Saturday, April 4, 2015

Growing Shuimei (Wrightia Religiosa)

Wrightia Religiosa, common name in Chinese 水梅, also called Water Jasmine, a very popular species for Tropical Bonsai. They can be easily trained to almost any bonsai style. This is one of the easy growing flowering plants in Singapore too, most planted by many plants lovers. Propagation is easy,  growing from seeds contained inside a green bean-like pod or from both branch and root cuttings.

There are three varieties of  Wrightia Religiosa:  the most common one has a cluster of small drooping single white flowers and there is a less common double flowered form. There is also a variety with extremely small leaves known as  Vietnam Wrightia (越南水梅)which is less commonly seen. The smaller leaf varieties are more difficult to grow.




Shui Mei grow quickly in our topical country. You have to prune the plants heavily every few months to prevent them growing out of the shade.  Defoliation not only will reduce leaf size and also will produce more flowers. I always pinch away all leaves every 2 months, and flowers will develop in 3-4 weeks time after that, I will get lovely white blooms, fill the place with a very sweet fragrance. Repotting is a must too, should be done at least every two years.

I love the way the mini flowers hanging in clusters below the green foliage, it make a perfect bonsai display. The long green bean-like seed pods will follow flowering if those flowers pollinated by insects. Seed pods ripen, turn black, and crack open to release the small fuzzy capped seeds. New plants grow from seed only start flowering after two years but the cutting stem will be flowering easily soon the plants growing live. One very interesting fact, the double flowered plant does not set seed, (why, why , why???) it only can be propagated from cuttings.




I am growing almost 10 pots if Wrightia, they are heavy feeders and enjoy a high nitrogen fertilizer. Goat shit or chicken shit are the best for Shui Mei, which is cheap and easy to get from any florist shop or even super market plant section. I supply one big spoon once a month for a pot as below picture shown. If you don't like the shit smell, any general-purpose liquid fertilizer will do fine.  Fertilizer should be applied at least once a month. Yellow leaves is a common problem caused either by overwatering or underfeeding.
Shui Mei plant will occasionally get scale, mealy bug, or aphids but it is easily controlled with pesticide spray.
 


6 comments:

Lee said...

Hi,

Where to get the small leaf Vietnam Wrightia (越南水梅)?

Thanks

Lee said...

Hi

Where to get the small leaf Vietnam Wrightia (越南水梅)?

Thanks
Lee

Unknown said...

Just saw a few in a small nursery stall at Tampines round market. I am having a hard time looking for the doublr petaled variety. Pls let me know if you see them or know someone kind enough to spare me a rooted cutting. Stevetay61@gmail.com

Steven Tay said...

Just saw a few in a small nursery stall at Tampines round market. I am having a hard time looking for the doublr petaled variety. Pls let me know if you see them or know someone kind enough to spare me a rooted cutting

Steven Tay said...

Just saw a few in a small nursery stall at Tampines round market. I am having a hard time looking for the doublr petaled variety. Pls let me know if you see them or know someone kind enough to spare me a rooted cutting. Stevetay61@gmail.com

Ray E. Villadelgado said...

Hello,

I live in the Philippines and I can't seem to get my shuimei plant to bloom. Some people said to water it frequently while others said moderately. I foliar feed once a week. Can you share tips on how often to water, how to apply fertilizer, etc. Thank you