Mt Fuji Serissa Bonsai (Nerissa Foetida): A Detailed Guide

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Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai, a living work of art with a history that stretches back to the late 18th century, is a delightful spectacle for any nature lover. This slow-growing sub tropical variegated evergreen Japanese shrub, affectionately known as the ‘gold spot’ in China, has won hearts with its delicate white miniature flowers. Its star-like delicate white miniature flowers make it more than just a bonsai tree– it’s a botanical masterpiece. In this conversation, we’ll unravel the secrets of cultivating and nurturing the Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai tree. Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a novice gardener, there’s something magical waiting to be discovered within these miniature branches. Let’s explore the art of Serissa bonsai tree together.

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Christian Gottfried Daniel Nees von Esenbeck was the first Western scientist to grow Mount Fuji serissa bonsai flowering. It is a slow-growing Japanese shrub and blooms profusely. It has already existed since 1790. Because of its golden yellow blooms, this is popular as a “gold spot” in China. The plant’s delicate white miniature flowers have five petals that form a star.


The Flowering Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai Tree is a lovely subtropical diverse evergreen. Its twisted trunk and small leaves make it famous. Many people enjoy this plant’s scent when one of its leaves gets squashed.


Serissa bonsai is one of the most beautiful flowering bonsai trees. This sub tropical variegated evergreen does not matter if it is indoors or outdoors. As a result, it is a very decorative living miniature tree that is useful in various settings. You can place it on a balcony.


Have you ever seen a bonsai tree that is blooming? If not, you are in for a surprise because the flowering Mount Fuji serissa bonsai tree is one of the most beautiful trees. This miniature bonsai tree grows indoors or outdoors and thrives in various climates. Please keep reading to learn more about this fantastic bonsai tree and how to grow it yourself.

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Is Bonsai a Good Indoor Plant?


Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai
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Bonsai trees are good for varying temperatures all year when growing as natural trees. So they can be grown indoors. When grown indoors, trees originating in subtropical locations perform and need less special care. In nature, there are no indoor trees. It indicates a few factors to consider before attempting to keep your bonsai indoors.


Serissa bonsai can be indoor plants. They will benefit more from spending time outdoors. Bonsai plants are ordinary tree structures that have smaller in size. These miniature variants survive in small pots, requiring people’s attention. With proper care, your bonsai will remain safe, great age, and smaller than usual for a long time.

Bonsai Tree Placement in Spring, Summer & Fall


The serissa bonsai tree prefers a sunny location outside during the growing season. But during nighttime, temperatures remain above 50°F / 10°C. Temperature swings are not tolerable. Stop making unnecessary changes to the tree’s position. But from autumn to spring, keep the serissa bonsai tree in the house. You can also place it in a heated conservatory at temperatures between 50°F (10°C) to 68°F (20°C). The more light required, the warmer the position. Grow lights can be useful. Take the opportunity to provide high humidity.

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Where Should I Put My Bonsai Tree for the Winter?


The Serissa bonsai tree is not frost-resistant. But you can put it outside from June to September. In the winter, a stand at 10-12°C is fine to give the plant a break in growth. Temperatures below 6°C can be tolerable for a short time if a Serissa bonsai is overwintered at temperatures higher than 16-18°C, lowering the temperature at night. This plant is susceptible to disease if there is no break in growth.

How do you maintain the flowering Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai Tree (Nerissa Foetida)?


Serissa bonsai tree requires little attention to maintain its delicate white miniature flowers. Flowering will occur more quickly if it receives enough light. This bloom process takes only about four weeks.


They could also thrive in typical indoor rooms if the light is enough. Yet, without direct sunlight, this could cause damage to the leaves. Consider growing a budding serissa on a balcony or patio during the summer. To avoid the blistering heat, make sure to allow for partial shade.

The Flowering Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai requires a standard soil mix with sand and loam. The fruit is extremely poisonous. So take extra precautions when pruning your bonsai.

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How to Protect Delicate White Miniature Flowers of Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai?


Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai
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Flowering Mount Fuji Serissa bonsai is easy to care for as a bonsai. But it is sensitive to environmental conditions. These trees thrive in subtropical climates. Especially where winters are mild and summers are warm. As a result, they perform well in places like garages or conservatories. It will react by dropping leaves if it is over-watered, too cold, too hot, or moved to a new location. When the plant comes back to better conditions, it usually recovers.


Another reason it is not hard to have serissa bonsai is that they are resistant to pests and frost. Even so, keep in mind that during the summer season, prune them for shaping purposes. Don’t forget to fertilize your bonsai plants once every three weeks with a weak solution of bonsai fertilizer. Below are the things to remember.

Repotting Flowering Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai


getting ready to repot
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Serissa bonsai grows more and dislike having their roots disturbed in particular. Repot all bonsai once their root framework has been clogging the pot. Repotting provide your bonsai with new soil and encourage a more conservative root framework. But since trees grow at different rates, this timetable will not always be consistent. Thus, you should check your tree’s root framework every two or three years to see whether it has become pot-bound.


The primary cycle is simple and safe when performed periodically and in the right season. It would help if you repotted in the middle of summer. Remove the tree and all its dirt from the pot. Furthermore, remove the external and base fourths of the tree’s root mass. Finish it by raking the dirt away and then pruning the roots back. Pruning back more than one-fourth of the tree’s root mass is generally unacceptable. After that, you can return the tree to its original pot or another.

Fertilizing Flowering Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai


fertilizer for plant
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Upon each watering, the nutrients wash away. So fertilizing a bonsai is essential to its nutrition. Fertilizer is equivalent to vitamins and minerals for plants. Start feeding your bonsai when new leaves appear in the early spring. 


Get an organic liquid fertilizer or a half-strength chemical fertilizer. During the growing season, fertilize it once or twice a month and once a month in the winter. Before actually fertilizing, water your tree.


Do not fertilize a strong or newly repotted tree. It will cause the stressing on trees by burning their roots. Do not fertilize too if you plan to repot it within one month. Use a high nitrogen 30-10-10 fertilizer at about 1/2 strength every other week or weekly. Starting 1-3 weeks after repotting and proceeding for six weeks. Stop fertilizing at that point to allow blooms to form.

Watering Flowering Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai


watering serissa bonsai
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The more sunlight and heat your serissa bonsai gets, the more frequent it will require water. Improper watering ends up killing more bonsai than any other cause. Check your bonsai on a daily by inserting your finger into the soil. If the soil is humid or cool, do not water the tree. 


Water the bonsai every couple of days, but there is no regular schedule. Water thoroughly and deeply whenever the soil appears dry. An old bonsai watering tactic is to immerse the entire pot in an inch or two of water. Allow the water to absorb it through holes in the pot’s bottom. 


A low-cost moisture meter takes care of the entire watering of plants.


Do not forget to water your bonsai. Apply water before the dirt appears dry – don’t let the dirt become dry. It is a great idea to use a moisture meter until you are aware of the needs of your bonsai tree. Put water until it starts to run out of the openings in the bottom of your pot. It is not about “how” you water your tree but about watering it correctly.

Indoor Care


Flowering mount fuji serissa bonsai requires bright but indirect light. Avoid placing the plant near poorly insulated doors or windows. Consider placing it in a room with a heater, such as an enclosed sun porch. In the winter, keep the temperature between 50 and 70° Fahrenheit during the day and no lower than 45 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Nutrient indoors as directed above, no more than once every three weeks, and use 1/2 strength if you water less than once a week.


In the winter, place the Flowering Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai somewhere where temperatures may not fall below freezing. In the summer, keep it cool. Maintain indoor humidity levels between 30% and 70%.

Outdoor Care (Summer)


If possible, place it outside in the summer. Just be mindful of the temperature changes. In the summer, you can grow your Flowering Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai outside. To avoid scorching the leaves, place them in partial shade and avoid direct sunlight. Carry it outside during the season when the midday temperature is the same as indoors. And bring it back inside when temperatures return. In particular, the midday temperature is around 70 degrees.


Winter will not harm this plant if it is outside, where it will be above 50 degrees Fahrenheit for a few hours during the day. Lessen watering bonsai indoor plants from spring to autumn, but keep the soil moist in all instances.


These plants mustn’t dry completely out or become soggy. Also, after watering, always allow them to drain completely. Reduce watering even more in the winter and keep your Flowering Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai indoors until late spring, when it may change that may occur sunlight.

Insects & Diseases of Serissa Bonsai


alphids on serissa bonsai
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Serissa bonsai are less vulnerable to pests and diseases.  Due to abrupt changes in environmental conditions such as light and temperature. But, look out for common bonsai pests such as aphids, spider mites, scale, and root aphids. Insecticides in sprays, soapy rinses, or systemic poisons are useful to combat these. I recommend that you spray your bonsai with a non-toxic insect spray once every month or two. Rinse it with soap the following day. But do not spray in dry soil.

Trimming & Pinching Serissa Bonsai Tree


trimming serissa bonsai
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A Bonsai miniature should be trimmed and pinched as new growth appears to maintain the beauty. Never cut all new growth at once. The look that you want to aim for determines the shape. Use bonsai trimming cutters at eye level with your bonsai tree. Cut it smoothly or slightly concave to allow the scar to heal faster.


Remove fading flowers when they are in bloom to encourage more flower creation. Serissa bonsai tree is a fast grower that may need constant pruning to preserve its shape. Besides formal upright and broom, Serissa has raised roots and is regularly used in the exposed root over rock styles.

Video Credits: @MaKeBonsai

Nurturing Nature’s Masterpiece and Taking the Next Step

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As we conclude our journey through the enchanting world of Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai tree, it becomes evident that caring for these living artworks is both an art and a science. With its delicate white miniature flowers and graceful forms, the Serissa bonsai tree has captured the imaginations of enthusiasts for centuries.


In the art of bonsai, every snip, every leaf, and every twist of the trunk tells a story of patience and dedication. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting to explore the bonsai world, Mount Fuji Serissa bonsai tree is a canvas waiting for your artistic touch. This miniature tree offers a world of wonder and beauty from the first delicate bloom to the carefully sculpted branches.


Remember, these botanical gems are more than just ornamental decorations; they are living entities that thrive with the proper care and attention. As you venture into the realm of bonsai, you’ll not only discover the serenity of shaping nature but also a deeper connection with the living world.


So, as you embark on your serissa bonsai tree journey, armed with the knowledge shared in this article, know that you are becoming a guardian of a living masterpiece. Your Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai will grace your living space and teach you the art of patience, resilience, and the profound beauty of nature’s creations. It’s a journey of discovery, an adventure in horticulture, and a lifelong connection with the delicate wonders of our natural world.


Now, it’s your turn to take the next step. Find your own Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai tree, put your newfound knowledge into practice, and let your bonsai masterpiece come to life. Happy gardening, and may your Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai thrive and bring you endless joy!

Frequently Asked Questions


Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai
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Your serissa bonsai will grow healthy as long as you care for it properly. You may find yourself asking many questions when caring for bonsai plants. To further assist you, here are some frequently asked questions about bonsai care.

What is it like as a decorative plant and when caring for it?

The popular Flowering Mount Fuji Serissa Bonsai tree (Nerissa foetida) with a trained raised root system is native to the Mt. Fuji region of Japan. Many identify it for its unique, small leaves and delicate white miniature flowers. Homeowners keep it indoors to establish or improve their home design as it blooms profusely. Also, this species has become popular due to its ease of care and low water requirements. In a way, it isn’t demanding. Likewise, it is well-adapted to soil erosion, as it prefers dry soil. Hence, it’s no wonder why many households have these too.

The Serissa Mt Fuji tree goes by its name because of its shaped leaves that resemble the iconic Mount Fuji when it’s in full bloom. Its tiny white flowers are an added bonus to this already beautiful plant. Because of these blooms, the miniature tree can provide extra visual appeal and a burst of color during the summer months. So having them around as a decorative plant works.


The Mt Fuji Serissa is relatively hardy, able to manage independently. Yet, despite this, it needs a bit of extra help in areas with heavy soil erosion or overly dry conditions. It still requires watering but not too much of it. That is to say, to ensure a healthy plant, make sure that the chosen soil drains well, and that you’re not over-watering your tree. Additionally, be sure to fertilize during the growing season for optimal results!

How Often Should I Water My Bonsai?

In the summer, when your tree is outside and has direct sunlight, you will need to water this every day. When it’s indoors, in a well-lit room, it still needs water every day or every other day. To be certain:


  1. Use the finger test.
  2. Poke using your finger into the soil to check if they need watering.
  3. If the soil is moist at a one-inch depth, don’t try watering them during the day.
What Season Is Best for Taking Care of Bonsais?

Since serissa bonsai is a subtropical plant, the best seasons to take care of them are spring, summer, and autumn. It will survive more in these seasons than in winter. You can put it outside to receive sunlight and afternoon shade. While in winter, it is quite hard to maintain it indoors.

How Can I Tell if My Bonsai Is Getting Too Much or Not Enough Sunlight?

When your bonsai gets too much sunlight, particularly direct rays, it can burn or overheat. It can end up causing yellowing or crisping of the leaves. If you notice your tree withering during peak daylight, move and elocate it to a shaded place from the midday sun. Misting your bonsai tree before the hottest temperature of the day can help it stay cool.


Indoor bonsai suffer from a lack of light. The most common sign is a bonsai that appears wilted and vulnerable over time. Place your bonsai in a south-facing window. Even in these instances, it may not get adequate light. If the problem continues, add a grow light. In warmer months, you can also move your tree outside during the day for the greatest sunbathing.

What Is the Proper Way to Repot My Bonsai?

To begin, rinse any old soil with an old toothbrush and water. Then, after dampening the soil, fill the pot with new soil. I recommend using a standard soil mix. Then you start taking your tree out of its old pot. And place it in the new one. Push down on all sides of the root ball to ensure it is secure in the soil. Use the dampened soil to fill gaps between roots until the soil surface is flat.

Can Pesticides Be Used in Taking Care of Bonsais?

When caring for bonsais indoors or outdoors, avoid using pesticides because they will kill them just like any other plant. Use only the bonsai-specific pesticides. Do not use pesticides in outdoor bonsais unless you want to exterminate the entire garden.

How Often Should I Prune My Bonsai?

Between February and May, after the first rinse of growth, you can prune a new bud. However, it would help if you did so before summer hibernation. During this time, you can also eliminate any dead or dying branches. Some overgrown shoots may also need to be pruned in mid-summer.


If there is a pest infestation, some branches may have to be taken down. Remove any insects that show signs of infestation, such as thrips, spider mites, and scale insects.

How Can I Prevent Ingrown Leaves?

To avoid ingrown leaves, cut them straight across with sharp cutters. It will prevent ingrown and encourage the tree to produce a new bud beneath the severed leaf. To make your bonsai look its best, I recommend that you remove any tiny, twiggy growth.

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