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Chinese Sweet Plum (Sageretia theezans) indoor bonsai tree
  • Pretty purple fruits
  • Easy to care for
  • Quick and fun to grow
  • Easy to style
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Red-tinged new foliage
Example of Chinese Sweet Plum Bonsai

The Chinese Sweet Plum (Sageretia theezans) is a pretty indoor bonsai which has great character at an early age due to the flaky bark revealing tones of red/tan. The stunning foliage has hints of rusty red turning to glossy green. Small white flowers give rise to tiny purple plum-shaped fruits.
A really pretty bonsai. Ideal for beginners with fabulous character.

The striking colours of the Sweet Plum bonsai are one of the key features. It has small, glossy, oval-shaped leaves that vary in shades of green, giving it a fresh and vibrant look. Often the new leaves in spring and autumn months are flush with red tinges. It looks stunning. This is a compact bonsai with very neat habit. The trunk can develop a lovely textured flaky bark and aged appearance over time. It is an elegant species which is highly suitable for growing indoors.

Tree meanings

Bonsai in general symbolise peace, harmony, order of thoughts and balance.
This bonsai symbolises protection, health and wishes.
Wonderfully signifies new life, renewal and creativity.

A Beautiful Eco Friendly Gift Idea – Sustainable & Natural Gift for Birthday, Anniversaries, Christmas, Thank You’s and Get Well Soon Presents

A your looking for a special gift? Perhaps a gift for your wife’s birthday or anniversary presents for him? Bonsai trees make a cherished gift idea. A natural green gift which is environmental friendly. A joy to nurture and fun to grow. The make a superb feature in your home and it is wonderful to bring a little nature into your kitchen or living room. A Sageretia bonsai is a stylish gift tree which is beautifully proportioned. It would be ideal for those seeking a very special present, maybe something a little different.

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Chinese Sweet Plum (Sageretia theezans) Bonsai Care Summary

Positioning & Temperature

The Chinese Sweet Plum is an easy indoor bonsai species to care for. It likes a bright position, with good natural daylight, but as with all bonsai, should not be placed in a very hot position in mid-summer. It is not fussy about temperature, but it is not frost hardy so would not be suitable to grow as an outdoor bonsai during the winter months.


Watering is a lovely and essential part of bonsai tree care. It is a simple, yet vital part of growing bonsai and only takes a few seconds. We recommend whilst you are learning to check the soil daily. If the soil is wet or very damp, please do not water your bonsai. When the soil starts to firm and feels barely damp to the touch, water well by either standing the bonsai in water for a few minutes or by pouring water over the soil surface to re-wet the root ball evenly.


Misting the leaves of your Chinese Sweet Plum is not essential, but does enhance the growth during winter months in particular. In the winter, when the central heating is on, the air can get very dry and misting will simply replace some of the lost humidity and encourage new foliage growth.


Feeding bonsai trees is good practice. The bonsai rely on us to provide the nutrients and trace elements they need. A well balanced bonsai feed, such as Bonsai Direct Fertiliser, will maintain healthy and beautiful trees and promote growth, fruiting and flowering.


The Sweet Plum Bonsai is a relatively fast growing bonsai variety and is fun to prune and style. The new shoots are often flecked with russet tones which really does make it look very pretty. To maintain the lovely highly defined foliage pads and pretty canopy it is important not to let the shoots grow too long and straggly. By keeping the shoots trimmed, you will be encouraging back budding and new leaves to grow. Most new growth will appear during spring or summer. Allow a shoot to grow approx. 4cm and then prune back to the first two new leaves. Use a sharp pair of bonsai pruning scissors to do this. Within 4-6 weeks you can usually see signs of new shoots emerging further back down the branches, it is very rewarding.
If you would like to try some re-styling you could try some wiring techniques. Generally, wiring is used to give a branch or slender trunk more character and shape.

Growing/Propagating your own Chinese Sweet Plum bonsai trees

We are frequently asked for bonsai seed kits but the reality is that thee kits are rather a disappointed. They frequently don’t germinate and it is not the best way to propagate indoor bonsai trees. You are far better to purchase a bonsai, so you can enjoy growing it, and propagate new bonsai by taking cuttings.
These are best taken in spring. Allow new shoots to grow 8-10cm and then prune with clean pruning scissors. Pop these cuttings into some fresh multipurpose compost in a small pot. Water them and then keep misting to maintain humidity.

Re-potting your bonsai

If a bonsai becomes pot bound the roots cannot grow. Consequently, the tree cannot grow. The younger the tree the quicker it is growing and the more frequently it will require root pruning or re-potting. As a general rule you are looking at approximately every 2-3 years, and older specimens every 4-5 years. If the pot that your bonsai is in is aesthetically large enough, you may simply be able to root prune your bonsai and it may not require a larger pot at all.

Re-potting is best done when the bonsai is actively growing during the warmer summer months. If the bonsai requires a larger pot, simply lift the root ball out of the current pot, tease out approximately one quarter of the root ball with a chop stick to loosen the roots around the edge and position into its new, slightly larger, pot. Use good quality, free draining soil, such as Akadama, and work around the edge of the pot. Stand your re-potted bonsai in water, so that the water covers the whole pot, for approximately 5 mins and then allow to drain.

Akadama is a high quality Japanese bonsai soil made from dried loam. It is granular, so is free flowing and easy and clean to work with. The small balls also encourage the growth of lovely fibrous feeder roots, which is what we want when growing bonsai trees.

Bonsai tips

Please avoid using air freshener near your bonsai, they are not overly keen!
Sweet Plum (Sageretia theezans) bonsai trees respond well to the use of a Plant Invigorator to help keep the free from pests and help promote new growth. We use this weekly as a preventive measure.

21 replies

  1. Could anyone tell me why my Bonsai plant has green shoots in its soil, but nothing on the tree

    1. Hi Wendy,
      Without seeing a photo, this is hard to say, but usually it means the top of the bonsai has dried out and died off.
      But there is still life in the roots.
      It may shoot from the base. Allow these shoots to get far too long, then start wrapping them around the main trunk and branches.
      Pretty quickly they will use the old trunk as a skeleton to ‘wrap around’.
      i hope this helps
      Sarah – Bonsai Direct team

  2. Hi, my son purchased a Chinese Sweet Plum Bonsai for my birthday from your site. When I got it, it was full of life and very bushy (as you would expect). I’ve followed all the instructions on watering, feeding, pruning etc, that you have supplied but it is dying off at the top – half the trunk appears dead with no growth. At the bottom it seems to have regular new growth but these leaves are sometimes dying and there is no growth from the middle up. What is wrong with it? How do I/can I encourage new growth at the top or do I cut off half the trunk that seems to have died. Thanks

    1. Hi Glyn,
      Thanks for your message. Please, could you send me a photo so we can check the symptoms and give you the correct advice?
      Kind regards

  3. Hello, I have a Chinese sweet plum that i have had for over 2 years now. At the beginning of this year around February all of the leaves fell off and since then i have had no signs of new buds or leaves the tree is totally bare.
    Help please.

    1. Hi Shaun, to see if the bonsai is alive you need to make some small nicks in the trunk and branches. The layer just beneath the bark is the cambium layer and should be green. please check in many places.
      Kind regards Bonsai Direct

  4. Hi its Shaun again, well i made several small nicks in various places on the tree and saw no green, so sadly it seems my tree has died. Not really sure what happened as it has been fine for 2 years then suddenly all the leaves fell off. guess ill have to look around for a new tree and try again, Thanks for the help.

    1. If the leaf drop is sudden then usually it is one of two things. Either the bonsai has dried out or become very hot.
      The only other thing which can cause issues is the use of anti-bacterial air fresheners.
      I hope this helps you diagnose the case.

  5. I’ve had my Bonsai for 4 months and it’s been happy and healthy. Suddenly, the leaves are crisp, yellowing and falling off quite quickly. I do see little bugs in the soil which I have never seen before.

    1. Hi Dee. If the leaves have gone dry and crispy then one of 2 things have happened. The bonsai soil is either too dry or it has become very hot.
      Please clean off any old, loose leaves and stand the bonsai in a container of water for 1 hour so that the water just covers the top of the pot. Then allow to drain.

      Following this, please keep the soil damp at all times, and mist the leaves daily with water to increase humidity.
      Here is a link to our watering video, which you may find helpful:

      Please position your bonsai in a bright location but avoiding direct sunlight.
      If the bonsai does recover, it may take 6 weeks before you see any improvements.
      We hope this helps
      Bonsai Direct Team

  6. Hi, I’ve had my sweet plum bonsai since November 2020 and it’s been growing really well, more leaves every week! But the last couple of days I’ve noticed a few of the leaves at the ends of the branches have wilted. Is there anything I can do? I water the bonsai as suggested and use the feeder (probably not as often as I should).

    1. Hi Rosie,
      Wilting leaves sounds like a slight watering issue, or maybe a temperature issue. Please keep the soil just damp at all times. Here is a link to our watering video, which you may find helpful:
      Please keep the bonsai at room temperature away from draughts, and mist the leaves regularly with water.
      I hope this helps.
      Kind regards,
      Bonsai Direct

  7. Hi,
    I’ve had my sweet plum for a couple of weeks now, it’s growing lots of new shoots on the top but its also dropping leaves, quite a lot. it still looks bushy, i’m spraying it with water daily and i’ve sprayed it with invigrorator once since having it, is this ok? why are the leaves dropping off? also its got a new branch growing out from just above the bottom of the trunk, do i snip it off? i’m quite worried about pruning the tree, i don’t really know what i’m doing.

    1. Hi Sue,
      It sounds like your tree is reacclimatising, to be sure could you send us a few good quality photos of your tree. You can do this through our online help form. We can help you with your additional questions once we have seen your tree.
      Kind Regards,
      Bonsai Direct.

  8. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

    1. Hi Zoritoler,
      Thank you for your kind words.
      We are pleased to hear that we have inspired to to create your own blog, we post once a week and would love you to continue reading!
      Many thanks,
      Bonsai Direct

  9. Help!
    My Sweet Plums leaves have turned rusty light brown.
    What am I doing wrong?
    Is it dead?
    Lesley x

    1. Hi Lesley, please send us an email with a few photos and we will happily take a look at your bonsai.
      Best wishes, The Bonsai Direct Team.

  10. I recently purchased the Chinese Sweet Plum twisty indoor bonsai from Bonsai Direct online store, and I must say, it has exceeded all my expectations! This magnificent bonsai looks amazing in my lounge. It arrived the next day and was incredibly well packaged.

    The first thing that caught my eye was the unique twisty trunk of the bonsai. It adds a captivating element to the overall appearance, making it a true conversation starter. The delicate branches are expertly trained, showcasing the traditional bonsai aesthetics that I adore.

    I purchased the Chinese Sweet Plum (Sageretia theezans) twisty bonsai as it is easy to care for, which is perfect for someone like me who is a beginner in the world of bonsai. The clear care instructions provided were a great help, ensuring that I can keep this bonsai thriving and healthy.

    One of the most delightful features of this bonsai is the stunning sweet plum is the little fruits – very cute!

    The quality of the Chinese Sweet Plum twisty indoor bonsai is exceptional. The tree arrived in perfect condition, securely packaged and with a healthy root system. The customer service was outstanding as well, a very easy to use website with fast trackable delivery.

    Overall, I highly recommend the Chinese Sweet Plum twisty indoor bonsai to any bonsai enthusiast or anyone looking to add a touch of natural beauty to their indoor space. It is a truly mesmerising piece that brings joy and serenity to my daily life.
    with thanks Vincent

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