->Bonsai Care Facts

->Bonsai Watering Tips
Bonsai Species Care

Black Olive
Black Pine
Brazillian Rain Tree
Brush Cherries
Chinese Elm
Dwarf Yaupon Holly
Eastern Red Cedar
Eastern White Pine
Fukien Tea
Japanese Dwarf Garden Juniper
Mugo Pine
Natal Plum
Sargent's Juniper
Trident Maple
Willow Leaf Fig

Silver Bonsai Gallery
Ben & Kathryn Stewart
Store Hours: M-Sat 10am to 6pm
  Sunday by appointment
  905 US Highway 64
  Manteo, North Carolina
  (252) 475-1413

SILVER BONSAI GARDEN - Bonsai Trees and Basic Care


Black Olive - Bucida sp.

General information: Though commonly called 'black olive tree', thisnative of the upper Florida Keys (some consider it native, others donot) is not the edible olive we know and love, but does produce a small, black seed-capsule. Black olive is a 40 to 50-foot-tall
evergreen tree with a smooth trunk holding up strong, wind-resistant branches, forming a pyramidal shape when young but developing a very dense, full, oval to rounded crown with age. Sometimes the top of the crown will flatten with age, and the tree grows horizontally. The lush, dark bluish-green, leathery leaves are two to four inches long and clustered at branch tips, sometimes mixed with the 0.5 to
1.5-inch-long spines found along the branches.


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Family: Combretaceae

Lighting: Full sun - its natural environment is the hottest parts of
Florida and the Caribbean.

Temperature: Grows well in zones 10B through 11. Do not expose to
freezing weather or better yet, temperatures below 40 degrees. A
tender plant which has been grown successfully as an indoor bonsai.

Watering: Likes to be well-watered and should not be permitted to stay dry.

Feeding: Likes frequent fertilization which promotes vigorous growth.

Pruning and wiring: New shoots need to be shortened only by a little.
It is best to pinch them back. In nature, the Bucida is generally
windswept, which makes this an excellent choice for bonsai style. The
plant's natural growth makes it ideal for bonsai. It changes direction
at every internode, making a bend of 25 to 35 degrees, which can be
incorporated into the styling.

Propagation: From cuttings, as seeds are difficult to germinate. To
propagate from cuttings, hard wood won't work, even under a mist
system. Soft wood ones will, but one rarely gets a soft wood cutting
longer than 2 inches.
Propagation from seed. The tiny flower progresses to green seeds, then
tan and then brown in about 2 months. Gather the seeds as soon as they
fall, for they are more vital and willing to germinate in the first
ten days after they ripen. Seeds should be planted in large community
pots in a well drained mixture of vermiculite, peat and loam, and
allowed 25 to 35 days for germination. Be patient, for they grow very
slowly. When they are 2 inches tall, transplant them from the
community pot to individual pots. Cover each pot with a plastic bag
for 5 days and put in the shade. Keep in the shade for 3 to 4 weeks,
being careful to keep them moist, but watch for and avoid powdery
mildew. Once they are growing well, if you wish to force them to grow
faster and taller than their usual 2 inches a year, bend down the
branches lower than the growing tip.

Repotting: Repot in late winter, pruning roots only moderately. Use a fast draining bonsai
soil with a high sand and lime content.

Pests and diseases: No pests or diseases are of major concern but
occasionally bothered by sooty mold and bark borer. Eryphide mites
cause galls but no control is needed.


Silver Bonsai Gallery
Ben & Kathryn Stewart
Store Hours: M-Sat 10am to 6pm
Sunday by appointment

905 US Highway 64
Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 475-1413
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