How to grow Stewartia as bonsai

Stewartia prefers full sun but is shade tolerant in mid summer. Drying winds can cause scorched leaf margins. It responds well to water and fertilizer and takes heat and pruning well. Defoliation is terrible horticulture due to the excessive unnecessary stresses to any healthy plant. They're  easy to ramify with directional pruning and bud selection.  Keep in a cool, moist substrate high in organic matter. Good horticultural practices translate to healthy bonsai.


  • The natural growth habit of older trees is vase shaped to spherical.
  • The strong vertical habit when young changes to more open horizontal to ascending branching with age. Flat foliage pads or "clouds" are never seen in nature on a deciduous tree.
  • Dark green leaves turn reddish maroon in fall and hold into December.
  • White flowers June.
  • Beautiful cinnamon brown bark looks flaky and becomes smooth with age.


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How to grow Stewartia as bonsai

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