The Brush Cherry is also called the Syzygium Paniculatum. The leaves are small,
firm, and glossy. In addition, the Brush Cherry produces puffy white flowers.
When provided with adequate light, this plant will also develop red highlights
on the leaves. By the time the Brush Cherry reaches age 10, it stands about 14
inches tall, ideal for a bonsai.
Considered an evergreen shrub or tree, the flowers are followed by the
development of beautiful berries, some that are actually edible. Between the
stunning foliage, flowers, and berries, the Brush Cherry is superb for indoor
bonsai growing. This particular bonsai prefers warmer climates and is native to
Florida. When grown in the wild, the Brush Cherry easily reaches 35 feet tall.
The Brush Cherry generally likes warm weather and plenty of natural sunlight
although low levels of light are also tolerable. When growing this plant in
extremely hot regions, it is recommended that it be provided with some partial
shade. In the wintertime, the Brush Cherry can handle temperatures between 46
and 68 degrees but again it prefers warmer climates.
During the hotter summer months, you want to make sure your Brush Cherry bonsai
gets adequate water, less in the cooler winter months. The key is to keep the
soil consistently and slightly moist in that this shrub does not like variations
in water. Most bonsai growers suggest the soil be soaked and then dried out but
you will need to experiment a little to determine the watering schedule your
Brush Cherry prefers. A humidity tray is also required, as well as an occasional
misting. A key note – if you have hard water, you want to use distilled water on
the Brush Cherry since it cannot handle salt.
For food, the Brush Cherry should be fed every two weeks during the peak growing
season and then every four to five months during the winter. The soil should be
a little on the acidic side. For pruning, since this is a fast grower, it can
tolerate hard pruning. New shoots should be cut back in pairs of six to eight of
leaves with just one to two pairs remaining. You can also wire the Brush Cherry
during the active growing season but most often, pruning produces better
results. You should take care in pruning since branches tend to scar. For leaf
pruning, this can be done on healthy plants in the summer.
As far as repotting the Brush Cherry, we suggest every two years, anytime from
early to mid spring. You can also perform aggressive root pruning since this
shrub can easily handle as much as two-thirds loss of root. When it comes to
styling, the Brush Cherry looks great with any style so be creative. Finally,
while this shrub has little problem with disease, it is prone to insects such as
the Caribbean fruit fly, aphids, red spider mites, meal bugs, and scales.
Therefore, you should check your Brush Cherry several times a week and if you
notice something, use organic insecticides or pesticides.