get a load of this boxwood, a thread about my boxwood

slokra

Yamadori
Messages
98
Reaction score
125
Location
Minneapolis
USDA Zone
4a
greetings,

this is a thread about my boxwood. it's a korean wintergreen boxwood, if the tag on the nursery container is to be believed. please get a load of my boxwood:

what i think will be the front. i think i can still wire the branch on the left and adjust if upwards to create a more broom-like style?


the back of the front


and another angle. i'mnot sure about that arching root. it looks nice in the first picture, but from this view i'm not so sure


thank you for getting a load of my boxwood. i hope you all enjoyed getting a load of my boxwood. in the coming posts in this thread i look forward to discussing my boxwood with you all
 

slokra

Yamadori
Messages
98
Reaction score
125
Location
Minneapolis
USDA Zone
4a
in this post i would like to pose some questions about my boxwood.

when is it okay to repot this damned boxwood? i would like to get it in a bonsai pot (there are roots poking out of the drainage holes, so i think it's ready), but is it the right time of the year?

i wonder, because there are some buds that look ready to pop, but i also think i should be getting it ready to go dormant.


which segues nicely into my next question(s) regarding dormancy.

i've read some mixed things about whether boxwoods need to go dormant (for example: https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/boxwood-indoors-or-not-indoors.15065/ and https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/nerifolia-and-boxwood-indoor-feedback-needed.14966/#post-199434). i'm going to play it safe and let it rest, but since i'm growing indoors, it's up to me to decide how long it will rest which brings me to my question:

how long does a boxwood need to be dormant and does anyone have any idea what the effect of a shorter/longer dormancy period would be on the health of the tree?

if i can minimize the amount of time it's resting without hurting the health of the tree, it stands to reason that i could then maximize my growing period under my lights. since i live in minnesota, the growing season would otherwise be much shorter, and the resting period much longer. but the korean boxwood isn't native to minnesota, so i imagine i should be trying to replicate the seasonal cycles of, uh, korea
 

Paradox

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,369
Reaction score
5,400
Location
Long Island, NY
USDA Zone
7a
I would not put that directly into a bonsai pot. You would have to reduce the root mass too much at once.

In the spring, I would cut the root mass no more than 50% and put it into an appropriate sized container.

In another 2 years, do it again.

Repeat every 2 years until you can get it into a bonsai pot.
 

slokra

Yamadori
Messages
98
Reaction score
125
Location
Minneapolis
USDA Zone
4a
I would not put that directly into a bonsai pot. You would have to reduce the root mass too much at once.

In the spring, I would cut the root mass no more than 50% and put it into an appropriate sized container.

In another 2 years, do it again.

Repeat every 2 years until you can get it into a bonsai pot.

this is very helpful, thank you!
 

Paradox

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,369
Reaction score
5,400
Location
Long Island, NY
USDA Zone
7a
this is very helpful, thank you!


Of course this assumes the tree is healthy and happy. If the tree is sick or not vigorous, wait a year and get it back to health.

Nothing good happens fast in bonsai.
If you try to push a tree before it's ready you will probably kill it.
 

slokra

Yamadori
Messages
98
Reaction score
125
Location
Minneapolis
USDA Zone
4a
Of course this assumes the tree is healthy and happy. If the tree is sick or not vigorous, wait a year and get it back to health.

Nothing good happens fast in bonsai.
If you try to push a tree before it's ready you will probably kill it.

with the plan you've outlined, do you think i should get it into some proper bonsai soil when i repot in the spring? it's in regular ol' nursery soil at the moment
 

Paradox

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,369
Reaction score
5,400
Location
Long Island, NY
USDA Zone
7a
with the plan you've outlined, do you think i should get it into some proper bonsai soil when i repot in the spring? it's in regular ol' nursery soil at the moment

Yes
 

music~maker

Shohin
Messages
392
Reaction score
689
Location
Boston, MA
USDA Zone
6b
Re-pot in spring, but I wouldn't put this in a bonsai pot yet. These grow pretty slow, and you'll get development to happen much faster if you leave it in a bigger pot. If it were mine, I would use a root rake to clean up the root ball a bit, then put it in a larger nursery pot for 2-3 years, and then I'd reduce it down to a training flat for probably another 2-3 years.

The reason why I wouldn't reduce the root ball at first is that you already have something that is ready to throw out a lot more roots and is poised to grow. If you hack it back to get it into a bonsai pot, it now is going to spend the season recovering, and then growth will be very slow after that. You don't even have a primary structure in place yet. Priorities are generally trunk/roots, major branches, secondary branches, ramification (tertiary branches)/leaf reduction. I don't even think about a bonsai pot until at least the major branches and a decent amount of secondary branches are in place. You'll get there much faster in a larger pot.

Now as far as I know, these aren't indoor trees. They do go dormant, and most trees that go dormant require winter dormancy or they eventually die. Junipers, for example, can live indoors for a while, but without dormancy, always die eventually. I once saw one go four years inside, and that's rare. Some things, like Chinese elm, are from subtropical regions, and can take it or leave it on dormancy. But I'm not aware of too many other things that can do this, and afaik, boxwood isn't one of them. And not sure how you plan on "letting it rest" if it's not been outside to acclimate to cold. You can't just grow it indoors all year, and then throw it outside for the winter - doesn't work that way.

Also, on indoor growing - these grow pretty slowly outside. Indoors, you're going to probably find it a struggle to get the amount of growth you need to really develop this properly. I'm guessing you'll probably need a fair amount of supplemental lighting. Even still, unless you have really good lighting, it's likely to take you at least 4-5 years what somebody growing outdoors can do in 2-3.

And be careful wiring these - they have very thin bark that's easy to damage. I often use guy wires on thicker branches, and definitely use aluminum, not copper, to wire branches.

If you're intent on indoor growing, I'd gravitate towards things like ficus, jade, p. afra, and chinese elm. All still grow best when you put them outside for the growing season, but you'll have better luck keeping them alive if you don't.
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,683
Reaction score
12,418
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
in this post i would like to pose some questions about my boxwood.

when is it okay to repot this damned boxwood? i would like to get it in a bonsai pot (there are roots poking out of the drainage holes, so i think it's ready), but is it the right time of the year?

i wonder, because there are some buds that look ready to pop, but i also think i should be getting it ready to go dormant.


which segues nicely into my next question(s) regarding dormancy.

i've read some mixed things about whether boxwoods need to go dormant (for example: https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/boxwood-indoors-or-not-indoors.15065/ and https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/nerifolia-and-boxwood-indoor-feedback-needed.14966/#post-199434). i'm going to play it safe and let it rest, but since i'm growing indoors, it's up to me to decide how long it will rest which brings me to my question:

how long does a boxwood need to be dormant and does anyone have any idea what the effect of a shorter/longer dormancy period would be on the health of the tree?

if i can minimize the amount of time it's resting without hurting the health of the tree, it stands to reason that i could then maximize my growing period under my lights. since i live in minnesota, the growing season would otherwise be much shorter, and the resting period much longer. but the korean boxwood isn't native to minnesota, so i imagine i should be trying to replicate the seasonal cycles of, uh, korea

This will die inside. Simple as that. If you keep it inside, all the advice you are asking about won't apply. If you start messing with pruning and roots now and keep it inside, it will be dead in two weeks or so.

Argue if you want, but inside for this variety is a death sentence.

The only species of boxwood that can be kept inside is the Harland Boxwood (buxus harlandii) which is native to Southern China (subtropical).

The Korean boxwood (buxus sinica) is the cold hardiest of the boxwood cultivars. It can withstand USDA Zone 4 temps in-ground
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom