Sweet Plum (sageretia theezans) - Information & Care

Posted on 16 Apr 19:22

Sweet Plum (sageretia theezans)

The Flowering Sweet Plum is a tree from the family Rhamnacae. Native to Southern China; its common names are Bird Plum, Sweet-Plum or Chinese sweet plum. Sweet Plum is semi-evergreen and the flowers are small and inconspicuous; the fruit is a small and edible.

Young growth is reddish in color before it matures. The bark quickly becomes scaly and is a dark-brown in color.

In Summer tiny flowers appear in the leaf axils of new shoots and produce large clusters of white flowers, followed by small blue berries.

Sageretias are slow to form thick trunks and have very fine formative growth

Our Recommendations:

Sweet Plum Bonsai prefers morning sun and afternoon semi-shade or shade. While this tree likes light, it does not like strong direct sun, which can scorch. As with all bonsai trees, this plant should be kept outdoors whenever possible. In Winter it should be keep it indoors, until night temperatures are high enough (at least 55F or 12 degrees C).

This tree should be held at temperature of 55-60 F for 6-8 weeks around the winter solstice.

In Spring; once nighttime temperatures are consistently over 55 degrees, the tree can be moved outside

This should not be considered an outdoor bonsai unless you're live in Zone 8 or higher

In General:

Sageretia Theezans is considered semi-evergreen; though they will remain evergreen in mild climates, they actually become deciduous in temperate zones when exposed to colder temperatures. This is why we recommend bringing the trees indoors below 55 degrees.

Sageretias will survive temperatures just below freezing but it is we don’t recommend it as they will become dormant and loose all leaves. For Bonsai, it is preferable to keep this tree in conditions that rarely drop below around 55F to keep the foliage and keep them in continual growth.

Bonsai Care:

Bonsai are grown in pots and are totally dependent on you for their care.

With proper care, your bonsai will remain healthy, beautiful and miniature for many years to come.

Since your bonsai is a living miniature tree, it will increase in beauty as it matures through the years.

The instructions below are just the basics and, therefore, we recommend that you purchase one of the many fine books available on the subject.


The Sweet Plum is one tree that will thank you for putting it in the bright light but not full sun If you keep this tree indoors on a window sill be sure it does not get strong afternoon light to avoid scorching.

When night time temperatures drop below 55 degrees we suggest that you bring your bonsai indoors and place the tree on a windowsill or on a table in front of one


Once nightly lows begin approaching the 55 degree mark, it is time to bring your indoor bonsai inside. The ideal indoor location is on a window sill facing south. An east or west exposure is second best. A northern exposure will work, but will necessitate the use of "grow lights" to provide sufficient light to keep your bonsai healthy. Four to six hours of sunlight per day should suffice; if you can provide more light, even better.


The watering of your bonsai must never be neglected. Apply water before the soil appears dry; never allow the soil to become completely dry. It is a good idea to use a moisture meter until you get to know the requirements of your bonsai tree. Water should be applied until it begins running out of the holes in the bottom of your pot. It doesn’t really matter “how” you water your tree, but rather that when you are finished the tree has been well watered.


Sweet Plum loves humidity. In dryer climates or low indoor humidity a Humidity / Drip Tray is necessary.

This is especially true during the cold months, when your bonsai is inside. We highly recommend placing it in a Humidity/Drip Tray; which is a shallow tray filled which is filled with a layer of gravel (increased surface area to aid evaporation and look nice), with water added. The pot sits on the gravel. This provides extra moisture around the tree as the water evaporates and reduces the amount of moisture lost to modern heating systems.


Fertilizing is necessary, if your bonsai is to remain healthy and beautiful, to fertilize. Since your bonsai is growing in such a small amount of soil it is necessary to replenish the soil's supply of nutrients periodically.

Any general-purpose liquid fertilizer will do fine and is available at most garden centers. We suggest that fertilizers be used at half their recommended strength. Fertilizer should be applied at least once a month except during winter. Your bonsai will also respond well to foliar feeding, with a water-soluble fertilizer applied every other month as a spray.


This brief explanation of basic care does not cover training. Training deals with the art of bonsai and should be understood before undertaking. However, most of the true bonsai trees you find have already been through their initial training period, thus requiring only periodic trimming and pinching to remain miniature.


Trimming and pinching keep your tree miniature. Pinch and trim back the new growth to the farthest safe point. However, you should Never remove all of the new growth. A little should be left to sustain the health of the tree. Tropical and sub-tropical trees used for bonsai will require periodic pinching and trimming throughout the year. Since different trees grow at different rates, it is necessary to evaluate each tree’s rate of growth and adjust your trimming and pinching to accommodate it.


Repotting must be performed periodically on all bonsai when their root system has filled the pot. The reasons for repotting are to supply your tree with fresh soil, and to encourage a more compact root system. As a rule, most deciduous trees require repotting every two or three years, while evergreens only need to be repotted every four or five years. Since trees grow at different rates, this schedule will not always hold true, therefore, you should examine your tree's root system each year to determine if it has become pot-bound.

In most cases, the potting process is easy and safe if performed properly and at the right time of the year. Repotting should be done in mid-summer. The tree, along with all of its soil, should be removed from the pot. The outer and bottom most fourth of the tree's root mass should be removed. This is done by raking the soil away, then pruning back the roots. In most cases, it is not good to prune back more than one fourth of the tree's root mass. After this, the tree can be placed back in its original pot or into another. The pot should have screen placed over the drainage holes. Then a thin layer of small gravel is placed in the bottom of the pot for drainage purposes. On top of this gravel is placed the new fresh soil. The layer of new soil should be sufficient to elevate the tree to its previous height in the pot. After placing the tree back in the pot, the area left vacant by the pruned root mass should be filled in with fresh soil. This fresh soil should be worked in around and under the root mass in such a manner as to avoid leaving any air pockets. After repotting, your bonsai should be thoroughly watered. This can be achieved by submerging the entire pot in a tub of water. Moss or other ground covers can be used to cover the surface of the pot to help prevent soil erosion when watering.


Can be affected by aphids and white fly. Should it be affected by mildew, do not lower humidity levels; rather increase air circulation Since your bonsai is a tree in miniature, it can be treated for insects and diseases the same as any other tree. If you discover any insects or diseases, visit our website where you will be able to obtain the necessary products to eliminate the problem.