I am actually a soft touch when it comes to seeing “Bonsai” sold from Supermarkets and DIY stores (Commonly referred to as “Mallsai”, coming I believe from the American combination of Bonsai bought in a shopping Mall).
I rescued 3 Privet trees and a Jade tree yesterday from Morrisons. If I’d had the cash on hand to spare I would have bought every tree they have; but funds only stretched to buying 4. 🙁
The Jade tree (Crassula) was half falling out of the pot due to being badly potted or manhandled which would be tearing roots each time a “customer” picked it up; so was potentially a few days away from being ripped apart and dying. =/ Which is a shame as it’s got lovely form and shape, and the Nebari is really nicely structured. I had to do an emergency repotting without even taking pictures of how poor it’s condition was on arrival at the Bonsai Studio! Now it’s going to be touch and go for a few weeks to see if I can bring it back to health.
The 3 Privets (Ligustrum) are typical of trees sold like this, due to constant changes of heat and humidity, irregular watering and lack of sunlight the leaves are in poor shape. Luckily Privet is a fairly tough and forgiving species, so these may fight back quicker than the Jade.
Must admit, I spotted about another 8 “Bonsai” trees in Homebase later the same day and they were in even worse state, but the asking price was ridiculous for what they were and I simply couldn’t afford to rescue them. That said, I think 7 of the 8 were doomed by the looks of them and I did tell the cashier as I was buying what I went in for they needed some urgent looking after. Which of course got me a funny look, but she said she’d tell someone about it…
Anyway, here are the trees…
Then in Spring of 2016 if they are doing well or Spring 2017; they will be put into the ground for 2 to 3 years to allow them to get some height, bulk and a big growth spurt to thicken them up. This only applies to the Privet, as the Jade in our climate is considered an Indoor Bonsai. They can go outside but only in Summer as they need to be kept in temperatures above 5 Degrees Celsius. This is no issue for me, as I think it will look stunning on my kitchen windowsill next to my Venus Flytraps and Sarracenia (Pitcher plants)! 🙂
Then I will attempt to bring them into the area I can potentially start lifting them from the ground, root training and perhaps bring them into the pre-Bonsai stage. This will involve checking how well the new roots they have put down are doing and judging the strength of the new growth above ground and the state of the leaves and new branches.
Either way, if they live; I’ll be doing a little light work on them and possibly taking some cuttings once they have sufficient strength.