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Starting some plants: Jade, Dwarf Schefflera, Dwarf Fig & Desert Rose

6 years ago

I've read some great threads here, and I'm trying to learn a bit more. While I don't have aspirations of growing showroom bonsai trees, I've been reading a lot about bonsai care. My fiancee and I are considering moving into a home in the next couple years, and I'd really like to start some plants now to fill in our future home. I'd appreciate any advice because my thought is that if I start the right way, it will make for less work down the road!

Thus far, we have collected many orchids and she says I cultivated a "jungle" of philodendron from our large mother plant. However, these don't really "furnish" a home. I have many nice jade plants that are about 7 inches tall: I'm gifting most to make room for more plants and I'm keeping the ones that seem to be taking the shape I have in mind. I also have a schefflera, but the nursery didn't give it enough light: its lanky and I think I'm going to sell it or give it away when I start some dwarf schefflera from seeds. The only other larger plant I have is a cylindrical snake plant (which flowered this spring).

My goal is that years down the road I have several nice 2-3 foot tall plants. But I'd like to borrow some techniques from bonsai care regarding the shaping of the plants. Particularly the secondary growth, ramification and creation of pads (rather than an amorphous bush).

To complement that standard large green-leaf jade, I just ordered some seedling compact-Crosby. My hope is to keep the 2-3 nicest jade plants.

Regarding the Dwarf Schefflera, I think this will be the plant that requires the least light (maybe aside from the philodendron and snake plant). I have some seeds on the way, and I want to find a balance where it is not leggy, but also not a bush: I think some bonsai care techniques can help with creating a nice trunk. I was trying to find more information about inosculation. I didn't find much, but I wanted to try a plant or two solo, and maybe a pot with three plants bound to each other.

Likewise, I figured inosculation might be a nice way to create width for the Dwarf Fig trees, which I also plan to start from seed. I've seen figs grow really lanky and sunlight in Pittsburgh can be unpredictable. I figured this would work for fig because it is in the ficus family. I had the half-baked idea of potting 3-plants around a rock and binding them together at the top of the rock with the hope they'd grow to appear as if their roots were going around the rock.

Lastly, Desert Rose seems pretty easy to grow into the shape I want. I'm just not sure if the sunniest spots will be enough.

Any advice is appreciated.

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