Native to China, Korea and Japan, the Kaki has been in cultivation for millennia. In Asia, it is grown for its fruit which is harvested in autumn, by which time the leaves have all fallen off and left the tree with a colourful crop of orange-red, plum-sized fruit.
Size and Styles: The Kaki makes enthralling delicate bonsai that have characterful trunks and cascade styles, it is cherished for it fiery Spring and Autumn Colouring.
Position: The Japanese Persimmon loves to grow in a bright sunny spot, especially a good harvest of fruits are desired. It is a very hardy species and will tolerate extreme cold, but best to protect bonsai in a cold greenhouse if temperatures fall below -4°C.
Watering: Needs a fair amount of water, and react adversely to being dry, usually with fruits being desiccated and dropping off. Water thoroughly early in the morning, so the bonsai has it when it needs it, and all standing water is used up before nightfall.
Feeding: Feed every two weeks from the end of flowering until Autumn. Use a balanced organic fertiliser. If using a slow-release pelleted feed begin in March, and replenish every two months. With a liquid fertiliser, feed every second week between March and October.
Repotting: Repot every one or two years in Spring. Use a well-draining, rich, organic bonsai mix. Use leaf-mould or bark and loam and sharp sand in equal parts. Alternatively, you can use Akadama and pumice in the ration of 2 to 1.
Pruning: Let the stalks extend fully before pruning back to leave three active nodes or lateral shoots.
Wiring: Wiring, is traditionally primarily used in the Kaki’s bonsai early development stage when the curvy trunks lines of the style are formed. The continued styling of the Kaki is best carried out with the clip and grow method. It responds well to wiring, but protect bark when wiring and best to wire in the Autumn and remove before spring growth begins hardening off.