Banaba Plant as Bonsai

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Banaba Plant as Bonsai

Post  Nigel Parke on Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:39 pm

A question here for our bonsai friends in South East Asia.

Is the Banaba plant also known as Giant Crepe Myrtle or Queen's Crepe mrytle (Lagerstroemia speciosa) used for bonsai. The specimens that are in Jamaica are all established trees but have beautiful flaking bark, stunning flowers and a very powerful form.

Though the leaves are large, they may probably be reduced to an acceptable size and the tree seems like it would lend itself to ramification.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

For those unfamiliar with it check the link below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagerstroemia_speciosa

Nigel

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Re: Banaba Plant as Bonsai

Post  Jkd2572 on Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:49 pm

Yes they do well as bonsai can take a lot of abuse.

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Banaba Plant as Bonsai

Post  Nigel Parke on Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:22 pm

Jkd2572,

Do you have any in training or can give any information on their care?
Can they be grown from seeds? Do you have any pics of any in training.

Thanks in advance.

Nigel

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Re: Banaba Plant as Bonsai

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:30 pm

I have a couple of the dwarf varieties and the biggest problem is annual unpredictable die back and sporadic blooming.

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Banaba Plant as Bonsai

Post  Nigel Parke on Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:37 pm

Billy,
Does the die back occur at a specific time of year and do you allow it to fruit and develop seeds?

Also are the dwarf varieties, varieties of Lagerstroemia speciosa or of another crepe mrytle?

Regards,
Nigel


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Re: Banaba Plant as Bonsai

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:28 pm

Nigel Parke wrote:Billy,
Does the die back occur at a specific time of year and do you allow it to fruit and develop seeds?
The die back happens over winter when they loose their leaves, some smaller branches don't sprout in spring. As I said they flower infrequently and I have allowed a few flowers, but never allowed seeds.
Also are the dwarf varieties, varieties of Lagerstroemia speciosa or of another crepe mrytle?
As far as I know they are Lagerstroemia but I will try to check if they are speciosa.
Regards,
Nigel


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Re: Banaba Plant as Bonsai

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:43 pm

I think the ones we use are" indica."

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Re: Banaba Plant as Bonsai

Post  Jkd2572 on Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:34 pm

I have only one and have recently trunk chopped it after not liking the direction of my original design. The pic would only provide a stump. They can ramify multiple times a year so you can build branch structure fast. You can do this by letting the runners grow out and keep cutting them Back to two sets of leaves week after week after week. The only draw back of doing this is that you will not likely get to see any blooms while you are doing the heavy pinching back. Google crape myrtle bonsai and you can see many pics. Also search this site for myrtle.

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Banaba Plant as Bonsai

Post  Nigel Parke on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:01 am

Thanks Billy and jkd 2572 for all the info, but I would love if someone with experience with or knowledge of Lagerstroemia Speciosa could chime in as that's the tree i'm thinking of trying to grow from seed and want to assess whether I would be wasting my time doing so.

We have varieties of crepe myrtle which are known locally as "June Rose" and are commonly found with either white or pink blooms. They tend to display some of the features you mention Billy, except that they bloom uncontrollably, will fruit and set seeds if allowed, thereafter they stop blooming for a while but throughout they grow like weeds. They also bloom throughout the year without any regard for seasons I do have a couple in some growing pots which were grown from seed that I hope will come to something in the future.

Cheers,
Nigel

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Re: Banaba Plant as Bonsai

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