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Wrightia Religiosa or Water Jasmine,called locally,is one of the most widely used bonsai materials in the Tropical weathered countries.Wrightia posses the main required bonsai characteristics.Not only the leaves are shining and leafy(of course after proper care given),it can be defoliaged to desired sizes,about 1.5 to 2 inches.As suggested by its locally called name,it grows well with lot of water running through its pot and ample sunlight. About 25 to 30 days after defoliation, the plant will bloom white color drooping fragnant flowers ,at one go,which will normally last for about two weeks.(Are't it nice to have total control of flowering timing!!picture below shows single petal type).There are two tpyes of flowers,namely, single and double petal ,of which the later produces no seeds.The only way to propagate is by way of cutting(eg root cutting).
The long bean-like pod releases seeds once ripen.A matured Water Jasmine tree produces counless seed pods throughout the year.
Long bean-like seed pod
As said above,Water Jasmine loves lots of water and sun,however,insufficient water may lead to the leaves turning yellow.This is also true if insufficient fertiliser is given.
Water Jasmine can be propagated from its seeds and more easily from its roots cutting.l have seen lots of mini bonsai which have been propagated this way.This preferred method save lots of the bonsai artist's time.In addition,the roots are somehow aged looking.For cut-roots,coarse soil should be used as this will enhance the chances of new shoots to sprout.l am trying this method,well, the result is not obvious yet.As Water Jasmime is a seeding plant,sowing method to propagate is also commonly done.
Water Jasmine does not require special soil.River soil will normally fit in well.But one will have to be careful with river sand,eventhough it gives good water drainage,minimum minerals can be found in it.
Picture below shows a Water Jasmine under training.
Another good character of Water Jasmine is that its rooted-base looking trunk,which gives illusion of stability, can be trained not harder than other bonsai materials.In addition,it can be trained into various styles.
Displaying bonsai can be quite a tidious job.Not only bonsai should be displayed in a manner to avoid overlapping but level of sunlight,degree of ventilation and the convinience of performing tasks like changing soil and trimming should also be taken in.
The Water Jasmine's seed is available,if you are interested please email me!
My next page is about another Tropical bonsai called Boxwood
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