Author Topic: Ceanothus for bonsai?  (Read 7617 times)

bonsai eejit

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Ceanothus for bonsai?
« on: March 06, 2011, 06:40 AM »
I was wondering if any one here had tried Ceanothus for bonsai?

Common name in UK is Californian Lilac. It's not overly hardy in my climate and is prone to branch die back if conditions are not right. I'm asking because I've just dug a monster one up and plan to give it a go.

Regards

Ian
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Ceanothus for bonsai?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2011, 03:56 PM »
I have not, and am not really that familiar with it.  Google image search just brings back a mess of flowers.  Would like to see a picture, if you have one, that shows a little more detail.
 

plantmanky

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Re: Ceanothus for bonsai?
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2011, 11:53 PM »
I was wondering if any one here had tried Ceanothus for bonsai?

Common name in UK is Californian Lilac. It's not overly hardy in my climate and is prone to branch die back if conditions are not right. I'm asking because I've just dug a monster one up and plan to give it a go.
Ian

Ian,

In general Ceanothus are rather tempermental and your comment about branch dieback is quite common.  They also don't like having thiir roots worked on all that much.  IThere are a bizillion species of Ceanothus from large shrubs to groundcover types but they are all rather short lived shrubs. If you have already dug yours, give it a go and let us know how it perrms for you.


Randy Davis
 

gtuthill

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Re: Ceanothus for bonsai?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2011, 04:53 PM »
Hi,

I tried one out when I was first starting in bonsai.  But it died before i got it potted up. Not sure whether it was just my inexperience.  Had a nice growth habit so would love to see one suceed :)

« Last Edit: March 31, 2011, 10:43 AM by gtuthill »
 

Bonsai Study Group Admin

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Re: Ceanothus for bonsai?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2011, 04:55 PM »
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jtucker

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Re: Ceanothus for bonsai?
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2011, 01:52 PM »
Hi all,

As an avid California native plant grower, I have several different ceanothus varieties as yard trees in my yard, my parents' yard, a native garden at church, and anywhere anyone would let me plant them! There are about a zillion different varieties, and each one seems to like some different combination of love and luck. I picked up a very tiny-leafed one at a local nursery, thinking it would be great for bonsai. I trimmed it back a little bit, and it didn't backbud nearly as well as I had hoped. Even with a minor trimming, it sulked and looked ugly for about 6 weeks with barely any new growth.

On the other hand, one of the varieties in my yard can be pruned with a hedge trimmer and won't stop putting out new growth EVER. I nailed the other one in my yard (about a 3-4 inch trunk) with the weed-whacker. It stripped off about a 4 inch tall ring around the trunk, except for about an inch wide little lifeline. I wrapped it with raffia for about a year or so and there was zero dieback. Didn't lose any big branches or anything. So given the right circumstances for the variety, these can be pretty awesome. Chaparral plants (like Ceanothus and Manzanita) generally don't like having their roots messed with, so this can also be a trick of finding a variety that will at least tolerate some root pruning.

There is a nursery here in San Diego called Las Pilitas with a fantastic webpage full of information. They are my go to source for California Native information. Another Southern California Native nursery is called Tree of Life, but their sight is not quite as comprehensive. Hope this helps! Good luck!

By the way, "Joyce Coulter" is a pretty popular/available and bulletproof variety with a prostrate growth habit. I have 2, 1-gallon plants in my yard that we were going to give away. This thread has me contemplating some nice cascades!