Pine Garden Bonsai Co.

20331 S. R. 530 NE
Arlington, WA 98223
phone (800) 746-3281, (360) 435-5995; fax (360) 435-4865

Care of Shipped Tender Plants
Copyright ©1996 Pine Garden Bonsai

When your Serissa, Fukien Tea, Ficus- of whatever species- Sageretia, or any other tender plant, arrives, expect that it will have lost some leaves and look somewhat dry.1 This loss of leaves is likely to continue for as long as two weeks, and will probably go on while new leaves are being formed.

1. Watering: Water the tree thoroughly, preferably by immersion2, alternatively by gently watering until water runs out the bottom of the pot. Then, do not water again until the top of the soil becomes dry. Mist the leaves and trunk of the plant three times daily for the first week after its arrival. Then daily thereafter. We recommend that the product "Superthrive" be added to the misting water, in the concentration recommended on the bottle.

2. Location: During the first week that the tender plant is in your care, place it indoors where it will get bright light but not direct sun. After about ten days the plant can be moved to a position, indoors or outdoors (in summer) more suitable, according to the instructions attached to the plant. When fear of frost has passed, tender trees can be placed outside in dappled shade. Beware, however, that watering needs can change drastically once the plant is exposed to drying breezes. Never place plants over a direct heat source, or in a dark corner.

3. Feeding: Do not feed your plant when it arrives; wait until six weeks have elapsed to begin feeding.3 Feeding is a spring and summer activity. After six weeks have elapsed, begin with a one fourth strength, indoor plant fertilizer, such as Peters, Agro, or Miracle Grow. Fertilize every time you water. The different kinds of fertilizer sticks are good too.

4. More Information: We recommend Paul Lesniewicz' book, Indoor Bonsai for fine tuning of how to care for your tender tree. See also our web page: Recommended Bonsai Books.

1. We have given considerable thought to whether to encase tender plants completely in plastic and thus keep them moist while they are in transit. Our decision is that mold is much more damaging to bonsai than temporarily drying out; therefore we ship them with the container itself covered with plastic, but the plant uncovered.

2. Find a pan big enough for the container, make sure it is free of soap by rinsing it four or five times, place it in the sink and fill about 2/3rds with water. Now immerse the bonsai in its container in the water, up to the lip of the pot. Leave in the water for about five minutes; allow to drain.

3. The roots are shaken and damaged during travel. Only when new fine roots have grown out are they able to take up nutrient.

Go to our best in tools, containers, and stock.

Copyright ©1996 Pine Garden Bonsai. Last updated 16 Nov 96 eb

Info Plaza Pine Garden Bonsai home page