How to care for a jaboticaba bonsai?

Bonsai, those small trees that are cared for in such a way that they can live well in low-height trays, tend, at the very least, to attract the eyes of many people. Some even end up buying one, either as a gift to someone … or to themselves. And they all have something very special, like jaboticaba bonsai.

Although this is a tropical plant that does not resist frost, it can be kept indoors without problems. For this reason, below I will tell you what the care of jaboticaba bonsai is .

What is the jaboticaba like?

First of all, we are going to see what the plant that is going to have as bonsai looks like. This is an evergreen tree native to Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, northeastern Argentina whose scientific name is Plinia cauliflora (formerly Myrciaria cauliflora ).  It is popularly known as chiquitano, jabuticaba, pauserna, guapurú and yvapuru. It reaches a height of 6-8 meters, often growing under the shade of larger trees.

Its trunk and branches have a tortuous appearance, and its leaves are green. The fruits , unlike many other plants, seem to sprout from the same trunk . These are purple in color when ripe and are edible. They can be consumed fresh or prepared with them soft drinks, jams, liqueurs or homemade vinegars. In spring, the trunks of the trees are full of flowers, as if covered with snow. The fruit grows directly from the trunk and presents a very unusual characteristic appearance.

It is a tree that grows in a tropical climate, but with the necessary care, it can live in temperate regions . It should not be exposed to temperatures below -3 degrees Celsius. It prefers humid soils with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5, making it an acidophilic plant.

How to care for jaboticaba bonsai?

Now, let’s see what the care of jabuticaba bonsai is:

  • Location : it is important that you be in a room with plenty of natural light. In the case of having it outside, it must be in semi-shade. When the plant is still young, it needs some sun protection, so we will look for places in the shade. The adult specimens can grow perfectly in full sunlight and can resist better in windy areas. Growing in coastal areas is not recommended as it has been shown to suffer. Once it reaches maturity, we can place it in a sunny and semi-shady place.
  • Irrigation : frequent. You have to water it 3-4 times a week in summer and a little less the rest of the year. Use rainwater or lime-free. They are moderately drought tolerant, so they need to be watered frequently, especially in summer. It prefers well-drained soil, so there is no need to place a plate or container under the pot, as it can cause partial rot of the root system. Soil drainage is the ability to filter rain or irrigation water.
  • Substrate : 70% akadama mixed with 30% kiryuzuna.
  • Subscriber : from spring to autumn it must be paid with a liquid bonsai fertilizer following the instructions specified on the package.
  • Transplant : in spring, every two years.
  • Pruning : at the end of winter diseased, weak or dry branches have to be removed, and those that are growing too much have to be straightened, allowing 6-8 pairs of leaves to grow and cutting 2-4 pairs.
  • Multiplication : by seeds in late summer.
  • Rusticity : it does not support the cold. The minimum temperature that resists is 18ºC.


The maintenance of this bonsai begins with its pruning. Pruning serves to give the necessary shape so that it is more beautiful and can grow in good conditions. In the list of other species, the focus is on how to prune the branches so as not to damage the flowering. In the case of the jaboticaba bonsai, it does not matter because it blooms directly from branches and trunks. In any case, training pruning should be done in winter when sap flow is less. In the initial stage of formation, we will not hold or prune the tree, because the tree is a slow-growing species, so it will hinder the process of fertilizing the trunk.

The second step of its maintenance is the transplant. Root growth is very horizontal and the surface is very shallow, so we should not remove more than half of the roots during transplantation. The mixture must be drained, so we will use a substrate with a fairly porous particle size , such as akadama, pomex, minileca, tiles, broken bricks, gravel … Since it is an acidophilus species, it is very important to add a part of peat moss or coconut fiber to the mix.

In order for it to develop well, we must provide it with an extra subscriber. In this way, they manage to have all the necessary nutrients for their proper development. We are helping you in some way to grow slowly but surely. Since the root system is very shallow, using chemical fertilizers is not recommended because they will burn the root system. Throughout the growth phase, we will use organic time-release fertilizers , and once the particles break down, they need to be replaced immediately.

Diseases and flowering

The jaboticaba bonsai is tropical

The flowering of the jaboticaba bonsai is really impressive and can happen up to 3 times a year, depending on the environmental conditions and the care we give it. A fraction is much more abundant when the tree goes through a cold and dry winter, this makes it not considered a tropical tree, but a subtropical tree. It usually takes 30 days from the start of flowering until the time the fruit is ready to be harvested . Depending on the variety, it can take 4 to 8 years for the plant to flower.

This variety is a species with very small leaves, which greatly favors its formation as bonsai. It can grow in a variety of styles, such as upright, literary, or multi-stemmed form . In short, the species is not very famous in Europe, but with perseverance and patience you can get amazing specimens.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the jaboticaba bonsai and its care.

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