Serissa Foetida Bonsai
The name of serissa foetida is coming from the unpleasant smell generated from its root or stems when they are crushed. Originated from Southern Asia, it is a small shrub which can grow up to about 40-60cm in height. Its evergreen characteristics make it a good choice for bonsai production. The grown serissa shrub will form dense twiggy foliages and produce small white star-like flowers in most seasons in a year except winter. So, this gains another name for this special shrub called “Tree of thousand-stars”. The size of its flower can be up to 15cm and it is a great candidate to brighten up your room as a bonsai.
Serissa foetida is a tree which prefers a subtropical climate to grow. Generally it needs an indoor environment with temperature no less than 5 degrees. It also requires a certain level of humidity to keep it happy. Unpleasant conditions will cause the leaves to turn yellow and drop finally. If the outdoor temperature is ensured to above 10 degrees, it is a good idea to put your serissa foetida bonsai plants outside your house to enable them to absorb adequate sunlight for their growth. In cold days, you need to find a place in your house where enough sunlight is available. Please note that you should avoid putting your trees near a radiator or air conditioning. You should make sure the humidity in you home is high enough to make your serissa plants to grow happily especially in winter times.
You should avoid over-feeding or over-watering your serissa foetida plants. Feed no more than twice in a month to facilitate its growth. If there is no sign indicating that the leaves are growing, stop feeding them immediately. Over-watering is another common issue that most beginners often did. Serissa plants generally don’t like wet roots for a long time. You should check the soil to ensure that compost is not damp before watering your plants. Never let the root soak in water. If you see leaves yellowing and dropping, stopping water them.
If you like to repot your serissa foetida plants, you should do it in the early spring when it is growing rapidly. This can help the plant to establish its root system quickly in the new container. When using serissa foetida as bonsai designing, you should pay more attention to its delicate roots as they can be damaged easily. Before put the bonsai into the container, do a thorough checking for any dead roots. You should trim those branches which point downwards to make it look better.
Imaged Provided By Carsten Niehaus (User:Lumbar) (Own work (I took the photo)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons