about twenty species of small-medium sized trees belong to the genus malus, originating in Asia, America and Europe. In general, Asian species are mainly used as bonsai, such as M. sieboldii or M. halliana, which have small leaves, flowers and fruits. They have an erect posture, with a growing crown; the bark is gray-brown, smooth in young specimens, tends to crack with the passing of the years; the leaves are oval, of an intense green color, deciduous; in late spring they produce numerous small star-shaped flowers, white or pink in color, which in summer give rise to small round, yellow or red fruits. These plants have very vigorous growth, which allows for a good bonsai plant quite quickly, but which does not always make them suitable for beginners.

the malus should be pruned after flowering and during the winter rest period, avoiding excessive pruning, which could compromise fruiting in one case, and flowering in the other. From spring to autumn the new shoots are pinched, leaving 2- leaves. After flowering it is also possible to change the shape of the branches by affixing the metal wire, which is recommended to leave in place for a few weeks, to avoid unsightly scars on the branches.

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malus bonsai should be kept in full sun, although it is advisable to shade them slightly during the hottest days of July and August; these trees do not fear the cold, but it is advisable to protect the pots from frost during the winter months; in case of exceptionally cold temperatures it is good to repair the bonsai near a wall or cover it with TNT.

these plants need abundant watering, regular from March to October, waiting for the soil to dry slightly between one watering and the other; during the fruiting period it is good to intensify the watering, avoiding however to keep the soil too wet for long periods. From March to September, fertilize every 15-20 days, using a fertilizer with a high content of phosphorus before flowering and one with a high nitrogen content after flowering.

Soil: apple trees develop quite quickly, young specimens should be repotted every year, in autumn or at the end of winter; a compound consisting of a part of peat, a part of composting soil, a part of clay and a part of sand is used.

Multiplication: apple trees are generally obtained by grafting the desired species on malus domestica, to be carried out in late winter, early spring. These plants can also propagate by layering and offshoots.Pests and diseases: apple trees are often subject to attack by mites and some fungal diseases, against which it is advisable to carry out preventive treatments starting from the beginning of spring .

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Flowering apple, Apple – Malus – Malus – Bonsai tips – Flowering apple, Apple – Malus

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