Lavender Star Flower
~ By Bonnie ~
The Lavender Star Flower originated in Australia
and Southeast Asia. Its botanical name is Grewia Occidentalis. It was originally
an outdoor shrub that could grow to 10 feet tall. It was pruned and trained to be
the perfect height for Bonsai. The thing I love most about my Star flower is the
beautiful purple flowers that it has all summer long. They look like little purple
diamonds with yellow centers. If I have properly fed it through the summer it will
keep the blossoms into late fall.
My Star Flower is only 3 years old so it is growing more outwardly than up.
Most Star flowers get about 10 inches tall and that is the maximum height you
want in order for it to still be considered a Bonsai.
The branches of the Star flower are much finer and thinner than other Bonsai
plants and therefore are generally not trained with wire. Instead they are pruned
often and carefully to encourage growth in the direction you wish it to grow.
Branches are generally only trimmed or removed in the spring through fall.
As far as supplements for the Star flower go, they tend to get chorionic and
you must give them an Iron supplement treatment at least once a year. If you
see the leaves turn yellow, then you need to Iron treat it.
Starting in early spring late March, I mix a scant bit of Miracle Grow into a spray
bottle of water that I have had sitting for at least 24 hours. (I have well water so I
never just take it straight from the tap and put it on my plants.) Then I pour about
1/3 of that into the soil and I generously mist the leaves. From here out until early
fall, about September, I will continue this ritual. For the rest of the months I mix
2 drops of Super Thrive in a spray bottle of water and use that to water with.
Star Flowers like wet soil and love to have their leaves misted. They also like a
lot of sun but do not like direct light through a window as that scorches their
leaves. I put my Star flower on out my front porch as soon as the weather warms
up and stays about 65 degrees.
For the soil I use a sandy Bonsai mix. It also has very fine rocks in it to allow for
extra drainage. I have my Star flower in its original clay rectangle pot. I will not
repot it for at least another 2 years. I have a beautiful blue rectangle ceramic pot
I will be putting it in. The blue will go well with the purple flowers.
The Star flower can be propagated by cuttings or seeds. I have never tried to
propagate mine, but I have a rather long cutting that I will be removing in the next
month and I am going to apply a rooting hormone to it and give it a go.
As far as Bonsai goes, the Star flower is in the intermediary price range. I paid
$49 for mine, but it is a fairly easy to learn on Bonsai.
I am attaching a picture of my Star flower (above) and also a picture of a bloom
from a Star flower (below), that isn't mine because mine is not in bloom right now.
My botanical information comes in part from:
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