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TOPIC: Brand spanking new seeks advice

Brand spanking new seeks advice 2 years 3 weeks ago #27646

I recently started messing around with Bonsai when I received a very large spekboom. I've had it about 6 months now, but had just been trimming new growth and never did the initial styling. I may have gone a little ham and I'm afraid I cut too much.

We have a very untaken care of rosemary shrub that I decided to cut the dead bits out of, and before I knew it, I was seeing an S shape and was cutting way to much again.

The point of this is to just get some advice and information about what I've done. Thank you for your time! Great site.

First 3 pics are the portulacaria before and after, third pic is the rosemary after. I did not get a pretty photo.

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Brand spanking new seeks advice 2 years 3 weeks ago #27647

The point of this is to just get some advice and information about what I've done


What you have done is not study bonsai. Also, you've not been trying to create a bonsai. In stead, what you have done is try to create a mallsai, probably based on the wrong image people get from seeing commercial plants that are sold as bonsai.

Also, you've probably killed the rosemary. The spekboom will probably live; give it time to recover and grow new leaves.
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Brand spanking new seeks advice 2 years 3 weeks ago #27649

Can u provide any advice as to what I did wrong? It's complex trying to find what to do on your own.

For the spekboom I was seeing many videos on YouTube of people cutting them all the way down like I did. I was focused on getting it to taper from bottom to top.

For the rosemary, the main trunk has a definite S shape. I left the last set of leaves on each branch. Can you explain what I did to the rosemary that would kill it, and what I should have done differently?

I appreciate the quick response, and apologize if what I've done has offended you. I've been a lover of plants all my life, but had never attempted or even looked into bonsai.

Hopefully my future endeavors will be better
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Brand spanking new seeks advice 2 years 3 weeks ago #27650

Cash wrote: For the spekboom I was seeing many videos on YouTube of people cutting them all the way down like I did. I was focused on getting it to taper from bottom to top.


This plant is rarely used for bonsai as it's hard to create a convincing one. However, if you like it, go ahead. Just wait for it to start growing leaves again, give it sufficient time, be patient. However, don't try to create a mallsai - a commercial, cheap product, that isn't a beautiful tree, but a cheap looking copy, that needs stones, rocks, moss as decoration to make it look better than what it is.

For the rosemary, the main trunk has a definite S shape


A symmetrical S-shape is seen in mallsai and something you definitely don't want in bonsai.

I left the last set of leaves on each branch. Can you explain what I did to the rosemary that would kill it, and what I should have done differently?


Oh... good. Rosemary will not bud back. I didn't really see any foliage - and without foliage, it's essentially dead. So, for this one the same: leave it lone, give it time.

apologize if what I've done has offended you


You have not offended me in any way.
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Brand spanking new seeks advice 2 years 3 weeks ago #27651

The poor spekboom looked lonely with no leaves and no branches etc. So I took some cuttings of my succulents around the house and put them in there. They will be removed at a later date, it was just a convenient place to grow some cuttings while also giving the pot some character.

I also put a bunch of the rosemary cuttings in there, so when they root I'll transfer them back to where they were.

As to why the spekboom, I'm a succulent lover. I have over 80 species and 400,500 plants lol. Succulents form many successful trees in the wild. The quiver tree, aloe plicticalis, baobab, and both portulacaria afra and crassula aboresence take on the shape of a tree in the wild. There are many more but those popped to mind.

I have the spekboom inside to prevent any moisture from entering the situation, sitting right next to the window. It will remain there until new growth is seen. (Current plan anyways) I have the rosemary outside to get its full sun and daily morning watering.

Does that sound good?
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Brand spanking new seeks advice 2 years 3 weeks ago #27660

Cash wrote: I have the spekboom inside to prevent any moisture from entering the situation, sitting right next to the window. It will remain there until new growth is seen.


I have crassula, indoors, and I've found it is almost impossible to kill them. The cuttings I have and the cuttings from cuttings are starting to use up too much room... I water them when I think of it, which is very rare. Not sure about Portulacaria though.

I have the rosemary outside to get its full sun and daily morning watering.


Sounds OK to me, maybe a bit too much watering for the rosemary, depends on how quickly the soil dries.
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