Update on Gardenia Bonsai

Gardenia flower

On 28 February 2021, I posted a blog article named “Off the back of a truck”. https://bonsaiplace.net/2021/02/28/off-the-back-of-a-truck/

In that article I speculated about the specie of plant and my guess was correct as it is indeed a Gardenia. It flowered not too long ago, only one flower, but between that and the glassy leaves, the identification is now locked in.

The photos below are of the plant when I found it on the back of a truck on its way to be dumped as well as a photo when it was potted up on that day.

This is now just more than fifteen months later and the photo below shows the growth since the first planting and as mentioned, there was also a flower during the last summer.

The tree has been fertilised regularly, mainly with a liquid seaweed type of fertiliser, but other than that, mainly left alone with a regular watering regime. It is now time to do a bit of thinning of the branches, light wiring where necessary and inspection and a bit of work on the pruning cuts.

There are two things to consider now. The one is to change the angle as shown in the picture below and to even tilt it even more in the direction shown.

The second one is to remove the thinner, lower branch on the right. That might even be done sooner rather than later.

In summary. This is the start and where we are today.

Now it goes back to the bench and another year of watering, fertiliser and providing optimum growing conditions for this tree to thrive.

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Off the back of a truck.

I had to hide the introvert in my today when a small truck went past us and on the back there was a medium sized bush / tree clearly on its way to be dumped. The driver stopped and went into a shop while we waited outside. When the owner came out, I asked him if the tree is going to be dumped and when he confirmed that, I pulled out my Bonsaiplace business card and told him that I can create a Bonsai tree from the tree and he promptly agreed that I could have the tree.

Just a week ago we had a couple came to our private shop who had the idea that Bonsai are a specific type of tree and that you can grow them from Bonsai seed. I love these situations as it allows the educator in me to come out. This man (owner of the tree on the truck) said that it cannot become a Bonsai as it is not a Bonsai tree. Guess what? Out came the educator again.

Anyway, off we went with the tree in the back of the Bonsai mobile, speculating what type of tree it is. On arrival at home, I used a plant identifying app with no succes. In the process of cutting the branches off, I found a discoloured flower which looked very much like a withered Gardenia flower. I guess it is now wait and see and do more research to find its name. During this time it will have to be kept alive.

The tree and Snoopy, my Bonsai apprentice.

It does have some feeder roots and after I cut the branches, left it in a bucket of water to just chill a bit and hopefully get some sap flowing. As I do not like waste, I very cheekily took some of the roots with feeder roots intact and planted that up as well. These I will treat the same way as what I do with Maple root cuttings with which we have had great success.

All is now potted up, watered and in a sheltered position. Tonight I will start with the weekly tonic of seaweed extract to help stimulate more root growth.

On its way to Bonsai status.

The root cuttings with a thickish branch as cutting. That is me trying my luck. Let’s wait and see.

Below are three Maple root cuttings in development.

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