Bougainvillea might make you think of a wall of green vine with orange, purple, or red papery flowers, a vine too enormous and vigorous, perhaps, for your small garden. Meet bonsai bougainvillea plants, bite-sized versions of this mighty vine that you can keep in your living room. Can you make a bonsai out of bougainvillea? You can. Read on for info on how to make a bougainvillea bonsai and tips on bonsai bougainvillea care.
Bonsai Bougainvillea Tips
Bougainvilleas are tropical plants with brilliant bracts that look like petals. Their branches resemble vines, and you can prune them into a bonsai. Can you make a bonsai out of bougainvillea? It is not only possible, but also easy if you follow these bonsai bougainvillea tips. Bougainvillea bonsai plants are not actually different plants than bougainvillea vines. If you want to know how to make a bougainvillea bonsai, start with selecting an appropriate container with good drainage. It need not be very deep. Purchase a small bougainvillea plant in springtime. Take the plant from its container and brush soil off the roots. Prune off about one-third of the roots. Prepare a growing medium with equal parts potting soil, perlite, peat moss, and pine bark. Put this medium in the bottom one-third of the container. Position the bougainvillea in the center, then add soil and tamp it down firmly. Soil should stop an inch (2.5 cm.) below the container rim.
Bonsai Bougainvillea Care
Bonsai bougainvillea care is just as important as correct planting. Your bougainvillea bonsai plants require direct sunlight all day long in order to thrive. Always keep the plants in a location where the temperature is above 40 degrees F. (4 C.). Irrigation is a part of continuing bonsai bougainvillea care. Only water the plant when the top of the soil is dry to the touch. You’ll want to feed your bonsai bougainvillea regularly. Use a 12-10-10 every two weeks during the growing season and a 2-10-10 fertilizer during winter. Prune your bougainvillea bonsai plants every month during the growing season. Take off a little bit at a time to shape the plant and promote a center trunk. Never prune the plant while it is dormant.
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Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.
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