More serissa bonsai stories come from two very different climate zones. The following two authors share their unique experiences.
Living in Zones 6/7, I made a bold move when I decided that my Serissa did not like the warmth of my Tree house (green house to most).
The Serissa seemed to like the cooler temperatures, and about eight years ago, I decided to place my Serissa forest outdoors in my flowerbed for the winter. I had read somewhere that there are places in the cooler climates that use the Serissa as a hedge. Hmmm I thought!
We have mild winters in Southern New Jersey, but there are always cold snaps when the temperatures drop down into the single digits for a few days. Nothing-ventured etc….
I was dumbfounded by the results after my first year of the Serissa in the ground during the winter.
When I dug it up I wasn’t even sure it was still alive, but the leaves developed quickly. The forest burst into more flowers than I had seen in the years prior, and I have been burying my Serissa in the ground ever since.
This forest is no longer in my possession so I am unable to give you dimensions, but I still have the pot, which measures 13 inches wide by 11 inches deep and 3.75 inches high.
I do have another Serissa, which I call Serissa Mountain, which I dug up on March 15th of this year (2010.)
I live in South Florida. I started this Serissa forest 5 years ago from small plants bought from George Buriff's nursery. I have never wired it until now and have always kept pruning the top and cleaning some of the undesirable growth from below.
When it flowers it really makes a statement and looks like "A Thousand Stars". Everyone tells of how difficult it is to keep these alive, so I feel a sense of accomplishment just to have had this forest for so long.
I find that as long as it is watered daily and not allowed to cook under direct sun they do well. I use Miracle-Gro liquid fertilizer every week or so in the summer months and less often in the winter. I also use slow release osmocote every 2-3 months.
The container is a handmade tray about 24 x 11 by a member of the Miami Club nicknamed "Bear" who passed a few years ago. Bonsai enthusiasts are calling these "Bear-trays".