17 March 2017

Japan Broadcast Corporation visiting us


We are very excited and honoured that Kyoko Matsubara from Japan Broadcasting Corporation, the only public broadcasting station in Japan, will be visiting our nursery on the public holiday, Tuesday 21 March 2017 at 10.30am.
They are visiting South Africa to compile a report about South African Bonsai for their news program, "Good Morning Japan".
This is to commemorate the 8th World Bonsai Convention which will be held in Omiya, Saitama City, Japan in April.
They have requested that we have visitors roaming the nursery whilst they are filming, so please pop in to give them a big South African welcome.

1 March 2017

Bonsai Things to do in Cape Town - March


MARCH 

Month
Mean Rainfall mm
Rel.  Humidity %
Daily Sun­shine Hrs
Temp. Max Celcius
Temp. Min Celcius
March
22,1
73
9,5
25,3
14,2

POSITION
Days are clearly getting shorter but it is still hot and mostly dry although we may have a shower now and again if we are fortunate.
WATERING
The bonsai grower’s most important task is correct watering.
FERTILISING
Late summer is a vital time to feed so that bonsai remain healthy and strong and so that they build energy to enable them to flower and store carbohydrates for winter.
DISEASE CONTROL
Pests are very active and there are more and more types appearing as countries borders become easier to cross see remarks made in February.
PRUNING
Watch the apex of trees, they tend to become too heavy and are the easiest part of a bonsai to neglect as far as pruning and shaping is concerned. Design and maintenance should be a priority.  
POTTING
A number of plants may be potted in late summer or early autumn and recovery, aided by Superthrive is usually efficient. This is also a good time for propagation. Dip cuttings in Dip-n-grow before rooting in a mixture of vermiculite and perlite. 
REMARKS
A good time for bonsai and those responsible for their maintenance. Prepare soils mixes as once the wet weather sets in it is difficult and unpleasant to work with soggy soil and compost.

23 December 2016

How to care for bonsai


Years of loving care have gone into creating a bonsai. With a few minutes of daily attention it will develop, improve and give you a great deal of pleasure for many years.

If you have acquired a healthy and well established bonsai there are six golden rules for maintaining it; 

POSITION 

OUTDOORS
·    Bonsai are easier to care for if kept outdoors and they do better outside.
·    The tree should receive 4 to 6 hours of morning sun.
·    Bonsai may be brought indoors in the evenings or for a few days in order to display them.  If returning them outdoors after a few days inside, put them in the shade initially.
INDOORS
·    Wild figs, brush cherry, Chinese snow rose are some of those making excellent indoor bonsai.
·    Bonsai should be placed where they receive maximum light but not directly against the window allow 30 centimeters from the glass.



WATERING  

Incorrect watering is the commonest cause of the demise of bonsai. Good sound common sense is needed. Trees should not remain bone dry for longer than 8 hours, equally well, soil should not remain sodden. 

OUTDOORS
In summer daily watering is required.
Trees must be thoroughly watered.   Water should be allowed to run out of  the drainage holes.
Occasionally trees may be dunked in deep water, for a few minutes.
In the winter rainfall region:
Trees do not use as much water in winter as in summer.
If there is no rain, water 2 or 3 times per week.  
INDOORS
Water 3 to 4 times per week depending on the temperature of the room.
Create a humid environment by placing the bonsai pot on a tray filled with pebbles, water running through the drainage holes will dissipate between pebbles and create humidity. N. B. On no account should the pot stand in water for any length of time.
Keep foliage dust free with hose or mist spray.      


FERTILISING 

Feed deciduous trees once a month in growing season with Hortisol, take a break in mid winter for a few months.
Fertilise evergreen trees once a month throughout the year.

Flowering and fruiting trees; August to June once a month with Hortisol or 
3:1:5.

Follow instructions on package carefully in order not to damage bonsai. Do not fertilise ailing trees.  The dilution ratio for Hortisol is on the wrap around lable on the bottle which you need to peel off.

DISEASE AND PEST CONTROL  

Scale, red spider mite, mealy bug, black spot etc. are frequently not detected until the tree is seriously debilitated.  For spider and other mites use Seizer 100EC + SK Eco oil spray

For scale, thrips, bugs, aphids and insect pests use No More Insects ready to use or Koinor (Koinor is systemic so only needs to be used 6 monthly).

Fungus infections use Orius 250EWS Systemic, Odeon 720 broad spectrum, or Rose Protector Ready to Use.  

Follow instructions on package carefully, many of the products have instructions on the wrap around lable which you need to peel off the bottle.  

PRUNING 

Due to the fact that you are supplying the tree with all its requirements viz. light, water and fertilizer it will periodically grow and this new growth should be trimmed to keep the tree in pleasing shape. 

Bonsai continue to grow and should improve for the first few hundred years of their lives. 

An important aspect of their development is the formation of a fine network of small branchlets. This is called ramification. In order to achieve this ramification the soft new growth needs to be frequently nipped back. Through this nipping back of the tips of branchlets the development of new and maybe, even extra little branchlets are encouraged. 

Due to this process reduction of leaf size will also occur. On a number of species of trees the first leaf on a new branchlet is smaller than the subsequent ones, therefore, that if the branchlet is cut off after this little leaf, subsequent leaves will be even smaller.
The top of the tree (apex) and the end of branches grow faster than others. If these ends are not continuously controlled by nipping or pruning there will be thicker branches at the top than at the bottom of the tree, instead of the other way around which would be correct. It is vitally important that the top of the tree is meticulously controlled and maintained. In addition the upper branch networks should be thinned out and/or removed to prevent lower branches being deprived of light, a lack of which will cause them to weaken. 

Branches that emerge from the trunk of the tree are called primary branches. Those that emerge from the primary branches are secondary branches, those that emerge from the secondary branches are tertiary - the entire structure is referred to as the branch network. 

When branch networks are viewed from above they should conform – broadly speaking to the overall shape of the tree when it is viewed from the front. This means that those secondary branches nearer the trunk should be longer than those at the end of the primary branch – they should be progressively shorter.

As a rough guide; branches growing directly upwards or downwards should be wired laterally or radically shortened. Generally there should be spaces between branch networks. See the section in the manual; CREATE YOUR OWN BONSAI by Lionel Théron, which refers to branch placement and shapes of branch networks (pages 26 – 29).  The manual is available for purchase in the nursery. 

RE-POTTING 

When you purchase your tree from us you are given a care sheet with a repotting date, the time of year for repotting is limited to certain seasons or months, so if you miss your approximate time you need to wait until the following year.

20 December 2016

Merry Christmas

We are closed on Christmas Day, day of Goodwill and New Years Day but open today and every other day from 9am to 4.30pm.  Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas, enjoy this special time with your families and friends.

Avoid the chaotic shops and parking areas and shop for Christmas in our beautiful tranquil Bonsai garden.  Buy a ready made Bonsai from R95, starter kits from R85 and a wide selection of Bonsai related products.

22 November 2016

Christmas gift ideas


Lots of Christmas gift ideas in the bonsai line. A variety of starter kits, ready made bonsai from R95, bonsai book R135, pots, tools, starter trees in black bags, courses etc. We are open everyday from 9am to 4.30pm except Christmas Day, Day of Goodwill and New Year's Day.

5 October 2016

Garden Day 9 October 2016

We are celebrating Garden Day on Sunday 9 October 2016 from 9am to 4.30pm.