Loropetalum back budding

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Loropetalum back budding

Post  Mr. Carter on Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:37 pm

I got one of these the other day, it's a Loropetalum, but its not really a shrub, it looks more like a tree. The trunk is about 2 to 2.5 inches, and it stands about 5 feet tall. I was hoping to reduce it down to around 4 or 5 inches (then pick a new leader), but I'm not to sure if it pop buds all over, like an elm or maple. There's not a whole lot of info to be found online about these guys either, so I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with them. All info is welcome too, not just regarding back budding, because like I said, there really isn't much to be found about these trees as bonsai. I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow and post them. Thanks a lot.

Mr. Carter
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Re: Loropetalum back budding

Post  Russell Coker on Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:16 am


Loropetalum can be unpredictable. Is it potted or was it dug from a landscape? Generally speaking, they back bud pretty well when cut back hard. Root work is tricky, timing is important.

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Re: Loropetalum back budding

Post  Mr. Carter on Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:37 am

I just got it, so it's still in it's nursery pot. I'd guess it's a three gallon pot. I will try to get some pictures tomorrow. Could you go a little more in depth about the timing? Also, I'm also not really sure if I use the term back bud correctly, but what I mean is can it be cut hard, to just a stump with no branches? The soil that it's in definitely needs changed. It's probably as old as the tree, and has the consistency of the dirt that's on the top of ant piles (if that makes sense). What would you suggest I do with it?

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Re: Loropetalum back budding

Post  Russell Coker on Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:47 am



That sounds like a really big plant for a 3 gallon pot. Had it grown into the ground?

And, yes, you can cut them back hard but they should be healthy and vigorous first. Most of what I've dealt has been collected, overgrown landscape material. I'd like to see what you're working with first.

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Re: Loropetalum back budding

Post  Mr. Carter on Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:52 pm

Okay, I'll get some pics up tonight after the Father's Day festivities.

Mr. Carter
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Re: Loropetalum back budding

Post  Mr. Carter on Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:45 am

Not the best, but heres a few pictures.








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Re: Loropetalum back budding

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:39 am



You have lots to work with! I was afraid you wanted to cut it back to a stump amd wait for all new branches to pop.

I think you need to study this tree, pick a front and decide of the heigth you want so you can choose your new leader. Don't worry with your ultimate branch placement now, that will come later. Leave yourself plenty of options. That pot looks like it's about to explode, but I think I'd leave it alone until Feb/March, sometime in there. It is very hungry. Loropetalum are heavy feeders so you can miraclegro it often. After all, you're wanting to cut it back and get lots of new growth, and that will do it. Have you noticed how dark and rich the coloring is on the loropetalums at Home Depot? That's because they are on a fertilizer overload. The color really fades when they are hungry, the old growth should look better than it does in that picture with your hand.

Is that bulge at the bottom where a second trunk was removed? I can't quite tell what's going on there, but it's fixable regardless. I think you're off to a good start!

R

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Re: Loropetalum back budding

Post  Mr. Carter on Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:51 am

Thanks, Russell. As soon as I got it, I started feeding it some Bio Thrive made by General Hydroponics. I think it's like 4-3-3. I also have some Shcultz fertilizer that's 10-15-10, maybe I'll put this plant on that instead. At first I was thinking about cutting it down to a stump with no branches, to try and get some taper, but there are plenty of lower branches to use as leaders too. The plan is to feed, and study this plant, then I'll work on it next year. Down at the bottom is where a second trunk was growing at more of an angle. My guess is that they wanted this to grow more like a tree, instead of a bush, so they removed that trunk. Thanks for all the help and expect me to ask you a lot more questions.

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Re: Loropetalum back budding

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:18 pm



4-3-3???????????

Boy, you're spinning your wheels. What you want now is GROWTH! Well, I guess it's better than 0-0-0, but only by 4, 3 and 3.

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Re: Loropetalum back budding

Post  JimLewis on Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:31 pm

And, weed you pot. No sense wasting fertilizer (even 4-3-3) on weeds.

Have fun with the tree. If you make a nice bonsai out of it, please remember to show us. I've yet to see a really good loropetalum bonsai, though I'm sure they exist somewhere.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Loropetalum back budding

Post  Mr. Carter on Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:17 pm

I'll post pictures without a doubt...whether it comes out good or not. I have seen a few pictures online of bonsai with these plants, most of them were from websites in a different language though. Just google loropetalum bonsai, and go to the images. There's a few good ones.
Yeah I definitely need to weed the pot too, but I just got the thing man, cut me some slack. Also the soil is kinda piled up above the rim of the pot, an it make it harder to water, so I might try to get that soil down a little lower too.
Let's talk about the fertilizer now...what's something better? I'm all ears. I can't find anything locally that's balanced numbers, and I grabbed the 4-3-3 because it's organic too. I have the 10-15-10, but it's not organic, but I'm open to anything that'll make it grow better. Could I put twice as much of the 4-3-3 in a gallon of water? I'm still kinda confused about the ratios. Help me out fellas.

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Re: Loropetalum back budding

Post  JimLewis on Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:36 pm

Look for Miracle Grow tomato food.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Loropetalum back budding

Post  Mr. Carter on Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:25 pm

That simple?

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Re: Loropetalum back budding

Post  Poink88 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:30 pm

Mr. Carter wrote:That simple?
You can make it complicated if you want. Wink

I use Miracle Gro All Purpose myself.

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Re: Loropetalum back budding

Post  Mr. Carter on Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:07 pm

I like simple. Thanks for the help everyone.

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