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Brush cherry bonsai

Care Styling

Brush cherry bonsai care

Syzygium bonsai care is not particularly difficult. Maintained as an indoor bonsai, Syzygium (brush cherry, also chinese myrtle, boxleaf Eugenia, oriental myrtle, cherry myrtle) should be very bright and cool, especially in winter. Cherry myrtle are uncomplicated bonsai for beginners and can also be cared for as a mediterranean bonsai.

Brush cherry bonsai care in a nutshell:

  • Fertilisation: From March to September you should fertilize about every 14 days with a common fertilizer such as a liquid bonsai fertilizer. Since brush cherry prefer a slightly sour soil, a fertilizer for azalea bonsai is also well suited
  • Irrigation: Do not let a chinese myrtle bonsai dry out completely and do not keep it too wet. The healthy middle is optimal
  • Overwintering: Hibernate very brightly and as cool to cold as possible. Chinese myrtle bonsai tolerate temperatures down to the light frost range
  • Repotting: Every 3-4 years it is repotted in a well-drained bonsai soil at the beginning of March. Pure Akadama or with a third of the Kanuma bonsai soil is suitable

Fertilize | Watering | Location | Overwintering | Repot | Diseases, Pests | Propagation


Brush cherry bonsai are mainly fertilized in the growing season from March to September. Fertilize them generously with the usual bonsai fertilizers such as Biogold or Hanagokoro.

If you use liquid bonsai fertilizers, give twice the amount indicated on the bottle during the growing season. Most liquid bonsai fertilizers do not contain too much nitrogen. Cherry myrtle also tolerate fertilizers for acid-loving plants like our fertilizer for azalea bonsai.

After repotting, especially if many roots have been removed, fertilizing should be paused for a few weeks. The plants first have to form new roots in order to be able to absorb the fertilizer. They are also better at forming new roots in a low-fertilizer substrate.

Fertilization is not necessary for cold wintering. In winter on a warm but very bright location, once a month is sufficient.


Brush cherry bonsai have a very high water consumption during the active period. It has to be watered every day, sometimes twice a day on hot summer days. Watering the bonsai two to three times a week is sufficient for warm wintering, and once or twice a week for cold wintering is sufficient.

The root ball should be slightly dry on the surface before watering again. The water requirement can be determined on the substrate surface by laying on your hand. It is only poured when the substrate surface is dry and no longer feels damp. Although cherry myrtles are tolerant of slight drought, they should not be kept too dry over the long term. A constantly moist and therefore cool substrate should also be avoided. Brush cherry do not like waterlogging.

Since brush cherrys prefer a slightly acidic soil, the irrigation water should be low in lime. If the tap water is too calcareous, it is better to use rainwater.


In the warm season, when the temperature does not drop below 0°C even at night, a brush cherry bonsai can be cared for outdoors. An airy, partially shaded location is well suited outdoors. Full sun is also tolerated. In midsummer, a brush cherry bonsai should not dry out in full sun during the day.

If the brush cherry is kept as an indoor bonsai, a light location directly at the window is necessary, especially in the dark season. If a bonsai that is cared for indoors in winter is put outdoors in late spring, a shady location is important for the first 2 weeks. If it is immediately placed in full sun, the leaves can be burned by the UV light.


Cherry myrtles should be protected from severe frosts in winter. Light frosts down to -5°C are well tolerated for a short time. That means that brush cherry bonsai can be overwintered in a light and very cool greenhouse or plastic tent. Brief heating is only required in periods of permafrost. A cold overwintering at 5-10°C seems to be best.

However, the brush cherry can also be overwintered warm. It loses part of its leaves and sprouts very early. In the case of warm wintering, the nighttime temperature drop to around 15°C and a daytime temperature of not more than 19°C is advisable. Wintering at 20-23°C is possible in exceptional cases, but not advisable.


Imported cherry myrtle are often potted in a fine bonsai substrate after import. In Asia with high humidity, the plants seem to thrive in it. In Europe with lower humidity, such a bonsai soil has not proven itself for most bonsai. A well-drained bonsai soil is better. The best time to repot is in early March.

This should be slightly acidic as cherry myrtle prefers a slightly acidic soil. Akadama is once again the first choice among the substrates offered in the bonsai trade. A slight admixture of the acidic azalea bonsai soil (Kanuma) could be advantageous as the pH value is slightly lowered. 70% Akadama to 30% Kanuma should be a good mix.

The old bonsai soil can be easily removed with a root claw or a root hook. Depending on the root mass, a root pruning is carried out when repotting the bonsai. Before filling the new bonsai substrate, the root ball should, if possible, be attached with bonsai wire through the wire or water holes in the bottom of the bonsai pot. The bonsai trees will then grow better. After repotting, there is no fertilization for several weeks.

Diseases, Pests

If the bonsai is properly cared for, pests are rarely seen in brush cherry bonsai. If fertilization is very high in nitrogen, aphids can sometimes be found. These can be combated well with the remedies against sucking insects offered in garden markets.


Cherry myrtle can be propagated by seeds and also by slightly woody cuttings.

Bonsai styling

Syzygium bonsai styling in a nutshell:

  • Wiring: Be very careful when applying the bonsai wire. Cherry myrtle bonsai have a thin, sensitive bark. Traces of wire can be seen for a long time
  • Pruning: Do not cut from the end of April until after flowering, otherwise you will remove too many flower buds. The rest of the growing season is cut back with sharp bonsai scissors as required

Wiring | Pruning | Styles | Bonsai pots | Flowers, Fruits | Bark, Roots | General


The branches of the brush cherry are very brittle and break easily, so a wired branch must be bent carefully.

Since chinese myrtles are evergreen, the wire can in principle be laid out all year round. In our opinion, however, late summer is preferable for wiring. Then the flowering is over and after a stronger pruning, the bonsai wire can also be put on better. In addition, the branches do not thicken as quickly as in spring so that the wire does not press in as quickly.

Since brush cherrys quickly lignify, the bonsai wire can often be removed after 3-4 months. The wire should not be unwound. When removing the wires from the bonsai, cut the wire into small pieces with wire cutters.

Wire very carefully because of the thin and sensitive bark. Since cherry myrtle can only be designed very well by cutting, you may also be able to do without wire altogether.


By cutting back with sharp bonsai scissors, a Syzygium bonsai can be made quite easily. The shoots are cut back to 2-3 leaflets. From the end of April you should not cut any more until flowering, otherwise the terminal flower buds are removed and only a few flowers will form. You can cut again after flowering, but not in winter.

Larger cuts should be sealed with wound closure agent as this promotes wound healing. Unfortunately, larger cuts can be seen for a long time.

Cherry myrtle sprouts out of the old wood very well after a strong shape cut. This drive makes it a good bonsai for beginners.


Chinese myrtle can be designed in most bonsai styles. In the trade you usually see the freely upright shape, sometimes the broom shape.

Matching bonsai pots

Glazed bonsai pots are well suited for brush cherry. Since this type of tree does not belong to the absolutely hardy outdoor bonsai, you do not necessarily need a frost-resistant, hand-made bonsai pot. The cheap bonsai pots for indoor bonsai are often suitable. But the quality of these cheap pots is not as good as the handcrafted bonsai pots.

Unglazed bonsai pots are not very suitable. If you want an unglazed bowl then you should choose a handcrafted bowl. The range of matching clay colors is greater.

Syzygium bonsai with their rounded crown fit well in an oval bonsai pot. Rectangular bonsai pots are also suitable, preferably with slightly rounded corners.

Suitable pots for bonsai blanks are our plastic bonsai pots. The dark brown color of the peels goes well with the dark trunk of the brush cherry. These plastic bowls are impact-resistant and UV-stable and very cheap. When propagating by cuttings, it is best to use plastic plant pots.

Flowers, Fruits

Chinese myrtle blooms in summer (June-July, often afterwards) with beautiful, small white flowers. Afterwards, about 5-6mm in size, egg-shaped to spherical, red berries are often formed.

Bark, Roots

The bark is very thin and delicate. Work very carefully when wiring. Larger cuts can be seen for a long time. It is best to avoid removing large branches.


The brush cherry (Syzygium buxifolium, Syzygium paniculatum or Eugenia paniculata, family: Myrtaceae - myrtle family) is an evergreen ornamental shrub or small tree. In their homeland, the brush cherry can grow up to 5m high.

The small, lanceolate, dark green, leathery leaves are arranged opposite each other and, in contrast to other myrtle, are only slightly reddish when they shoot. As the botanical name (Syzygium buxifolium) suggests, they resemble the leaves of the boxwood.

In recent years, brush cherry has been offered more often than bonsai. They are mainly cultivated as bonsai in the southeast of China. It grows very well in the subtropics but also tolerates temperatures below 0°C in nature.

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