The most known species
are Serissa foetida (so called because the roots smell fetid), Serissa
japonica variegata (green leafs with yellow borders). With correct pruning
they wear little white flowers between may and september.
Temperature and exposure:
Serissas are supposed to be interior plants but I have them outside
the whole year protecting them from hot summer light and extreme freeze.
They are not as sensible as is mentioned in some literature, my trees
have suffered temperatures between -5° and 36° C without any
problem. Caution with hot summer winds.
Pruning and cleaning:
During the vegetative period the serissas grow very fast producing
long and linear ramifications which must be pruned often to obtain a
more dense growth. The always green tree changes leafs continuously,
the yellow ones should be cut off. Dry branches must be eliminated completely.
Pruning after repotting: Branches must be pruned to obtain good
growth. Main pruning: Should be done every two or three years
to reactivate the growth. Flower pruning: Eliminate the withered
flowers to favor the growth of new ones.
Wiring: I don't
do much wiring on the Serissas because the branches are normally very
fine and break easily. I like most the Hokidachi style with pronounced
roots and a strong trunk culminating in a dense foliage. If wiring is
required it should be done with care as the branches are very soft and
sensible. Scars, as always, should be avoided with raffia.
Repotting / Soil: Depending
on the size of the pot I repot the plants every year or I wait up to
three years. If I want the plant to grow, I don't prune the roots but
replant in a bigger pot. I use a mixture of humus, compost and sand
in same proportion and finally add a bit of clay. Serissas look good
in blue or green ceramic and also in earth colored rectangular pots.
must be taken in summer and in winter. In summertime Serissas are quite
thirsty, lack of water even for a short period can be fatal. In wintertime
watering must be controlled with care, as the roots tend to rotten very
easily. A good drainage is essential. Serissas are tropical plants and
prefer humid summers, vaporization is effective in dry regions (not
be applied during the vegetative period only and never after repotting.
I prefer the solid type which dissolves itself slowly. Reduce dose during
the flowering period. In wintertime a little dose can be applied if
the plant stays in a warm environment.
The best remedy I have found is removing the parasites manually followed
by a shower of water. If the attack persists, I use three drops of Folithion
per 1 liter of water. Rotten roots: The roots get brown and soft
normally caused by too much watering. A adequate repotting into a pot
with good drainage could save the tree.
Light: The serissa
are very light-sensible. They require much light but don't like direct
sun in very hot summers. Light changes will cause immediately leaf loss.