Natal Plum Bonsai Tree, scientific name Carissa macrocarpa, is very popular bonsai tree because of its beautiful fragrant white flowers and tasty red fruits.
Scientific name: Carissa macrocarpa Syn. Carissa grandiflora. Some of the popular ornamental cultivars include: ‘Dainty Princess’, ‘Low Boy’, ‘Grandiflora’, ‘Green Carpet’, ‘Prostrata’, ‘Horizontalis’, ‘Linkii’, ‘Minima’, ‘Nana’, ‘Boxwood Beauty’, ‘Nana Compacta’, and ‘Tuttlei’.
Common name: Natal Plum, Carissa, Carissa Natal Plum.
Origin: Native to Northern South African province of KwaZulu/Natal.
Appearance: It is an evergreen shrub with glossy dark green foliage. Leaves are oval and arranged in opposing pairs. Branches are dense covered with forked spines. Wounded branches generate white milky sap.
Flowering: It produces fragrant star-shaped white flowers with five thick and waxy petals. The great thing about Natal Plum is that it booms almost all year long. In the summer and fall flowers are followed by pretty egg-shaped red fruits, that are edible. When the fruit is fully ripen, it turns to dark-red and is slightly soft to the touch. It can be eaten raw.
Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both. You can easily grow it outdoors if you live in a warm climate.
Light requirements: To get maximum blooms. it should be exposed to full sun. It can also grow in partial shade.
Water requirements: Needs regular watering. Avoid water-logging by providing it with good drainage. This plant is drought tolerant.
Hardiness: It is a subtropical to near-tropical plant that grows best in the USDA Zones 9b-10. It needs to be protect from cold temperatures below 29F.
Insects and Diseases: Spider mites, thrips and whiteflies, and occasionally scale insects.
Propagation: By seeds, cuttings, air-layering, and grafting.
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