SERISSA FOETIDA SNOW ROSE
The serissa likes a sunny, wind-protected place outside during the growing season Avoid unnecessary changes of the tree's position, but from autumn to spring the serissa must be placed in the house or a heated conservatory at temperatures between 10°C and 20°C. The warmer the position the more light is needed. Grow lights can help. Try to provide high humidity.
Keep the root ball moist, but at the same time take good care not to overwater the serissa Bonsai tree. It must never dry out completely. If the tree drops its leaves due to some changes in the growing conditions, continue but slightly decrease watering. The serissa likes a neutral pH value (7), so avoid very calcareous water. When no flowers are on the tree, it is a good idea to often spray the foliage with lime-free water.
Apply a small amount of solid organic fertilizer every four weeks or use a liquid fertilizer in a low concentration every week during the growing season. Use a fertilizer with a balanced N-P-K ratio. In winter fertilize once a month with a low dose of liquid fertilizer if the tree is kept in a warm place. Do not fertilize unhealthily or not growing serissas.
Pruning and wiring
The serissa tolerates hard pruning which should be executed in early spring, if necessary. Young trees are trimmed back to 2 leaves when the shoots have produced 4 – 5 leaves. Older trees are trimmed less as long they are flowering but are pruned thoroughly after flowering. Every two or three years the branches must be cut back to old wood in order to keep the tree shape compact. Branches and shoots can be wired at any time, but they are delicate and must be wired with great care. Remove the wire after approximately six months before it cuts into the bark.
Repot the serissa every two years and use a standard soil mix. Prune the roots only moderately. The roots smell unpleasant when they are cut.
The serissa can easily be propagated from semi-hardwood cuttings.
Pests and diseases
Aphids, root aphids, or spider mites can attack the serissa. Use a specific pesticide and try to increase humidity. Overwatering or bad soil can cause root rot. Then repot the tree, cut off damaged roots and plant it in fresh, well-draining soil. Try to improve the conditions for your tree.