The Serissa is a small shrub that flowers two (sometimes even three) times per year. The roughly shaped trunks and tiny leaves make this tree very popular as indoor Bonsai tree.

The Serissa is not easy to care for however (unlike the Ulmus or Zelkova, etc.) and therefore better suitable for experienced growers, the reason being that the tree is very sensitive to changes in watering, location and temperature. Stable conditions are key! The correct name of this tree is however "Serissa japonica" but most people still refer to Serissa foetida, with foetida referring to the unpleasant smell that the tree gives off after pruning.

If you need help identifying your tree, try our Bonsai tree identification guide.


Specific Bonsai care guidelines for the Serissa

Position: Much sunlight is necessary, choose a spot where the tree doesn’t need to be relocated and at a constant temperature. Minimum temperature is about 10 degrees Celsius (50F).

Watering: Water the tree regularly, it should never dry out. Mist it daily if no flowers are growing. If the tree drops it leaves (because you replaced it, temperatures changed, etc.) continue but slightly decrease watering.

Feeding: Fertilize in low quantities about once or twice monthly in the growth season.

Pruning: The Serissa Bonsai can withstand aggressive pruning, also on old wood.

Repotting: Repot the tree once every two years, the roots (just like the branches) smell when they are being pruned. Use a normal soil mixture.

Propagation: Cuttings is the easiest way to propagate Serissa trees.

For more detailed information on these techniques, try our Bonsai tree care section.



Example of a Serissa foetida (snow rose) Bonsai tree

Serissa, snow rose Bonsai