Who says that you have to travel far just to get a taste of the tropics? All you really need is to get yourself a Hawaiian Umbrella bonsai. It should do the trick of giving your place that coveted tropical feel.
But where do you think this bonsai tree originates? Answering Hawaii would be instinctual because duh, it says so in its name. This species, however, actually hails from Australia and is common in some parts of Southeast Asia.
Now that we got the name cleared up, have you ever seen a mangrove tree? The Hawaiian Umbrella has a similar-looking root system with leaves that are radially arranged and a trunk that is delicate-looking. This evergreen shrub is also typically grown as a rock bonsai. It is a flowering plant that belongs to the Araliaceae family and has a Latin name of Schefflera arboricola.
Too, the Hawaiian umbrella has a dwarf version that is better for turning into a bonsai. But it does not produce hardwood or any rough bark, making it one of the softer available bonsais. Nevertheless, it is a great specimen if you are still a beginner and not yet comfortable with wiring techniques. You will find that it is also simple to prune this bonsai into stunning shapes even without the use of wires.
Symbolism of the Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai Tree
Frequently found in China, this bonsai is believed to be a harbinger of good fortune to the home. The leaves themselves are symbols of positive energy and vibes. It being umbrella-shaped is said to bring a sense of protection from external attacks and attracts massive wealth. While these may all be assumptions and pretty subjective, there is no denying that having a Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai Tree can make your home look exceptional while emitting a relaxing feel whenever you gaze upon it.
Types of Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai
There are several common types of Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai Tree and varying conditions in which each of them can grow. Some of these are:
- Brussels Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai: This type is quite popular among bonsai enthusiasts because of its high quality yet inexpensive price. Many also prefer it because it requires minimum maintenance and easily grows even under dim light conditions.
- Dwarf Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai: This variety might just be the most common type used for bonsais.
- Lava Rock Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai: This is a special variety that is usually patented. It is a good choice to use for indoor growing and decorative purposes that adorn tables and desks.
How to Care for Your Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai Tree
When it comes to beauty, the Hawaiian Umbrella is indeed very easy on the eyes. It is even easy to care for and propagate because of its many characteristics that are appropriate for beginners. When cared for properly by providing it with desirable conditions and meeting all its requirements, it can easily live for a century (and maybe for longer!). Some of the important things that influence its lifespan include pruning, fertilizer application, and repotting.
Position and Lighting
Sunlight plays a crucial role in your Hawaiian Umbrella’s growth, survival, shape, and pattern. And although a regular and adequate dose of sunlight is essential, your bonsai can still survive in dim indoor light settings. A surprising effect of more sunlight on your bonsai is that the stalk will become more compact while its leaves will grow smaller in size. So if you place your Hawaiian Umbrella bonsai somewhere that light is extremely dim for long periods of time, the leaves will become bigger and the stalks longer, which might ruin the overall shape and charm of the tree.
Temperature and Humidity Requirements
You can keep your bonsai inside your house all year round. The ideal temperatures for your Hawaiian Umbrella to thrive are from 18 degrees Celsius to 22 degrees Celcius (or about 65 degrees Fahrenheit to 72 degrees Fahrenheit).
Even if it tolerates low humidity and dim lights, they will still grow better if they get enough light. In the winter, when your windows are open for ventilation, make sure that your bonsai is not exposed to the cold drought, and that temperature will not fall under 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit).
Soil and Fertilizer
Normal bonsai mixed soil is enough to drive your Hawaiian Umbrella bonsai to grow beautifully and healthily. Your bonsai may also require soil that has the ability to stay moist and a bit wet for long periods of time. Adding moss can help tremendously in this regard.
For the reason that bonsais are kept in small and shallow pots with a little amount of soil, you will need to fertilize yours frequently. Now, there are two forms that you can choose from: the liquid fertilizer or the solid fertilizer. The liquid one needs to be applied weekly throughout the growing season. When winter comes, though, you can reduce feeding your bonsai to once a month to give it some time to rest. On the other hand, the solid fertilizer only needs to be applied once a month during the growing season. You can skip fertilizing altogether during winter.
No matter the type of fertilizer, though, make sure that you water your bonsai immediately afterward. Doing this is especially important with liquid fertilizer. Failure to water your bonsai will lead to root damage because of the concentration of salts found in your fertilizer.
The amount of water depends on whether the water flows through the holes of your bonsai pot. This is essential due to the salts mentioned previously. You have to keep the soil a bit moist but not to the point of watering it excessively. You can add a humidity tray along with pebbles and stones to help you out.
Additionally, always check that water is not trapped at the bottom of your container or moisture tray, as this can lead to the rotting and potential death of your bonsai.
- Prepare the soil first. But you can propagate Hawaiian Umbrella bonsai trees with soil or water.
- Proceed with stem cutting using a sharp tool that can cut the stem in one try.
- Cut the stem piece just above the leaf node. The length should be around four to six inches.
- Trim the bottom leaves but make sure to leave enough for normal growth purposes.
Pruning and Wiring
Your Hawaiian Umbrella bonsai can develop well if you perform thoughtful pruning. New shoots grow from the axil and will point in a similar direction to the leaf below the cut. You can also defoliate your bonsai as long as it is healthy. Make sure that you also cut off the tips of the twigs. Doing so will give you numerous new shoots that increase ramification and smaller leaves.
Make sure not to bend your Hawaiian Umbrella bonsai’s trunk so strongly as it is likely to snap. But the younger shoots are more flexible and can be wired with less risk of breakage.
Generally, you can go without repotting if you do not see the roots of your Hawaiian Umbrella bonsai getting out of the pot through the drainage holes. But your Hawaiian Umbrella being an evergreen bonsai, its roots grow at a normal speed and will only require you at least three to four years before repotting. However, it is advisable to repot your bonsai tree every two to three years.
With this purpose in mind, you can opt for using a water pot. Inland water pots are becoming popular and very common when growing bonsais. It is similar to any ordinary bonsai pot with a slight difference that it has a partition that makes two portions inside a single pot.
The bigger pocket of water pots has all the parts of your bonsai tree, including the roots and soil. The smaller of the two is like a small pool which is ideal for mirroring major features of your bonsai in a detailed manner. Using water pots is also helpful in keeping the soil moist all the way. And aside from their health benefits, water pots serve a decorative purpose. The idea is that the branches and leaves of your tree will provide shade to the pool area with a small object floating in the pocket of the pool.
Check out all the available pots that we offer here!
Pests and Diseases
Not only is your Hawaiian Umbrella bonsai tree aesthetically pleasing, but they are also one of the bonsai trees that are insect and pests resistant.
Scales may appear from time to time, but it is nothing that any normal insect preventer cannot fix. It is advisable to use an oil-based insecticide to remove these infestations from your bonsai.
Many bonsai experts also suggest spraying a Hawaiian Umbrella bonsai, especially its trunk, after every few weeks or days. Performing this will guarantee minimal insect attacks and a bonsai tree that is strong and healthy.
Start your bonsai journey today by visiting our shop and getting all the essentials! Shall we start you with a small bonsai tree?