Syzygium Australe, a.k.a brush cherry, is a medium-sized rainforest tree native t parts of eastern Australia. This species is part of the Syzygium genus and can grow to heights of around 35 meters in the wild.
Known for their pink and edible fruits, these trees are often referred to as being quite beautiful. They have simple leaves but combined with white and clustered flowers, possess a unique aesthetic that is quite appealing in the wild or as a bonsai. Apart from this, they are also commonly cultivated as shorter trees or used as hedges for decoration.
Germination in these trees takes approximately 6 weeks depending on various environmental factors such as the soil and weather. Ideal conditions are during the spring months and with moist soil that is slightly acidic. Planting these yourself is also quite easy and all you have to do is remove any flesh from the fruit and plant it about an inch into the soil.
In terms of being grown as bonsai, the Syzygium Australe is quite a manageable species. Perfect for indoor conditions, these bonsai are a great starter for beginners and professionals alike.
This guide is designed to help bonsai enthusiasts learn more about the care of Syzygium Australe Bonsai Tree.
How long does it take to grow Syzygium Australe Bonsai?
Syzygium Australe is known to be a decent grower and will take a few years to grow into its full size. That being said, the exact amount of time it will take to grow depends on various factors such as the pot used, temperature, soil, fertilizer, etc.
That being said, let’s cover some important factors in terms of how you can plant, care for, and grow your Syzygium Australe bonsai. Here are some basics that can assist you in caring for your tree.
Position and lighting
Syzygium Australe bonsai prefer being in semi-shade or full-sun conditions. This is because they benefit highly from sunlight and grow well in these environments. That being said, if you live in a hotter region near the equator, the bonsai shouldn’t be kept in direct sunlight for too long. This is because can lead to damage and burning of the leaves. On the other hand, when it comes to the cold, Syzygium Australe bonsai is quite fragile and will need to be sheltered and protected from winter weather.
Syzygium Australe bonsai thrive in hotter climates, especially during spring and summer. They are quite hardy in these conditions and are great to grow. When it comes to colder zones, however, the Syzygium Australe bonsai need to be kept indoors at all times.
It is suggested that the soil should be slightly acidic to maintain the efficient growth of Syzygium Australe bonsai. Preferably, mixtures of Akadama and Kanuma can be used to obtain the perfect pH levels as well as soil conditions.
To maintain optimal growth of a Syzygium Australe bonsai, fertilizing is quite important. This is because these bonsai require large amounts of nutrients which may not always be available in smaller pots with minimal amounts of soil. The best types of fertilizers for Syzygium Australe bonsai are often general-purpose liquid fertilizers and can be used n a dilated manner. Apart from this, be sure to apply the fertilizer monthly to endure that the soil remains nutrient-rich.
Syzygium Australe bonsai require large amounts of water to remain healthy. Due to this, it is ideal to water them on a daily basis on average while also going up to 2 times a day in the summer months. This can be reduced as winter approaches where the tree can suffice with around 1-3 watering a week.
A good way to keep track of when to water your Syzygium Australe bonsai is by looking at the root ball. When t is slightly dry on the surface, you can water your plant. Along with this, make sure that the soil is constantly moist but also not waterlogged.
How to Plant and Grow Syzygium Australe Bonsai
It’s great that you want to learn how to plant and grow the Syzygium Australe Bonsai Tree. That being said, you must first understand the various Syzygium species and their defining characteristics.
- Syzygium alliiligneum – this is distinguishable by grey bark and cream coloured flowers.
- Syzygium anisosepalum – this is endemic to Peninsular Malaysia.
- Syzygium manii – currently threatened by habitat loss, this species is endemic to the Andaman Islands in India.
That being said, each species is unique and has its own special characteristics. Now, let’s learn how you can plant and grow your own Syzygium Australe bonsai.
Seeds as well as wood cuttings are the most common methods for propagation of Syzygium Australe bonsai.
Pruning and wiring
Pruning is quite easy when it comes to the Syzygium Australe Bonsai. Utilising a sharp pair of bonsai scissors, you should cut back the shoots to around 2-3 leaflets for this. The best time for pruning is after the tree has flowered during spring. On the other hand, it should definitely not be done during the winter months before flowering.
As an added tip for pruning, you should also try to limit larger cuts and snips. This is because these marks will stay for quite some time and may even require a wound closure agent for proper healing.
When it comes to wiring, Syzygium Australe Bonsai are quite difficult to manage. Due to their brittle and fragile leaves, wiring it too often can not only lead to the breakage of branches but also reduce the overall strength of the tree. That being said, if you do plan on wiring it, this should be done near the end of summer as it is the most effective.
Wires can be removed from Syzygium Australe bonsai within 3-4 months as it is quick to become rigid. Also, when removing the wire, make sure it is cut and not unwound as this can lead to damage to the bonsai’s sensitive leaves and branches.
Syzygium Australe bonsai should be repotted periodically to ensure that the tree is in fresh soil and is able to develop a more tight root system. As with most other similar species, it is advisable to perform the repotting once every two to three years. However, this may differ depending on each individual environment and tree so be sure to gauge your bonsai’s growth for repotting.
The repotting process itself is quite easy with the Syzygium Australe bonsai. Best done during the summer, the tree should be removed from its original pot while leaving behind the outermost layers of the root mass. Following this, you can either place it back in the pot or in another pot followed by a covering of gravel for drainage. Once this is done, fill the empty area surrounding the root mass with fresh sol and let it grow. After this, make sure to give it ample amounts of water and it should grow well!
How to Care for Your Syzygium Australe Bonsai
When taking care of a Syzygium Australe bonsai, it is advisable to keep them in warmer conditions throughout the year. This is because they are not very resilient to winter conditions and can easily be damaged. Also, these bonsai prefer soil that is slightly acidic for optimal growth.
Syzygium Australe bonsai are best kept in full sun or semi-shade conditions. That being said, in hotter areas, you may want to avoid keeping them in direct sunlight as it can start to damage the leaves. These bonsai should be watered regularly ranging from 1-2 daily during summer to 2-3 times a week in the winters. As for repotting, Syzygium Australe can be repotted periodically to introduce fresher soil and reduce the root system’s outgrowth.
Pests & Diseases
Pests are a common concern with Syzygium Australe bonsai, and while it isn’t a major issue, you’ll still need to keep an eye out for a few pests. The following are some of the most frequent pests that can harm Syzygium Australe bonsai: –
- Scale – One of the most common pests to affect bonsai trees, these insects are identified by black or brown bumps on the bark and branches. The insects use these bumps are a protective shell and secrete substances that can harm and discolor the bonsai.
- Aphids – Aphids are pear-shaped insects that cluster around the buds, leaves, and shoots of bonsai. They feed on the juices present inside plants and due to this, often stunt the overall growth and health of bonsai.
- Mites – Quite prominently noticeable due to their red or brown color, mites are known to cause severe infestations if left untreated. These infestations cover branches and can lead to discoloration of leaves throughout the bonsai.
While the most prominent type of pests is the aphids, keeping them at bay is quite manageable. For this, make sure you spray your bonsai monthly with light insecticides or fungicides that can kill aphids. If you already have an aphid infestation, be sure to hit them directly with the spray so that they can absorb it into their bodies.