Native to Japan, bonsai enthusiasts love the Serissa for its ever-present white/pink flowers that gave it the nickname “Tree of a Thousand Stars”. Serissa has more than just beautiful flowers and foliage to offer. This evergreen/semi-evergreen shrub has fine oval, shiny green leaves. It is also valued for its rough, grey trunk which tends to get lighter in colour with age. Serissa flowers sporadically from early Spring to Autumn on current seasons growth, so they have a long flowering time! With the right conditions they can almost flower continuously.
Caring for Serissa bonsai
Our experience of this species as indoor bonsai has been positive. The soil should be kept barely wet, but, not completely dry. Practically, watering should be performed when the soil surface feels dry to the touch.
Serissa is not difficult to maintain as bonsai, but is sensitive to environmental changes. It responds adversely by dropping leaves if over-watered, under-watered, if it's too cold, too hot, or even if just moved to a new location. The plant usually grows back to health when put back to better conditions. Please note: if you think your Serissa is not getting enough sun inside please place it outside in a part sun part shade location. This will also encourage more flowering.
In summer serissa need a lot of bright light. The ideal position for the tree is outdoors in a south facing position in direct sun. However if kept indoors the tree will do best in a bright conservatory or against a south facing window in which situation it will need to be turned every couple of days. Once you find a spot in which your tree is happy leave it there, it's not normal for plants to move around! If you move your tree to a new spot leave it there for 4-6 weeks to acclimatise before deciding if the position is ideal, trees respond slowly to changes. Flowering performance will be improved dramatically by exposing the tree to VERY bright hot conditions in summer.
Serissa will reward you more if fertilized the tree twice a month during the growing phase. Reduce feeding to once per month over Autumn. Do not feed the plant when the leaves have fallen off, or growth has ceased. Feed with a liquid form of bonsai fertilizer according to application instructions. It is important for the soil to be moist when the plant is fertilized. This eliminates the risk of root burn.
Good to know: The Serissa is a subtropical bonsai tree. In most areas of the world it can be grown indoors where temperatures remain warm and the air is humid. Many cultivars with double flowers or variegated leaves are also available. 'Pink Snow Rose' has pale pink flowers and leaves edged off-white. Other cultivars include: 'Variegata', 'Variegated Pink', 'Pink Mystic', 'Snowflake', 'Snowleaves', 'Mt. Fuji', 'Kyoto' and 'Sapporo'.
33 cm from the bottom of the pot
Photo date: 03 Feb 24 (Summer)