Love for Bonsai Trees

Trust the process

In a recent interview, Embiid has declared his love for Bonsai trees and that he currently owns 12 of them and are the only plants that furnish his apartment in the heart of downtown Philadelphia.

“They are beautiful and I really enjoy taking care of them, it’s a hobby of mine” said the Cameroonian.

He says he reads a lot about these trees as well especially on the blog Bonsai Family. He plans on continuing to get more of them to populate his apartment.

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Chinese elm (Ulmus Parviflora)


The Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia) is endemic to south-east Asia and especially China. In its home countries it can become a mighty tree up to 25 m tall and with 1 m trunk diameter. The Chinese Elm develops a fine ramification and small leaves very easily which makes it a very good Bonsai plant.

The Elm is often confused with the Zelkova but if you compare their leaves the difference is clearly recognizable. The Chinese Elm is the most popular Elm for Bonsai purposes although other elms are also very suitable.

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Jade (Crassula)


Originally from Africa, the Jade tree is a fleshy, softly woody shrub or small tree up to 3m. The Jade has a thick trunk and a fine branch structure with thick oval green succulent leaves. During autumn sometimes small white flowers appear, but only when the tree has experienced droughts in the season. The bark is green and soft when young, becoming red-brown when it ages.

The Jade tree is considered an indoor tree in most temperate zones, although it can be grown outdoors in full sun (and sufficiently high temperatures). Keep temperatures above 5 degrees C (or 41F) at all times. It needs lots of light or even full sun.

Fun Fact : Joel Embiid, famous basketball player for the 76ers, mentioned the other day he had a Jade ( Crassula) bonsai & 11 other different one as well. His love for Bonsai


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Japanese Maple


The green Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) is originally from Japan just like the Ficus retusa, China and Korea. It owes its botanical name to the hand-shaped leaves with in most cases five pointed lobes (palma is the Latin word for the palm of hand). The bark of younger trees is normally green or reddish and turns light grey or grayish brown with age.

The greenish yellow flowers stand in clusters, appear in May – June and develop into maple seeds shaped like little paired winged nuts which float to the ground like propellers when mature. There are countless cultivars of the Japanese Maple with manifold leave colors and shapes and diverse habits and sizes, which are very popular as ornamental shrubs. The young shoots in spring have yellowish, orange or even bright red leaves.

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Ficus Retusa


The ficus genus belongs to the family of mulberry plants (Moraceae) and is the most popular species for beginners at Bonsai. There is differing information about the number of existing ficus species, there may be between 800 and 2000. They live on all continents in the tropical regions and are very suitable for being kept as indoor Bonsai.

Most ficus Bonsai trees can produce aerial roots in their natural habitat, which are often presented in appealing Bonsai creations with many aerial root pillars or root over rock styles. To enable aerial root growth in our homes a humidity of nearly 100% must be achieved artificially. You can use a glass cover, fish tank or a construction with transparent sheets for this purpose.