Yes I have seen this cultivar, and I actually have two different versions - a purple and a white. Leaves are a little large for bonsai, in my personal opinion, but it is an amazing looking tree regardless. If the large leaves don't bother you, bonsai away!
There's actually a good reason for this: knowing your location tells others, at least in broad terms, what your climate is like. This is important for giving good answers to any questions you ask about the horticultural side of bonsai.
thanks for the responses! ive got a 6-12" start coming in the mail, going to join the local bonsai club you guys suggested to try to learn everything i can plus taking advice from you guys i may get a nice bonsai out of it! thanks spider
So if you are going to start with a 6"-12" purple ghost, maybe plan on field growing it first. Instead of planting it in a pot, plant it in the ground. I think there it will get bigger and fatter for your Bonsai start.
Like Bonsai Nut has mentioned, the PG has large leaves for Bonsai, but perhaps it is possible to smaller size with a technique called "Defoliation". I am not sure if that's possible (Even if you do that, that would be one of your last steps). I am also not sure how this plant will take some harsh treatments like "Trunk Chop" for thicker trunk and taper creation.
I plan to do what I suggested above with few of my Japanese maple grafts that I bought over the last few years. I have few that are growing from ground are actually looking like real bonsai while the ones I intended to train as bonsai are looking rather thin.
I actually don't know if that process will work well for Acer palmatum as much as it works for Acer buergeranum (some of the expert here will tell you that they wont) .. so it will be bit risky, but something to consider ...
(I am not suggesting you cannot use bigger pot, but based on my research, field growing will
Then search threads on pond baskets, screen sided pots and the like. Here is an example of the roots you can get one year from a cutting in a 6.5 inch strainer. It was funny, it looked like a chia pet. The strainer was totally filled with these fine feeder roots. No thick ones at all.
You will find that what soil mix a person uses is nearly a religious question. There will be many answers. Likely you should see what the successful bonsai practitioners in your area use. You mentioned joining a club. This would be a good thing to seek their guidance on.
Thanks clyde; I used to grow catus alot and i used miracal grow for violets and they would go nuts in the stuff; may try it on the maple. thanks again!! Im also on facebook under michael west say hi sometime!
Michael, there's another option for in-ground growing: put it into your landscaping for a few years. Let it function as a foliage plant while it's there. Just make sure your wife has no objections, since she lives in the same house!
Here's a picture of an Austrian pine which I put into our landscaping last spring to bulk up. (Forgive the picture quality, please.) I'll lift it in a year or two and replace it with a permanent ornamental.
3 foot by 3 foot by 3 foot boxes will foool your maple into thinking it is a field and allow you to trunk the tree with out ever having to worry about root reduction stress when it is dug up. I use boxes like this and let them go for a few years. I try to pinch back at first to densify the internodes for later but any sacrificial branches are allowed to bolt up. about every two years i will cut these branches back and begint to reduce the tree further. And finally get it inot an appropriate container. Ithis method was also derived because i was afraid to root rpune in my earlier bonsai experience. Now i find that my maples thrive off the act. It is all about fooling the tree hormonally really. If you trick the tree in to thinking it is a field you will have the same effect. But this also poses the idea of building boxes to hold your projects. I havea bit of room to play with and a very gentle climate for trees so i may be at an advantage for that. I woudl nto knwo since i have only lived here while doing bonsai.