Uncommon Bonsai Species - Texas Sage

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Uncommon Bonsai Species - Texas Sage

Post  Rob Kempinski on Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:53 pm

Last fall I picked up these two plants to try as bonsai. I have never seen one as a bonsai so I thought I would post them here to see if anyone has experience and potential care suggestions. They are (I believe) Texas Sage, Leucophyllum frutescens.

I have been giving them little water and lots of light and heat. The have started to make a few blooms. Anyone have care suggestions?

First tree- a broom style showing one bloom.

Close up of the bloom.

The second tree. More of a literati (informal upright)

A more detailed look at the bark of the second one.

Rob Kempinski
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Re: Uncommon Bonsai Species - Texas Sage

Post  Dwight on Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:14 pm

Roib , I don't have any as bonsai but they are real popular as landscape plants here. To get them to bloom we give them a lot of water ( what would be considered normal for most other lants ) and they turn bright pink. Mine have bloomed as much as three times a season. Out in the desert they bloom each time we get a decent rain. Yours look pretty good but have you noticed how brittle the branches are. Keep us posted.

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Re: Uncommon Bonsai Species - Texas Sage

Post  drgonzo on Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:25 pm

I was seriously tempted a while back when I saw a few collected specimens show up on Ebay. As I researched them more and more I started to realize sadly that no matter how many tricks I pull there are simply some plants I just can not grow in Upstate NY.
It was the heat and the dormancy requirements that I just cant make happen easily that stopped me.

-Jay

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Re: Uncommon Bonsai Species - Texas Sage

Post  William Feldman on Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:56 pm

There are two potted Texas sages outside my neighborhood Wendy's. I didn't know until now that's what they were. They move them inside during the winter.

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Re: Uncommon Bonsai Species - Texas Sage

Post  BrianG on Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:44 pm

Rob,

I glad to see you post this. I have one still in a nursery pot I've had for two years now. They all seemed to have small trunks so Im trying to fuse a multi trunk together which kind of looks like IMHO your second tree has done. I first saw it I said I have to try. I love the color with purple against the sage is so cool. Also has a cool narly bark that's cool as well. I was thinking of a weeping or cascade with mine. But I am very happy to see your having success. Lets me think maybe I might have the same luck with mine. Thanks for posting them.

Brian G

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uncommond bonsai species texas sage

Post  moyogijohn on Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:56 pm

ROB,, It don,t matter if these are not commond bonsai.... you have made them so !! i like the first one a lot.. they sure have nice trunks.. good job take care john

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Re: Uncommon Bonsai Species - Texas Sage

Post  Rob Kempinski on Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:02 am

Dwight wrote:Roib , I don't have any as bonsai but they are real popular as landscape plants here. To get them to bloom we give them a lot of water ( what would be considered normal for most other lants ) and they turn bright pink. Mine have bloomed as much as three times a season. Out in the desert they bloom each time we get a decent rain. Yours look pretty good but have you noticed how brittle the branches are. Keep us posted.
Hey Dwight,

I guess its safe to say that these need to get pretty dry between waterings? True or not?
I left some of the nursery pot soil when I did the potting last fall and now regret it as the roots close in are not doing well. I might perform an emergency repot and get rid of the water retentive stuff and use all very fast draining bonsai soil.

The branches are brittle but I cut it back hard and am wiring the new shoots that popped which seem pretty tough and are flexible. Note the extra wire at the end of the shoots - as the shoots grow I continue to wire them into position.

In the summer we can get decent rain every afternoon - so well draining soil will be imperative.

Thanks.

Rob Kempinski
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Re: Uncommon Bonsai Species - Texas Sage

Post  Rob Kempinski on Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:10 am

Thansk guys I will see what happend.
BrianG wrote:Rob,

I glad to see you post this. I have one still in a nursery pot I've had for two years now. They all seemed to have small trunks so Im trying to fuse a multi trunk together which kind of looks like IMHO your second tree has done. I first saw it I said I have to try. I love the color with purple against the sage is so cool. Also has a cool narly bark that's cool as well. I was thinking of a weeping or cascade with mine. But I am very happy to see your having success. Lets me think maybe I might have the same luck with mine. Thanks for posting them.

Brian G

The second one is really a twin trunk - it had actually more trunks but I cut off two of the other shoots that didn't work as well in the design. I need to get the taller trunk to back bud, maybe next year, I can give it a another chop.
How dry do you let yours get?

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Re: Uncommon Bonsai Species - Texas Sage

Post  Poink88 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:27 am

This is a common hedge plant here and I've seen some killer specimens if only I can collect them. 6" base size is also common. It is worth noting that a lot of the trunks on these twist and turn like a rope by them selves and get really nice character.

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Re: Uncommon Bonsai Species - Texas Sage

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:23 pm

Rob,

for what it is worth, this plant grows easily down here. The nurseries have them in mud, and water normally, which is very heavily, all day long. I got a few for my sister who wanted a memory of Arizona/New Mexico/Desert. I think the Phoenix Bonsai Society has information and images on them as bonsai. Also saw something like them on the Taiwan [Sia Dao spelling? site] a while ago.

Never really saw them as great Bonsai, so I have only been playing with one or two of them. Soil is my standard, 1to 1 to 1 [ sifted crushed red brick, sifted builder's quartz sand and home made compost.] watering is the same for my other attempts at Bonsai.

Best of luck to you in your efforts.
Khaimraj

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Re: Uncommon Bonsai Species - Texas Sage

Post  Dwight on Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:42 pm

Rob , Well drained soil will probably allow you to water these as much as you like if , as you say , the dry completely between waterings. I've seen them growing wild right next to oneseed juniper and scrub oak if that helps/

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Re: Uncommon Bonsai Species - Texas Sage

Post  ami on Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:35 pm

Hello Rob and everyone,
My name is Ami I live in Israel and I grow a few Leucophyllums as a bonsai
I think that this is an excellent plant for growing in a pot and easy to maintain (at least in my area in Israel)
this plant needs little watering, well drained soil and a lot of sunlight.
Also respond well to pruning..

Leucophyllum arrived here only in the early nineties and has been planted in many gardens (public and private), mainly because of its easy maintenance

my Leucophyllum is in training for about 4 years


My plant is with the purple flowers, known here as "San Jose Leucophyllum"



That's how I found it, after thrown into the trash, uprooted by a gardener in 2008 and the process up to 2011


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Re: Uncommon Bonsai Species - Texas Sage

Post  reg-i on Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:41 pm

That's funny this species popped up on here I actually thought the same thing Rob did and bought one a few months back. Can you guys maybe give me any horticultural pointers on the species?

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Re: Uncommon Bonsai Species - Texas Sage

Post  yobobzs on Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:21 am

We call it purple haze and it's popular here in the philippines specially for landscaping and topiary.

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Re: Uncommon Bonsai Species - Texas Sage

Post  Rob Kempinski on Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:52 pm

ami wrote:Hello Rob and everyone,
My name is Ami I live in Israel and I grow a few Leucophyllums as a bonsai
I think that this is an excellent plant for growing in a pot and easy to maintain (at least in my area in Israel)
this plant needs little watering, well drained soil and a lot of sunlight.
Also respond well to pruning..

Leucophyllum arrived here only in the early nineties and has been planted in many gardens (public and private), mainly because of its easy maintenance

my Leucophyllum is in training for about 4 years


My plant is with the purple flowers, known here as "San Jose Leucophyllum"




Thanks for the photos and info Ami, you did a nice job developing a bonsai from it.


Rob Kempinski
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