cut any more until flowering. Because it will remove the terminal flower buds and then only a few flowers will form.

You can start pruning again after flowering but not in winter

To prune the tree as a canopy, regular trimming is required to maintain the desired style.

For larger cuts, apply wound paste to promote wound healing.

Wiring 

It is important to bend a wired branch carefully as the branches of the Syzygium paniculatum are very brittle and easy to break.

The evergreen nature of bonsai plants allows the wire to be laid out year-round. However, late summer is a preferable time for wiring. 

Once the flowering has ended, a stronger pruning can be done, and the bonsai wire can also be applied more effectively.

Moreover, the branches do not thicken as quickly as in spring, so the wire does not press into the branches as quickly.

As brush cherry trees quickly lignify, the bonsai wire is often removed after 3-4 months. 

Make sure not to unwind the wire. When removing the wire, cut the wire into small pieces with cutters.

Also, wire very carefully as the plant is having thin and sensitive bark.

Repotting

The suitable time for repotting is in early March. While repotting use a slightly acidic soil mix. Akadama is the first choice for this. Also, you can use azalea bonsai soil (kanuma) in a soil mix as it is having pH value slightly lowered. A soil mix of 70% Akadama to 30% Kanuma is a good mix.

You can easily remove the old bonsai soil with a root claw or a root hook. While repotting a root pruning is carried out depending upon the root mass.

Also, before filling the new bonsai substrate, the root ball should be attached with bonsai wire through water or wire holes in the bottom of the bonsai pot. This will grow the tree better.

After repotting, as mentioned above, no fertilization for several weeks.

Insects and disease

Syzygium paniculatum is mainly attacked by scale, mealybugs, Caribbean fruit flies, aphids, and red spiders. This can be controlled by using insecticides and fungicides in the form of sprays, soapy rinses, or systemic poisons.

It is best to spray your bonsai plant once every few months with non-toxic insect spray to prevent pests and disease. But soap should be rinsed off the next day. Also, do not spray when the soil is dry.

Aphids: These are soft-bodied insects having pear-shaped bodies. Usually, they cluster on buds, leaves, and tips of shoots. Aphids feed on plant juices which causes poor plant growth and distorted leaves. 

Mostly, insecticides are used to control the aphids. The aphids must be directly sprayed so that the droplets can absorb into aphids’ bodies.

Mites: Mites also like to infest bonsai. The small red or brown spots on branch tips mark a severe infestation. Yellow leaves are also present on branch tips and spider webs appear on branches.

To prevent mites, wipe the leaves of the bonsai plant with dampened cloth.

Scale: Scale is the common insect that attacks the bonsai plant. They are usually identified by brown or black bumps on the branches. The bumps contain insects under a protective wax shell. It also secrets a sticky substance that discolors the branches.

To get rid of scale, prune and dispose of the infected area of the plant. You can also use alcohol-soaked cotton swabs or neem-based oil.

Conclusion 

This evergreen tree or shrub can be grown either indoors or outdoors. If you wish to grow the bonsai outdoors, it is advisable to bring the plant indoors during the coldest month to avoid harsh frost.

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