Looking for something specific on this site? Search here:

Water Jasmine Bonsai

Water Jasmine is the common name for Wrightia religiosa, the variety used for bonsai. The name alone will tell you a lot about the plant.  

First of all, it likes plenty of water

Secondly, the flowers are as sweet smelling as jasmine. (Although it is not related.)

The plant is native in tropical Africa, Asia and Australia, where it is a fast growing, hedge plant.  It is also a popular bonsai throughout the world.

bonsai-mary, wrightia religiosa, water jasmine flowers

The trunk looks like a tree, usually has good nebari, it's easy to maintain and is fast growing.  The beautiful flowers are one of the most popular reasons for growing Wrightia religiosa as tropical bonsai.

Wrightia Around the World

Wrightia religiosa root-over-rock style by Mr. Pee, Thailand
Yamadori Wrightia
bonsai-mary, wrightia religiosa, water jasmineMany Years Later

Indonesian bonsai artist, Kaima Towira, posted this yamadori picture of a Wrightia.  We often think of yamadori as pines and junipers, tropical plants are also collected "from the wild." 

As proof of Kaima's talent, one of a more "finished" bonsai is shown on display at a bonsai exhibit.



Cliff Chong in Malaysia is the artist who created this bonsai tree. 

Pictures can be deceiving, this is not a large bonsai, but a beautiful shohin.



water jasmine bonsai, unique bonsai

In Vietnam,  Lam Ngoc Vinh creates both traditional Japanese style bonsai and creative, unique bonsai using figurines. 

Although rarely used in Japan, many other countries respect using figurines in their bonsai.

Figurines are often included with the Vietnamese art of hòn non bo.


There are over 23 species of Wrightia (Apocynaceae family.) Some have been traditionally considered medicinal herbs. Over the years, it's been used for everything from skin care to stomach aches.   A technology company in India, recently found leaf extracts from the Wrightia tinctoria species are good to treat cancer.


Water Jasmine as Indoor Bonsai

water jasmine bonsai, wrightia religiosa
bonsai-mary, wrightia religiosa, water jasmine

Carl Rosner, in New Jersey USA, enjoyed a wonderful exprience with growing Water Jasmine as bonsai in his "Tree House." 

Over the years, Carl kept me posted on his bonsai.  This one had very few problems - such as too many roots and a terrible attack of mites - which he quickly resolved.


Wrightia Bonsai Care

Fast growing is the good news and the bad news.  Frequent pruning of the foliage will keep it from getting too wild and hard branch pruning will add lots of ramification.  This tree does not tolerate neglect.

The roots will also need pruning often.  Check them once a year, but most likely will need pruning at least every two years.  In the tropics, possibly more often.

If pruning the roots is neglected, you are asking for poor water drainage and potential weakening of the plant overall.  Root pruning, as with most tropical bonsai, should be done during the time of warmest nights.

Wrightia is considered a "heavy feeder," which means do not neglect regular fertilizing.

Although it likes water, it can be over-watered.  This will mainly depend on the type of soil and/or whether or not it is root bound. As with any bonsai, the bonsai soil should be fast draining.  Over watering and under fertilizing can both contribute to yellow leaves.

Small branches are easily wired.  Don't forget it grows fast and may cut in quickly.

This tropical bonsai is susceptible to the same pests as many other tropical plants. Good light, air circulation and regular maintenance will prevent many of them.

Where to Go From Here

Water Jasmine is just one of many Types of Bonsai

Unique Bonsai

Another Tropical Bloomer





Bonsai Banter

is my free monthly newsletter. Subscribe to get current tips, ideas and photos that may not appear on this site.

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Bonsai Banter.

Read Bonsai Banter Newsletter Back Issues




Online
Bonsai Class
with
Colin Lewis

Know the basics?  Ready for more? Watch these amazing Colin Lewis bonsai class videos.

CLICK HERE:

Bonsai Design Techniques

Craftsy sent me a copy of this class to review. Very impressed, we became an affiliate and receive a small commission on purchases. (Which helps support this site.)




There are many pesticides to use – organic and chemical. One good choice is the Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap, Ready to Use Spray