Meet our new housemate, Larry!

So Huan and I have been doing a lot of taking care of paperwork and house-things. I’ve been meaning to share with everyone our Paco Market adventures, but I have an exciting announcement to make: we have a new friend, Larry! He’s an immature Juniper Procumbens who we recently picked up.

Before taking our plant home, Huan already had in mind what type of bonsai he wanted since we saw a few at the mall (Greenbelt to be specific). He saw a few that went for PHP 2500 (~USD 60), and a smaller one that cost only PHP 1200. Prices at the mall are typically more expensive here, and I like shopping around before taking something home (unless it’s cheap clothes), so we held off for a while.

Finally this past weekend, we took a day trip to Tagaytay to visit the Picnic Grove Park with our friends from Jersey and their family, as well as to eat some Bulalo at Sky Ranch. Santa Rosa Road is popular for its pasalubong (Filipino for gifts or take-homes), so on the way home, we made a pit stop every time we thought of something that we wanted – most of the food was consumed before bringing back to Manila. Also along this main road in Tagaytay are plenty of gardens where you can pick up cheap plants from flowers to herbs and – guess what – bonsai trees! We were able to haggle our little guy down to P400, but I’m sure a true local would have been able to snag him for lower.

We got home and found out after our purchase that Larry is actually known as the “Karate Kid” bonsai, since this was featured in the movie and is the most popular evergreen in the US. This made Huan happy for sure.

Mr. Miyagi pruning in Karate Kid
Mr. Miyagi pruning in Karate Kid. Pruningggggg!

Today we finally picked up some simple shears from Daiso Japan Home Center for PHP 66 (~USD 1.50). Huan and I finally gave Larry a little haircut, and I’m excited to share the results! You’ll notice we didn’t wire him up to fix the way he stands, since Larry is still quite young. He’s in a 9×6.5″ pot with a trunk circumference of no more than 2″ or something. Additionally, his foliage is spiky which, according to the internet, means that he’s either stressed or young. Here’s our first attempt to make Larry look pretty. Enjoy!

Larry when we first got him. He was super duper long! It probably took a while to grow that, but it was a bit too long for our personal taste, and there was a lot of dead-ness happening, so we decided to trim that long piece off.
Groot meets Larry. Groot says hi. Or maybe he just danced with Larry – who knows.
Huan giving Larry some TLC by removing all the branches with the most brown/dead pieces. He also just wanted it to be a bit smaller in general.
Pruning setup for the condo! Put two plastic bags under the pot – one to catch the pieces once they fall, then a second bag to dump everything in.
Before & After: Pruning seriously makes a difference in making the bonsai look like a tiny tree.
Feeding Larry by putting him in our kitchen sink and letting him soak in water from the bottom of the hole for about 10 minutes. Little guy was super hungry!
Larry, you look so fresh.

Huan and I are super excited to have our first house plant be a bonsai tree. What are other houseplants that are condo-friendly?

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