Author Topic: Baby Bougainvillea  (Read 2954 times)

leila

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Baby Bougainvillea
« on: March 25, 2012, 02:05 PM »
I recently took my first trip to a bonsai nursery in my area, primarily to acquire a Trident Maple and attend a workshop on its care.  Like a kid in a candy store, I ended up coming home with a little extra.

After seeing a beautiful old bougainvillea in greenhouse in mass., I couldn't pass up the little bougies in the nursery.  The one I chose is probably a rooted cutting, but one with lots of branches, so I was hoping it would leave me with shaping options down the road.  I have it in a slightly oversized pot to give it room to grow a bit bigger. 

This was something of an impetuous buy, so now that I'm looking at it I realize I have no idea how to style or shape it, or what plans to make for it.  I was hoping that someone could offer some advice in that regard. The first attached photo is from the front, and the second is from the top.  Obviously, I can take more pictures if needed, and will maybe edit  them as I play with different ideas as to what I might aim for with this tree.

If nothing else, I'll keep this thread as a journal of this tree's progress.
 

leila

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Baby Bougainvillea
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2012, 10:25 AM »
The week after I acquired this plant was really nice outside, so I placed it outside on the deck where it gets really warm whenever it was 70+ degrees, bringing it in for the night (still pretty cold).  I watered it with a willow tea I made to help the roots recover from repotting, having read that young plants have very sensitive and brittle roots.  It seemed to be doing well.  Three little flowers bloomed and a second set of pink bracts were forming.

The weather turned cold, so I've had it inside in a window with a supplementary light shining on it.  While most of the plant remains unchanged, the leaves on the branch forming the new bracts have shriveled up.  Since the rest of the plant is unchanged, I'm not sure what has caused this, or if this is the beginning of more branches shriveling up.  I'm starting to contemplate plans for the shape but I'm afraid to do anything with it until it shows health.  I'm wondering if I should, at the very least defoliate the shriveled leaves, but everything I've read about Bougainvillea says to leave such tasks to its vigorous growing season.  It will probably be a couple weeks before I can move it back outside. (We've had such weird weather here lately)  I should also mention that I haven't fertilized it since it was so soon after repotting.

I've attached a photo comparing the unhealthy and healthy branches, in case anyone out there has any feedback for me.
 

kcpoole

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Sopwith Camel - 1916
Re: Baby Bougainvillea
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2012, 07:48 PM »
I would cut back the shrivelled and Dying branch.

Was there any bending done on this branch that cracked it? Cut it back hard to remove it and any problems it may have. A Bougie will shoot back on old wood so you will have a replacement branch soon :-)

Ken
 

leila

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Baby Bougainvillea
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2012, 08:32 AM »
Thank you for the advice.  As far as I know, no bending has occurred.  I repotted it the day I got it and haven't touched it except to move it when the weather was nice.  The guy at the nursery said he though it was probably a rooted cutting, in which case I can't imagine anyone would have bent such a young plant.

Is it okay to prune it now, or should I wait until it is growing strong in the warm weather?
 

kcpoole

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Sopwith Camel - 1916
Re: Baby Bougainvillea
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2012, 07:32 PM »
I would remove the damaged bit now in  case it has some disease.

Wait till growing well later in spring before repotting tho

Ken
 

livebonsai

  • Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Baby Bougainvillea
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2012, 05:58 AM »
This is a beautiful Bougainvillea Bonsai.  I would suggest letting this tree grow in a bigger container for a few years and then cut it back and style as the informal upright.  Just like this one... http://www.livebonsai.com/bougainvillea-bonsai/