The rough, pale coloured bark, elongated green leaves and small white flowers are all individually great features of this variety.
The clerodendron bonsai responds well to pruning and wiring, and grows extremely fast in the right conditions.
Although I have not yet grown this variety in all styles of bonsai, I could not see why it could not be easily grown in any style.
Regular pruning is necessary as this tree grows at an alarming rate if left unchecked.
New shoots tend to thicken up fast, so trim back early or remove any unwanted shoots before they create a disproportion in the shape of your tree.
From semi shade to full sun this plant thrives on lots of light. Position out of full midday sun if in a small pot as the Clerodendron seems to lose a lot of moisture from fresh growth and through its foliage.
This tree has quite fibrousy type roots that seem to handle lots of water. As i mentioned above these bonsai do lose a lot of moisture through evaporation, so keeping the water up to them is important.
Luckily your tree will usually give you a warning sign that it needs water, by new growth wilting when its thirsty. It will fully recover in a short period of time if caught quickly.
Add a hand full of slow release fertilizer when re potting in spring.
Fertilise with fish emulsion, seasol or other organic liquid fertilizer every 14 to 30 days during the growing season.
Re pot every year in spring as the roots of this variety will fill the pot quickly. Even after re potting this tree at the best time of year, several seasons it has still caused almost total leaf drop. This doesn’t seem to effect the tree in the long term as it springs back very quickly if looked after.
Prune regularly, keep an eye on any wiring as it will cut in and scar your tree if not removed in time.
Rub off any unwanted growth early and be careful new shoots don’t thicken up too much and become out of proportion with the rest of the branches.
So far the only pest I have come across are small caterpillars that hide themselves between two leaves. Most other pests don’t seem to be interested, so keep an eye out for caterpillars remove by hand or spray lightly with pyrethrum or other natural pesticide
Cures and preventions:
Although not a lot of pests seem to bother the Cerodedron spraying monthly during winter with lime sulphur can help to control any pests in hiding.
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All information on this website is based entirely on my 20 years of experience growing bonsai on the Northern New South and South East Queensland coasts of Australia. Results may vary when bonsai are grown in other locations or conditions.