Premna Help/Suggestions?

I’m the proud owner of 2 new premnas (from Wigert’s Bonsai Nursery, in Florida). I have never had this particular species before. I noticed a severe lack of premna’s referenced either in the forum’s or videos, as best I could find. I suspect that is because Bonsai Mirai is based in the North West where it’s a bit too cold for them.

Does anyone have any good suggestions for instructional videos or guides for premnas, specifically?

I have 2 different styles, one is to be shohin in size (kifu sho at the most) styled in the classical bonsai style of Shakkan, and the other is to be kept at Mame size (shohin at the most) and styled as Neagari.

Things I’m looking to answer are:

  1. When to re-pot (both for the health of tree and time of year)?

  2. What is the preferred soil composition?

  3. Any key seasonal care requirements?

  4. Any health issues or signs to watch for?

  5. Watering requirements (I believe they prefer wet feet)?

  6. Nutrient requirements?

  7. Pruning requirements or recommendations?

  8. Style suggestions?

  9. Common pests or disease?

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I would checkout the tropical content with David Cutchins

Any suggestions on structure?

You might try to contact Rob March, a Florida expert on Premna. He was the guest speaker at our recent club meeting and gave me some suggestions on a Premna I brought. Sorry I have no contact info for him.
David Cutchin likely knows him.

I’d get familiar with the essence of the species then decide do I want to make that or a bonsai…then start heading in that direction. I don’t know anything about the species so I can’t say.

Mike Lane works with these too (he did an article on them here: Seas of Green – Bonsai Today). Premna are popular in Taiwan so look there for examples. Premna are tropicals so repot in the summer. They grow fast (like sea hibiscus) so you may need to repot every year. If you let the branches grow out the leaves will get big, and the more you trim it the smaller the leaves get, so if you are in primary development let it grow, if in refinement trim it often to reduce leaf size dramatically. You can probably use whatever soil mix you normally use for high water mobility trees. They don’t seem to have many pest problems. I’ve never seen them have problems with the south Florida heat and sun, but protect from cold like any tropical.