The camellia bonsai: because the bonsaists prefer it
Flower bonsai particularly appreciated for its harmonious growth habit, the camellia bonsai stands out for its beautiful and fascinating flowering. Among the bonsaists, it is very widespread due to its ability to be molded without resistance and without suffering. Derived from the camellia, an evergreen plant characterized by large flowers that appear on the apexes of the newly born branches, it offers shiny green leaves, already small in nature, which of course constitutes a fundamental plus for a plant destined to bonsai. The camellia bonsai, a species that is easy to grow and modify according to the bonsai art, fears, however, the cold: for this reason, it needs to be placed in a sufficiently illuminated and sunny position, even during the summer, while in winter it prefers the domestic setting or that of a greenhouse, provided it is not heated. It must be watered throughout the year, since it is an evergreen, taking care to avoid the phenomena of water stagnation, which, causing excessive humidity, could cause root rot. So as for all bonsai, in short, the water must be administered only when the soil no longer shows traces of the previous watering, and therefore it is entirely dry.
When to wet the ground
Furthermore, as far as irrigation is concerned, they must be suspended if frost is announced during the winter. In summer, on the other hand, the water must be supplied only in the evening or early morning: when, that is, it is not very hot, and therefore the soil is able to hold it for longer. The water should be poured directly onto the ground, taking care not to wet the leaves, slowly and gradually, and twice within a few minutes, so that it accumulates in the ground in sufficient quantity. Watering, however, must be abundant in the summer, but must be limited when the buds are about to form. Sensitive, as mentioned, to winter temperatures, it prefers a climate between five and twelve degrees. It is an acidophilous plant, which does not dislike atmospheric humidity. The transplant must be performed, between April and June, once every two or three years, while for the fertilization it is necessary to wait for the flowering: once finished, it can proceed, using organic material. It is necessary to avoid fertilization, instead, both in summer and in winter.
Aphids, cochineal, red spider mites
The camellia bonsai he has to deal with various parasites: cochineals, aphids and oziorrinco, which can cause damage to the roots with larvae, but also red spider mites, which make the flowers wither, leading them to necrosis. Attention must also be paid to thrips, which compromise the health of flowers and jets, while signs of serious problems are the rots of the collar and the root system caused by the fungi, the leaf spots and the hypertrophy of the leaves. About the leaves, they can also be affected by viral infections, while bacterial tumors can affect the roots.
To avoid the appearance of fungi, it is advisable - as always - to reduce excessive humidity: a well-draining soil, in fact, will allow water to flow out as it should, preventing the appearance of water stagnation.
Camellia bonsai: Bonsai pruning
As far as pruning is concerned, training interventions are aimed at ensuring that the camellia bonsai acquire the desired shape, naturally respecting the needs of the species. It must be carried out with carefully cleaned instruments and, if possible, flame-disinfected, in order to avoid infections. If possible, it would be better to clean the blades of the shears (or scissors) after each cut, to avoid the risk that a disease that affects a single branch can spread to others: it is sufficient to rub them with a clean cloth wet with a little alcohol . The cuts will have to be firm, oblique and clean, and will be followed by the application of a cream or mastic aimed at making the healing faster. Over the years, then, maintenance pruning will also be useful, which has the purpose of maintaining the recreated shape by cutting off diseased branches, with irregular or broken lines. As with any bonsai, even for the camellia it could be useful to use a guardian to correct the position of the branches or the trunk. Copper wires, tie rods and weights must be exploited, however, only in the autumn and spring months, that is to say during the period of vegetation, being careful, naturally to prevent the bark and branches from being damaged by the wire. For this reason it must be wrapped in gummed paper. Once applied on the branches (bearing in mind that the younger ones are more elastic and flexible, and therefore easier to correct), they must be left in position for a few months: this is the only way to ensure that, once removed, the branches do not return to the previous position. The leaves of the camellia bonsai can be sprayed with a solution of linseed oil to eliminate any whitish deposits caused by scale insects. It could also be useful to rub the branches with an old toothbrush.