The Chinese Bird Plum is a wonderful flowering tree. Considered a semitropical evergreen, the Plum produces fragrant flowers. These tender shrubs originate in Asia and some regions of North America. However, the Chinese Bird Plum is grown throughout China specifically for bonsai. Interestingly, while these remain as an evergreen in mild climates, they actually become deciduous in temperate regions.
The leaves of the Chinese Bird Plum are symmetrically arranged, shine, a medium green, and oval shaped. When young, the leaves take on a red color, which turns to green once the shrub reaches maturity. The bark of this bonsai becomes dark brown and scaly. Then during the summer months, the Chinese Bird Plum produces small flowers on the leaf axils but only on new shoots. Then, larger white clusters of white flowers appear, which are then followed by miniature blue berries. The thick trunks take time to form, making the trunk extremely fine while young.
The Chinese Bird Plum needs adequate light but not too much. When grown outside, it is important that temperatures not dip below 43 degrees. In addition, this particular bonsai needs humidity so using a humidity tray is strongly recommended. You will also discover that the Chinese Bird Plum does not like direct heat or extreme cold. Therefore, place the bonsai where it will get adequate sunlight and comfortable temperatures.
During the summer months, the Chinese Bird Plum needs to be fed every two weeks and then only in the active growing season during the winter. For repotting, this should be done in the spring, about every two years. While repotting, all you need is a good, basic soil. Pruning the Chinese Bird Plum should be performed during the growing period to help shape. Since this tree buds back quickly producing dense growth, you want to shape by selective pruning only, never using a wiring technique.
You can propagate this bonsai using both softwood and hardwood cuttings anytime in the growing season. As far as styling is concerned, the Chinese Bird Plum looks stunning in any style. Then, whiteflies and aphids love this type of tree so you want to do a weekly check for anything suspicious. In addition, the Chinese Bird Plum can be a problem, which can be controlled by increasing air circulation and lowering levels of humidity.