to the genus malus belong about twenty species of trees of medium-small size, originating in Asia, America and Europe. Generally as bonsai, Asian species are mainly used, such as M. sieboldii or M. halliana, which have small leaves, flowers and fruits. They have an erect habit with a todic crown; the bark is gray-brown, smooth in young specimens, it tends to crack over the years; the leaves are oval, deep green, deciduous; in late spring they produce numerous small star-shaped flowers, white or pink, which give rise to small round, yellow or red fruits in summer. These plants have very vigorous growth, which allows them to obtain a good bonsai plant fairly quickly, but which does not always make them suitable for beginners.
the malus are pruned after flowering and during the winter rest period, avoiding excessive pruning, which could compromise fruiting in one case, and flowering in the other. From spring to autumn the new shoots are clipped, leaving 2- leaves. After flowering it is also possible to change the shape of the branches by applying the wire, which is recommended to be left in place for a few weeks, to avoid unsightly scars on the branches.
malus bonsai must be kept in full sun, although it is advisable to shade them slightly during the hottest days of July and August; these trees do not fear the cold, but it is advisable to protect the vessels from frost during the winter months; in case of exceptionally cold temperatures it is good to repair the bonsai near a wall or cover it with tnt.
these plants need abundant watering, regular from March to October, waiting for the soil to dry slightly between one watering and another; in the fruiting period it is good to intensify the watering, avoiding however to keep the soil too wet for long periods. From March to September, provide fertilizer every 15-20 days, using a fertilizer with a high phosphorus content before flowering and one with a high nitrogen content after flowering.
Flowering apple, Melo - Malus: Other tips
Soil: the apple trees grow quite quickly, the young specimens should be repotted every year, in autumn or at the end of winter; a compound consisting of a part of peat, a part of composting soil, a part of clay and a part of sand is used.
Multiplication: apple trees are generally obtained by grafting the desired species onto malus domestica, to be carried out in late winter, early spring. These plants can also be propagated by layering and offshoots.
Pests and diseases: apple trees are often subject to attack by mites and some fungal diseases, against which it is advisable to carry out preventive treatments from the beginning of spring.