Caring for Prunus mume - Jap (Ume) Flowering Apricot or Japanese Plum Bonsai

Larry Morton

Posted on February 08 2019

Japanese Apricot requires full sun for best bloom. Most Prunus tend to be relatively short-lived trees. Avoid excessive fertilization. Spray for fireblight when in bloom. Defoliation is terrible horticulture due to the excessive unnecessary stresses to any healthy plant. Excessive infrequent pruning also will devitalize your bonsai. Create trunk movement and remove thick upper branches early in the development process while branches are still flexible. Otherwise you'll end up with a long straight trunk. Its root system thrives in a cool, moist substrate high in organic matter. Extreme frost has been known to damage flowers. Good horticultural practices translate to healthy bonsai.

  • The low broadly ascending branches usually form a vase shape, sometimes a more spherical habit. Some are upright, some with crooked leaning trunk. Some corkscrew, some with pendulous branching.
  • Great summer foliage of Ume  is better than the other species of Prunus.
  • Pink buds and fragrant flowers greet Jan-Feb. 
  • Yellow plum fruits. 
  • Polished green stems noticeable year round.
  • Dark brown artistic bark quality.
  • 'Nicholas" shows off cotton candy pink double flowers in mid- to late winter.
  • Many other excellent varieties of various white, pink and rose and red flower colors in both single and double forms are available.


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