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Bougainvillea pixie 1 progression

August 3, 2013

I dug out this bougie from my garden. I have been trimming it short for many years, so the trunk remained short and really thickened.

My gardener dug it out carefully.

And here it is out of the ground:

Old small picture. 2012 Sept.

Lots of shallow roots. If I want to grow bonsai in the ground, I prefer lots of small shallow waterings so that the roots develop mostly on the surface

All the large roots were chopped short.

I washed the roots and planted it a large plastic dish.

I always use just coarse sieved river sand, for planting yamadori. That is the best medium for me. No root rot, no organics, which I noticed some time cause root rot.

The trunk is around 30cm tall, but the base is really fat…15cm at base

After a bit of trimming I left it to grow and recover.

Back of the chosen front.

It has a large scar at the top, from previous chops.

You need to be very careful with bougie scars… Bougie wood rots too fast. You need to take care  and not make unnecessary shary, jin or uro. Make sure you seal all wounds very well, and promote healing.

It has nice taper from the chosen front, but that large horizontal trunk irritated me. So I decided to chop it off and make another tree from it.

I planted it at a different angle in another pot, but looking at it today, I think it could have made a nice raft. What do you think? But most of those branches are gone now. See bougainvillea pixie progression 2 to see how I decided to style it.

And here it is a month later after I left it to grow free.

Pixie has internodes that are just few mm apart, and back buds very well. Avoid overwatering bougies…they rot very easy. Keep it in full sun, ones it recovers.

I used some strings to give direction to the larger branches…had no wire. Bougie needs to be wired as soon as the wood starts lignifying, because after or before that the branches are very brittle.

Here is a virtual a friend made, but I will not make the shari/uro at the front, since there is a large shari at the back already…and a new one will just promote more wood rot.

Here it is 2 month later.

Here some branches were wired.

Love the taper but I wish I had shortened those long branches at this point and not waste time growing it for another 6 month and then chopping it. The tree had more than enough roots to sustain it during this procedures.

Here is basically how it will hopefully look like, but without the shari :

or this:

And here is the horizontal branch I cut off and planted.

I still might change the planting angle. It had no roots when I cut it off. See  the topic on it on another post

In May I gave it another trim. The long straight fat branches without any taper were irritating me, so they had to go.I need to do lots of carving on the scars behind and in front. That is why I left those two branches there, so they help heal the wound after I curve it. This is a side view of the proposed front.

May 2013

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From → Bougainvilleas

2 Comments
  1. You know I still wished you had kept that lower trunk.
    It would have given a unique character to the plant.
    Its not an uncommon growth pattern for tropical plants and bougie do grow that way here and there on the island

    • As I have advanced in my aesthetic perception of bonsai and in the process of trying to come out of the box(go in direction of unique and unusual trees…I now know that it was a mistake to cut off that branch. I agree with you.

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