Varigated Tree of a Thousand Stars, Serrisa Mount Fuji
Serissa foetida Mount Fuji cultivar has larger leaves and a thicker stem than other Serissas. It is strongly variegated, with single Star shaped white flowers. Variegation changes throughout the year, based on temperature, light and nutrient content.
Informal Upright, Slanting, Cascade, Semi-cascade, Broom
A bright but not too sunny permanent position out of cold draughts, for instance on a East or West facing windowsill. Good humidity levels must be maintained and can be provided by daily misting and the use of a humidity tray. Never place the tree on a window sill above a radiator as the dry air from these drastically reduce the humidity around the plants. During summer when night temperatures are above 7°C the Serissa will benefit from a few weeks outdoors.
Serissa dislike water logged roots just much as they dislike bone dry soils. Water thoroughly, ensuring the compost mediums is well drained before watering again. Daily watering as a routine should not be carried out unless necessary, though daily misting is required, but do not mist while in bloom as this causes the flowers to rot. Ensure the gravel tray is kept continually wet but never allow the pot to be stood in water.
Feed once a month during the winter and every two weeks from early summer when growth is stronger. Use liquid bonsai food or half-strength plant food. Only feed when the compost is moist to avoid root-tips burn. Likes slightly acid soil conditions, so the occasional application of Miracid is appreciated. Do not feed when the tree has lost leaves or if it is not showing new growth.
Leaf and Branch Pruning:
Prune as needed. Serissa is a fast grower and often needs radical or repeated pruning to maintain its shape. Since the Serissa will grow back on old wood so heavy pruning if required can be done during the growing period.
Re-potting & Growing Medium:
Serissa dislike root pruning and can be left for 2-3 years at a time. Repot in Spring as growth starts -this helps the root system recover quickly.
Wire during the growing period.
Serissa are not hardy plants and need to be protected from temperatures below 7°C which means that in the UK and Europe it has to be grown indoors. However, there-in lies the problem. It is difficult to maintain the levels of humidity required which cause the plant to suffer, yellowing the leafs which then fall off. The Serissa suffers from too much water or too little water, when it hot and dry. If moved it often loses its leafs, while it acclimatises. Despite all this the plant is not killed easily and once it establishes in an environment make for a beautiful bonsai.