Some summer work on a large bougainvillea glabra

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Some summer work on a large bougainvillea glabra

Post  NeilDellinger on Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:51 am

I have just repotted this bougainvillea I collected about 3 years ago. In that time I've re-grown the branches and carved some deadwood. The deadwood has held up remarkably well with no rotting. I apply lime sulfur once every summer. The tree has not yet flowered, mainly because I have not let it grow out far enough while training the new branches.

Hopefully I can get in another defoliating and wiring this summer.

Any tips on keeping growth tight and having flowers would be appreciated. Also any input on a decent pot would be great to receive from the forum. It's time to ditch the mica pot. Thanks for looking.

The tree right after collecting


Regrowing new branches


The tree just a week or so ago.

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bougainvillea

Post  cosmos on Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:40 pm

Hi Neil,
Thanks for sharing. You did a good job and the deadwood is very beautiful indeed. Keep us informed and updated especially when it is in flower. To flower I have read that bougainvillea need right the amount of light and length of light in relationship to darkness they recieve each day. Also keeping it pot bound helps.

What mix did you use when you collected the tree ?
Thanks

Cosmos

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Re: Some summer work on a large bougainvillea glabra

Post  pitu on Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:06 pm

Neil:

That´s an astonishing transformation of material. Very inspiring indeed. Thanks a lot for sharing and keep us posted.

pitu
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Re: Some summer work on a large bougainvillea glabra

Post  NeilDellinger on Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:06 am

Thanks for the tip. I did not let the tree get too pot bound, maybe I should. For soil I used straight turface (mvp pro). I just moved to a much hotter climate and also changed my soil. I now use an equal mix of local high fired clay (great stuff), lava and pumice. It drains very fast and holds some water. My trees have done great thus far.

Does any one have any ideas for styling changes for consideration?

Thank you,
Neil

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Re: Some summer work on a large bougainvillea glabra

Post  EdMerc on Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:16 am

Very nice work Neil. I like this tree very much.

Bougianvillia only flower from new growth so if you want flowers you are going to have to hold off on trimming a bit.

Ed


Last edited by EdMerc on Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:32 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Some summer work on a large bougainvillea glabra

Post  NeilDellinger on Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:30 am

I was updating progress photos of several trees today and thought I'd share an update on this tree. Its been in this pot for about 1 full growing season and its very pot bound, but seems to be loving life.

Still no blooms, following the advice of a friend I'm now allowing it to dry out to the point of wilting before watering. I've done this twice now this season. Keeping my fingers crossed for some color...




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Re: Some summer work on a large bougainvillea glabra

Post  Ryan B on Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:43 am

Hi Neil, I feed my Bougies high nitrogen fertilizer and then more high nitro fert, accompanied by high humidity and some supplemental darkness(I shorten the days and increase humidity with a poly tent and canvas.). With this technique you get em to flower on shorter new growth, midsummer after defoliation, and don't have to worry about withholding water, which may work, but I think it only works because the plant believes it's stressed, or dying, and therefore needs to reproduce(flower). I think a horticulturally safer method of tricking them into thinking it's the normal time to bloom is more sound.

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Re: Some summer work on a large bougainvillea glabra

Post  kauaibonsai on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:06 am

coming along very nicely neil. should flower in the heat this summer. see you're living in geneva. my son lived there (now in naperville) we visit from time to time.

best wishes, sam

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Re: Some summer work on a large bougainvillea glabra

Post  Rob Kempinski on Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:54 am

I'm interested in how you collected a bougainville in Illinois.

The deadwood if allowed to get repeatedly wet and dry will eventually rot. If you are growing it indoors you might be able to control the decay but outdoors its tough.


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Re: Some summer work on a large bougainvillea glabra

Post  NeilDellinger on Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:15 am

Thanks for the feedback. Sam, if you are ever in Naperville I am a very short distance away. You're welcome to contact me and stop by for a visit! We'd love to meet another bonsai person "in person".

Rob,
Semi Long story. Several years ago I was living in Indianapolis and there was a guy in Crawfordsville who had a greenhouse out in the middle of nowhere. He had tons of huge tropical material (ficus, rain tree, bougainvillea etc....). I was there looking for a ficus when I saw this "thing" growing on the floor buried in pea gravel & debris. This tree had fallen off a bench years ago in a 3 gallon pot. It was in the corner near the heater in the sun and rooted into the floor. The roots ran 15 feet and the top covered about the same distance across the top of the inside of the structure. Do you see where the deadwood starts at the bottom above the nebari? That was the original surface root I saw when I bought it and where the top of the plastic pot was removed...it was a very fair price to dig it myself. No one was aware at the time what lurked beneath. Very Happy

Regarding the deadwood. I carved this about 4 years ago. I was careful to not allow water to pool or run "inside" any channel. Every year I "tweak" it a bit. But, I also burn it, brush it and use lime sulfur a couple of times. I do not wet it unless it's raining. So far I have had no rot whatsoever.

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Re: Some summer work on a large bougainvillea glabra

Post  Todd Ellis on Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:39 am

Hi Neil,
How do your grow this during the Winter in IL? Lovely tree and I like your choice of pot!
Best,
Todd

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Re: Some summer work on a large bougainvillea glabra

Post  NeilDellinger on Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:41 pm

Todd,
Thanks for the compliment. The pot is a pretty inexpensive knock off of one I found in the tokoname catalog. I sometimes purchase the cheaper one just to see if the size is correct and the tree & pot are a good fit visually. I'll be "upgrading" next summer.

I bring the tree indoors when it hits the 50's during the day and cooler at night. Often I am moving it in/out through the fall daily. During the winter it sits in a sunny south window and I allow it to go dormant and water when its bone dry. That was this past winter.

Previously I just stuck it in the shower when it got dry and let it get nice and steamy. That and the south window kept it growing all winter in Tulsa.

Neil

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Re: Some summer work on a large bougainvillea glabra

Post  Rob Kempinski on Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:42 pm

NeilDellinger wrote:
Semi Long story. Several years ago I was living in Indianapolis and there was a guy in Crawfordsville who had a greenhouse out in the middle of nowhere. He had tons of huge tropical material (ficus, rain tree, bougainvillea etc....). I was there looking for a ficus when I saw this "thing" growing on the floor buried in pea gravel & debris. This tree had fallen off a bench years ago in a 3 gallon pot. It was in the corner near the heater in the sun and rooted into the floor. The roots ran 15 feet and the top covered about the same distance across the top of the inside of the structure. Do you see where the deadwood starts at the bottom above the nebari? That was the original surface root I saw when I bought it and where the top of the plastic pot was removed...it was a very fair price to dig it myself. No one was aware at the time what lurked beneath. Very Happy

Regarding the deadwood. I carved this about 4 years ago. I was careful to not allow water to pool or run "inside" any channel. Every year I "tweak" it a bit. But, I also burn it, brush it and use lime sulfur a couple of times. I do not wet it unless it's raining. So far I have had no rot whatsoever.

That's a pretty cool story. Amazing that it would thrive but it obviously had in that greenhouse.

The deadwood on one of my bougies lasted about 10 years but this past year it just fell off - the interior was rotted - of course I keep mine outside all year and they get constant wet-dry cycles. Even the two part deep penetrating epoxy didn't even help. Oh well, hollow trunk bougies are common and don't look to bad so even if the dead wood does rot, there are options.

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Re: Some summer work on a large bougainvillea glabra

Post  NeilDellinger on Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:33 am

Thanks Rob. It was freakin hot in that greenhouse no matter what time of year. I believe he actually was able to get a decent crop of bananas every year and numerous generations of little anole lizards.

Trees are always changing (growing & rotting etc..) Thats what makes bonsai so great Very Happy

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Re: Some summer work on a large bougainvillea glabra

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:39 am

Neil, I'm so happy for you. This is a BEAUTIFUL bonsai! Thanks for sharing it, and the story. That's an interesting and wonderful pot choice.

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Re: Some summer work on a large bougainvillea glabra

Post  NeilDellinger on Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:26 pm

Thanks Russell.......I believe you may have helped provide some input on an older post.

By the way, the stand was one of the very first stands built by my friend Jay Kolaya. So far he has built stands for both myself and our friend Matt Ouwinga. Matt has used Jay's stands with several trees at the midwest bonsai exhibition. I'll be using two of Jay's stands this year as well.

Neil

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Re: Some summer work on a large bougainvillea glabra

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