Bougainvillea Glabra

slowgrow

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I picked up this guy recently. I was wondering if anyone had any styling tips for it? I know that the lowest branch on the left needs to go (it will make a good cutting). Any advice or suggestions would be great.
Thanks


 

bonsaiTOM

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If this is a recent purchase I would not do anything too radical right away. Let it get adjusted to its new home. Get it healthy first. In the growing season fertilize it well (and often). 'BOUGAIN" is a good food for glabra. Begin pruning back, rather hard, after strong growth begins, to encourage more compact pads and back-budding. Thin out unwanted shoots. And if you want you might air-layer that first branch.

In a year or 2 you can start 'styling', perhaps with a more severe slant line.
 

slowgrow

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Thank you bonsaiTom. I have heard that Bougain is good to use. I guess an air layer of the first branch might increase chances for success over treating it like a cutting.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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I'm guessing this plant itself is a 2-3 year old cutting; I'd hold off trying to layer anything at this point, and that branch appears too small.. Take it in this order:

1. Turn the tree around and around...From Bottom to Top, where is the best front? What angle hides the appearance of reverse taper between the soil and the first branch? Does this angle also hide the pruning scar toward the top?

2. Once you find the front, mark it with an arrow on the outside of the pot.

3. Identify the branches that are redundant (several emerging from one spot should be reduced to one).

4. Nip the ends of the remaining branches to get the dormant buds to grow; this will provide you with more shoots to work with.

5. As Tom stated, feed it heavily and get it growing strong.

A couple points about boug: they are brittle, so wiring will result in some cracks along the way...go slow if you decide to wire. Pruning scars tend to heal with reluctance; the cambium recedes and rolls over behind the cut, between the bark and the wood. This causes some problems, so you'll want to keep the pruning cut toward the back.

In general, if you're new to bonsai, remember the instinct is always to "limb up" trees, cutting low branches, cutting away branches at the trunk, and you end up with a lollypop, or a poodle look. The goal is just the opposite, and counter-intuitive when you're sitting with scissors in hand. You want to prune things "outside" the profile to encourage growth closer to the trunk.
 

slowgrow

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Thanks Brian. I am fairly new to Bonsai, but very new to this forum. I do have a few trees outdoors and some in dormancy in the garage. I also have about five more under the lights where this one lives. I will def. take your advive and fed heavily. Since the photos were taken i did snip a few ends and am already seeing new buds pop up towards the trunk.

I guess my concern was: should I try now just to get the tree full of growth close to the trunk? I was worried that if new growth hardened off it would be impossible to bend or shape later.( I guess I could always get back budding to try and form new branches)

Thanks for the suggestions
 

Brian Van Fleet

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I guess my concern was: should I try now just to get the tree full of growth close to the trunk? I was worried that if new growth hardened off it would be impossible to bend or shape later.( I guess I could always get back budding to try and form new branches)
Yes, try to get as much growth happening close to the trunk as you can. You should have no problem wiring growth that is 2+ years old.
 

slowgrow

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Brian thanks a ton for the quick responses. I am ready for SPRING, as I am sure many others are too!
 

sam

Chumono
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bougies

hi slow grow

I've been trying to respond to your pm. no luck getting through. shoot me another email and I'll send pics and prices.

best wishes, sam
 

jk_lewis

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Dunno where you live (amend your profile????), slowgrow, but Bougainvillea are tougher than many people think. If you don't go much below 28 degrees in he winter, you might want to put it in a sunny, protected (wind) spot in the ground for a year or two because, frankly, I don't see a bonsai in there yet.

When you do start to prune (and don't remove that lower branch -- shorten it) these things root so well and easily from cuttings that is the better way to go. It's some times awkward to air layer a small branch like that.
 

milehigh_7

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Dunno where you live (amend your profile????), slowgrow, but Bougainvillea are tougher than many people think. If you don't go much below 28 degrees in he winter, you might want to put it in a sunny, protected (wind) spot in the ground for a year or two because, frankly, I don't see a bonsai in there yet.

When you do start to prune (and don't remove that lower branch -- shorten it) these things root so well and easily from cuttings that is the better way to go. It's some times awkward to air layer a small branch like that.
On the money here. If they get a chance they will drop their leaves and go dormant. Mine had a bit of frost damage but nothing major. They went from full leaf and lows in the upper 40's to lows in the low 20's over Thanksgiving.

On the hot side, you just can't get them too hot. One of mine was planted in full sun on the South side of my house and did great (in the ground). We get stay over 110 for a few months of the year with almost zero humidity. They do even better in Phoenix where you will see landscape plants with well over 6" trunks everywhere.
 

slowgrow

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Just saw the feedback. Thank you for the advice. I am letting it hang on now until outside temps. warm up. I will shorten most of the branches to get budback closer to the trunk. I live in Wilmington,NC would it be ok to plant this in the ground? or would a portable grow box or training pot be best? While under the t5's it flowered and looked great and then has picky ever since
 
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