succulent bonsai

For the discussion of topics related to the conservation, cultivation, propagation and exhibition of cacti & other succulents.
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JaneO
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Re: succulent bonsai

Post by JaneO » Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:15 pm

Regardless of the blue pot, I like it. It looks quite old? Is it?
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Lindsey
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Re: succulent bonsai

Post by Lindsey » Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:59 pm

Colin Walker wrote: I have huge presidential powers that clearly need to be enacted
Father, hear my confession...
... I'm a founder member of the SPBP, The Society for Promotion of Blue Pots
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Adro subviridis, been in bud for weeks
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Mixed Crassula bowl
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Adro triflorus, good colour in sun
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Dot
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Re: succulent bonsai

Post by Dot » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:45 pm

Jim

Your Aeonium in the glazed pot looks like Aeonium sedifolium, are the leaves sticky?

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Herts Mike
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Re: succulent bonsai

Post by Herts Mike » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:38 pm

I know it's a cactus but I think it looks nice in it's Bonsai pot......

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Jim_Mercer
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Re: succulent bonsai

Post by Jim_Mercer » Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:52 am

Dot wrote:Jim

Your Aeonium in the glazed pot looks like Aeonium sedifolium, are the leaves sticky?

Dot
The leaves are sticky - still trying to summon up courage to cut all the stems back to see if I can get it to grow some leaves closer to the "trunk"
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Jim_Mercer
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Re: succulent bonsai

Post by Jim_Mercer » Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:28 pm

Two months later the plant is growing well and now needs pruning and the removal of some new shoots that have grown at the bottom of the stem where I was trying to produce a clear trunk
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MatDz
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Re: succulent bonsai

Post by MatDz » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:18 pm

I'll let myself revive the bonsai thread a little as I just received two of each of Adenium arabicum 'Tiny Ding Dong' (just couldn't resist that cultivar name...) and Plectranthus ernestii in the post yesterday!

As we ended on P. afra, here is a great video, and the channel in general, on training them the bonsai way: https://youtu.be/Gw-vfVCIdV8

And another pretty solid one on Adenium, which I just watched on x2 speed for a general "feel": https://youtu.be/a4EHkfWFYw4 (note the wires going through holes in the pot that hold the plant in)

I'm still looking for one for the Plectranthus!
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Based in London, slowly expanding my modest C&S collection. In love with P. compactum & Co. and columnar Crassulas.
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Re: succulent bonsai

Post by dragonadeniums » Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:41 am

MatDz...I'm starting gentle training with some of my younger ones...this one and another are having branch training. If a strong leader forms, I cut it at an appropriate place - keeping in mind where new branches are likely to grow. If you are trying this, cut the branch at an angle - not straight across the top...it makes for better form later :smile:
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As and when others are ready, they will all get this training. Your Tiny Ding Dongs are best left to do their own thing for a while, if they branch naturally then you can start to work with them. They can be a lot slower to develop than obesums, so a little more patience is required for them. I've found that they like to get quite chunky roots before starting any branching.

For reference, the one in my photos is a one year old obesum in a 4" pot, in a 60/40 pumice/coco mix with a top dressing of pumice.
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Re: succulent bonsai

Post by MatDz » Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:59 pm

I am glad I revived this thread!

I do have I think 4 (would need to check the pot, iirc I started with 5 seedlings, but then 1 sort of "damped off" within the first month) 5 months old A. obesum, so I'll absolutely give them more time. A side question, what's your care for the smaller seedlings? I guess regular watering through the whole year should keep them going, they're also indoor, so temperatures and light are pretty stable.

My 'Tiny Ding Dongs' are about 10 cm tall and 2 and 2.5 cm thick at the base, so I am considering trimming the tops to encourage faster branching, especially as one is pretty much "bald", with only a handful of leaves at the very top. But before I do anything to them, I'll give them a month or so to acclimatise and regain some turgidity.

I see you trimmed at least one branch on your A. obesum, around what size/age do you start doing so?

Edit: Photographs of the 'TDD's, I'm thinking about snapping just the very tip of the left one and shortening the right one by half, hoping for some side shots and the cutting to potentially root into a new plant?

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Re: succulent bonsai

Post by dragonadeniums » Sat Apr 10, 2021 4:05 pm

MatDz, I'd leave your Tiny Ding Dongs for the moment, let them develop naturally. If you try to induce branching now you may end up with a somewhat wonky looking stem as they might just decide to keep growing one branch from the top-most node. From experience I've discovered that Adeniums can be a bit stubborn about branching - especially the arabicums but most of all the somalense ! When they are ready, they will do it...and then you can start to help them. A few of my TDD's have already branched, most have not.
For now keep them somewhere really warm (minimum 20C, hotter is better through the daytime) and super bright. And feed them when you water them (half strength Formulex is what I use, make sure what you use has micro nutrients) I'm not sure what medium you've put them in, but I'd recommend a pumice/coco mix, it's free draining and unlikely to cause any over-watering issues. Adeniums seem to like pumice.

My Adeniums start in a heated propagator - and when they have at least two sets of true leaves I turn the propagator off but leave the lid on for a few more weeks. They are under 6500k LED lights (turned off at night). I see how they are developing and decide when to start feeding them from that...but it's usually fairly early. Keep them very warm (same as mentioned above) and under strong light for best results.
Younger plants probably won't have a dormancy for one, maybe two years - but Adeniums are notorious for doing their own thing ! I'd say that obesums are a bit indifferent to dormancy, arabicums will try for a small dormant period from a very young age, somalense just do whatever they please but it might involve a longer dormancy period...or not. Most of the others (Thai Soco, nova tanzania etc.) are somewhere between arabicum and somalense.

I will only start trimming them if they have already started branching naturally - I take the leader out, and when a new one forms I take that one out too. Branching has a genetic component - some just won't do it and some start really young. The best advice I can give is to be very selective about where you buy your seeds. Better stock = better progeny. Also, there is a substantial cucumber mosaic virus problem in Adeniums which has happened because some nurseries are more focused on bulk quantities rather than quality plants, and also some people value deformed plants for their uniqueness without realising (or caring) how the uniqueness happened - and how dangerous it can be to other species of plants. Unique often equates to expensive, which is an incentive to keep on producing affected plants. Growing from seed won't spare you from cmv if the seed is from affected plants, so always research your source.

These are TDD's at about two weeks old...
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*edited to add the following*
Plastic pots will be better for them at this stage, the terracotta ones are too restrictive and can stay too wet.
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