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TOPIC: New to the bonsai side

New to the bonsai side 2 years 2 months ago #25797

I'm new to the art of bonsai however not growing seeds. I am a green thumb. I'm looking to grow bonsai's from seeds and i will eventually start to buy them from nursery stock. I'm a student(Bonsai's are very expensive). So i'm choosing the cheaper option for now. I'm from South Africa and i'm eager to learn as much as i possibly can about bonsai's.
I am receiving the following seeds tomorrow :
  1. American Elm
  2. American Sweetgum
  3. Amur Maple
  4. Tree Wisteria
  5. Chinese Juniper
  6. Common Juniper
  7. Japanese red pine
  8. Red Swamp Maple
  9. Scotch Pine
Any help with this would be great. Yes i know it will take a long time for these tree's to mature , but that's not an issue.
  • EagerLearner
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New to the bonsai side 2 years 2 months ago #25810

Hey there.
I am from South Africa as well. Durbs for now actually.
I have been growing/trying to grow trees from seed for a few years now with much success.
I see that you have chosen trees that are not indigenous to S.A.

Yes i know it will take a long time for these tree's to mature , but that's not an issue.

This is not your first challenge/issue.
The germination of these seeds are.
Remember that we have a tropical/subtropical climate and the U.S for example, can vary from group A to group D on Koppen climate classification. From tundra to steppe/prairie (in S.A we call it savannah/veld), and even swampland and flood plains to deserts and evergreen forests.

Taking your Elm seed as an example, there a many cultivars and even more subcultivars. Some of which will require stratification and others not.
Some might require moist, cool stratification and others harsh sub zero periods to prepare to germinate.
Time period for stratification? Anything from 3 to 6 months, maybe less, maybe more.
Medium? Soil, sand, moss, peat, hay, water, paper, and I am sure there are many more.
All these variables to consider when trying to germinate seeds that are not indigenous to S.A can be daunting but oh so satisfying. :cheer:
I wish you the best.
A.J
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New to the bonsai side 2 years 2 months ago #25811

;)
I managed to find the site that I downloaded a stack of ebooks from about germination.
It should help you.
www.treeseeds.com/growguides
I have attached the one that I used for Elm germination.

Cheers!
A.J

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New to the bonsai side 2 years 2 months ago #25817

Hi Guys
I am also from Africa but in Mozambique. I do not know anyone yet here who is doing bonsai or any club around.
Where do you guys purchase your soil, fertilisers and tools in SA please?
Cheers
Steve
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New to the bonsai side 2 years 2 months ago #25985

Hey there.

No bonsai nurseries on Mocambique you say? Sounds like a business opportunity to me. :cheer:
Go here bonsaiwholesalers.co.za/main/page_home.html
If you are the entrepreneurial type, like I am.

I do not purchase soil or soil mixtures because I like to "roll my own", so to speak, but I have listed the guys that I use for anything else below. They sell soil as well.

Fertilizer is normal plant fertilizer. Because of our climate, I do not see the need to change fertilizer type during colder months.
I use www.neutrog.com.au/bounce-back
Its organic and in our climate my trees never stop growing. It slows down a bit in winter so I just fertilize less frequently.

Tools, fertlizers, soil, pots, advice?
I get that from these guys. stoneage.co.za/
The best in KZN, I think.
I have a second home in Cape Town so if I am down in the Cape I go here: www.bonsaiboyz.co.za/
Bonsai Boyz have quite a few branches around S.A so there may even be one in Pretoria. Give them a call.

I hope this helps.
Cheers.
A.J
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New to the bonsai side 2 years 2 months ago #25992

:) yes its a good business opportunity, unfortunately not for me. I have been trying to promote Aquascaping down here and people are just not interested.
Thanks for the information it does certainly help a lot.
There are so much information that I dont really know where to start :)
cheers
Steve
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New to the bonsai side 2 years 2 months ago #25993

SteveHung wrote: :)
Thanks for the information it does certainly help a lot.

No worries.

SteveHung wrote: :)
There are so much information that I dont really know where to start :)

It depends on what you want to do.
Have you had any experience with bonsai before?
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New to the bonsai side 2 years 2 months ago #26050

My wife had bought 3 Serrisa and all died.

Now she bought a Fujian Tea tree and guess who is looking after it :) So I started to search for information on the web and I came across this Forum read a lot and got more and more interested. I want to buy some more trees out of local nurseries and try to learn the basics. But will start with local ones, I think like the Bougainvillea, Ficus I saw that Builders warehouse has also some Ficus Jinseng so I might start from here... any recomendations?
cheers
Steve
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New to the bonsai side 2 years 2 months ago #26051

Oh, I also have two apple trees. They were grown from seeds. I think i need to open my own thread.
cheers
Steve
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New to the bonsai side 2 years 2 months ago #26053

SteveHung wrote: I saw that Builders warehouse has also some Ficus Jinseng so I might start from here... any recomendations?


Don't buy from wholesale companies, they don't sell bonsai or good starter material.
Don 't buy Ficus Ginseng (unless when it is a normal Ficus, not the one with the ugly fat roots)
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