Answer : What Bonsai plant is it?
The bonsai in photography is a carmona microphylla (or erethia microphylla, or erethia buxifolia, depending on the classifications); it is a tree, native to southern China, which in nature can reach 10 m high; these bonsai are very cultivated in Italy, as indoor plants, although they could live outdoors in the southern regions, in a sheltered area.
As garden shrubs are little or not at all used in Italy, while as bonsai are very common, because they bear quite well the climate in the house, and because some varieties tend to have naturally small leaves, which is much appreciated by bonsai beginners. The carmona is an evergreen plant, with shiny leaves, covered with thin short hairs, dark green in color, in spring produces small white flowers, in clusters, at the apex of the twigs.
It is grown in a bright place, even with a few hours of direct sunlight, but only in the cool months and not in the hottest hours of the day.
It prefers very well drained soils, but, unluckily, often in the nurseries (but also in the supermarkets), they find, at low cost, bonsai of very bad quality carmona, with an asphyxial soil, similar to a block of rock; therefore, usually, if we do not notice a porous and soft soil, we intervene already at the purchase, repotting the plant: we utilize a mixture formed by about two thirds of sand, plus a terse of crushed peat, and adding, at the end, a small quantity of sand, for improving the drainage.
The plant does not bear temperatures much lower than the fifteen °C, therefore, in winter, it is cultivated in the house, in a luminous and well aerated zone. Watering is provided when the soil is dry, avoiding to leave it dry for long time, but also to keep the substratum always soaked of water. The salmon tend to bear short periods of drought, but it is better to avoid subjecting them to prolonged drought.
In winter, it is good to vaporize often the leaves, with demineralized water, in order to increase the local humidity. From April to September, with the watering, it is also provided a good fertilizer for indoor bonsai, every 15-20 days, avoiding to exceed with the doses. Let’s avoid also cultivating the carmona in a very dark or dark area, and to remove any possible change of air, which favours the proliferation of the cochineal.
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