If you're starting-out development on a *large* trunked bougainvillea, can you graft variously colored cultivars as primaries?

SU2

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Having a pair of Ficus.B's that are getting like 3 or 4 operations back&forth (will be a very interesting album this fall!) all I can think about now is going and getting a bunch of variously colored (yellow, purple etc) bougies from Home Depot and setting up thread- & approach-grafts so they have all year to take (it's basically spring-growth at this point in 9a west-FL), is there any reason this wouldn't work from any basic principle like horticultural-matching or anything or would it be simply the difficulty of getting grafts to take? I've no experience with grafting, am not so worried about the crazy ficus thread & approach grafts because of how vigorously it buds & throws aerials but have never finished a successful fuse on a bougie (am thinking a proper thread graft would basically force the thing to take, even a 2yr thread-graft, would be happy to spend the time for a multi-colored canopy!)

Thanks :)
 

SU2

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Actually, taken even a step further (I'm very ignorant about grafting!!), could you setup to approach-graft secondary and tertiary branches if you were inclined to setup/position their containers for a season or two (basically allowing you to do a lot more grafts on the same plant, at more varied spots in the canopy, at the same time - you could develop a donor/colored scion plant's shoots all in the right orientation with wire then affix the smaller container to your larger trunk and set the grafts and wait (1 season? 2 seasons?) however long it takes for a bougie to graft, if they'd even graft this way it's really not something I'm sure they'll take to as they're slow to form bark/callousing (though they're ripe with dormant buds..)
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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I had never actually done any graft work or fusion work with bougainvillea. However from what I have read, there is no reason that it would not work. So go ahead and give grafting a try.

Note, grafting is a skill, it requires a "touch", hands on teaching is best. Find someone local to show you. Watch them, try it yourself, then watch them again. For myself, the first 20 grafts I tried, only 6 took. It takes practice. The 6 that took we're crabapples on to apple understock.

So go ahead and try. Dirr and other authors have some good texts on techniques. Approach graft is not the only type of graft that works. Various one point and bud grafts could work.
 

SU2

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I had never actually done any graft work or fusion work with bougainvillea. However from what I have read, there is no reason that it would not work. So go ahead and give grafting a try.

Note, grafting is a skill, it requires a "touch", hands on teaching is best. Find someone local to show you. Watch them, try it yourself, then watch them again. For myself, the first 20 grafts I tried, only 6 took. It takes practice. The 6 that took we're crabapples on to apple understock.

So go ahead and try. Dirr and other authors have some good texts on techniques. Approach graft is not the only type of graft that works. Various one point and bud grafts could work.
Thanks! Had never even heard of 'one point' or 'bud grafts' (actually I've heard the term bud-graft before but never looked into it), will check them out!! Would it be fair to say that thread-grafting is likely the 'most successful'? I'm just curious re a pair of ficus' that I'm really 'frankenstein'ing' this season lol, 2 layerings and a thread graft, am picturing thread- working far better than approach- as I think the 'fit' kind of *forces* the union once the scion starts 'bursting' its sides/cambium into the cut-hole in the receiver-trunk!

Very sweet to hear there's no reason in-principle this shouldn't work, am going to be trying everything from thin to thick grafts to see what I can get to take, the ultimate conclusion would be a beasty trunk whose primaries have variously-colored secondaries grafted on throughout the canopy, a multi-colored canopy (not just half/half or neatly-distinct areas, ideally I'd get enough grafts, or do enough wiring & ramification on the grafts I do, to have the varied colors pretty thoroughly mixed-throughout :)
 

SU2

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I have this book...inside it mentions grafting multiple colored bracts to one tree.its been done. Unsure if for the bonsai purpose.
https://www.amazon.com/Brighten-Up-...1551074852&sr=1-1&keywords=Bougainvillea+book
Fantastic looking book, am going to check my library on the small chance they've got that or anything on bougies specifically, but that is great to hear it's been done I was really just hoping to be sure I wasn't embarking on a fool's errand from the start yknow ;D
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Thread grafts work well where the scion branch is thin, with no thorns, overly large buds, or other protrusions that would require a hole through the trunk significantly larger than the diameter of the scion. When you have a ''lumpy'' scion, you have to drill a larger hole, and then the time required for healing will be excessively long.

One point graft refers to the many types of grafts where the scion is cut off the doner tree, and inserted into a cut made in the recipient tree. Then it is usually bound in place, grafting tape is the most common binder. then parafilm, or a plastic bag or other is tied over to prevent drying out. Each style of cut, and size of scion gives rise to the many different grafts; bud grafts, cleft grafts, T bud grafts, etc, etc.
Not all trunks have good locations for thread grafts, and approach grafts, the other types of grafts are good to learn to solve those problems.

Approach grafts often leave very awkward scars. It takes great care to keep the scars placed where they won't be noticed. Sometimes an approach graft is just not possible. Back to a single point graft.

So that is why you should try more than one type of grafting.

Every successful trunk fusion I read about took longer than 5 years to completely fuse the separate trunks. So do not use a trunk fusion unless you can give the tree adequate time to heal. It is not a technique for someone in a hurry.
 

Hyn Patty

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If you are talking about mixing colors to graft onto a single plant I personally would avoid it. Different cultivars tend to bloom at slightly different times and you are likely to end up with a very chaotic, discordant tree. Or if you really want to mix your colors you might want to at least choose two colors that go really well together that are closely related but slightly different shades that you have had time to test and be certain will coincide blooming. Totally up to you what your taste in such things runs to but think about the harmony of the whole thing as one cohesive organism rather than looking like a clashing mess. Some colors may draw the eye too much one direction or the other and make it hard to look at the whole thing together.
 

Cajunrider

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If you are talking about mixing colors to graft onto a single plant I personally would avoid it. Different cultivars tend to bloom at slightly different times and you are likely to end up with a very chaotic, discordant tree. Or if you really want to mix your colors you might want to at least choose two colors that go really well together that are closely related but slightly different shades that you have had time to test and be certain will coincide blooming. Totally up to you what your taste in such things runs to but think about the harmony of the whole thing as one cohesive organism rather than looking like a clashing mess. Some colors may draw the eye too much one direction or the other and make it hard to look at the whole thing together.
SU2 lives in Florida in zone 9B. The bloom period for bougainvillea is very long down there. I have friends/family in FL that routinely graft bougainvillea to get multiple colors without any issue. I wouldn't recommend that for Azaleas or other flowers but bougainvillea yes. While the discordance will catch the attention of the viewers it will have to be managed carefully.
 
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