How To Take Care Of Your Ardisia Bonsai Tree
Ardisia Japonica Bonsai Care
About The Ardisia Bonsai Tree
The Ardisia, also known as Christmas Berry, coral berry, spice berry, or marlberry, is a flowering tropical plant that can be trained into a beautifully exotic bonsai tree.
A staple herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine, this well varied (over 700 varieties exist in nature!) plant makes a truly unique bonsai tree.
All varieties create a distinctly unique flower that will mature into a berry that is remarkably easy to germinate - helping to make more and more Ardisia plants.
The Ardisia is a tropical plant and will die if frozen. When the overnight low temperatures drop to 60 degrees, it's time to bring your bonsai indoors for the winter.
When the low temperatures are consistently above 60 degrees, feel free to bring your bonsai back outside.
It loves light, and should get plenty of it on a south facing windowsill if possible.
The Ardisia, like most bonsai trees, will die if it dries out. It enjoys plenty of water in well draining soil. Never let it dry out completely.
The Ardisia enjoys light humidity in the drier months, and a suitable humidity drip tray will provide plenty.
Since your Ardisia bonsai is in a small pot, and not the ground, it needs nutrients. A slow release (pellet based) fertilizer is perfect for this, and can be added sparingly every 1-2 months during the growing season.
Pruning & Trimming
Trim back the new growth to the farthest safe point that looks good to you — but never remove all of the new growth.
A regular trim will help keep your Ardisia bonsai tree short, while helping the trunk grow thicker.
Repotting must be performed periodically on your bonsai, Ardisia included, when its root system has filled the pot. If you can clearly see the roots coming out of the bottom of the pot, it’s time to repot your bonsai.
Generally, this means every 2-3 years for a deciduous tree and every 4-5 years for an evergreen. Ardisia, being an evergreen, will need to be repotted around every 4-5 years depending on its environment.
Repotting should be done in mid-summer, when the tree is at it’s least fragile state.
Your Ardisia bonsai, along with all of its soil, should be removed from the pot. From there, you can trim away no more than 1/3rd of the root mass (1/4th is preferred.)
Then you can repot the tree in the same pot, or give it a newer / bigger pot to thrive in.
After repotting, your bonsai Ardisia should be thoroughly watered.
Diseases, Insects & Other Pests
Your Ardisia bonsai can be treated for pests like a normal Ardisia plant. Just remember, your tree is miniature and will need a much smaller and more gentile dose of treatment.