Monday, April 29, 2013

Buxus bonsai - slow but very rewarding.

My first "finished" bonsai I ever bought was this Buxus:

I bought it in April 2009 as a 10 year old bonsai. I mainly bought it because I had a lot of sticks in pots at that time and I so much wanted to exhibit something at our agricultural show.

This is the tree after I re-potted it December 2010:
Because the tree is so easy to grow I bought another one:

After some wiring and styling:

I really like the tree with it's three trunks - just have to decide on the best front.

Another one I am working on was bought as a nursery tree in November 2010. Here is a pic of the bush in January 2011:
After the first cut back I found a nice single trunk:
After letting it grow out for about three months after the cut back I styled some of the branches:
 From April 2011 I let the tree grow out freely. This is the tree in January 2013:
 I cleaned up the tree a bit and this is the tree after the clean up:
 I am very happy with the trees progression up to January 2013. I will have to be realistic about the outcome of the tree - it will have to be styled femininely.

From that time I have let it grow out again. I will probably have to place the tree a little bit deeper in the pot because of the three thick roots. Over a long time I will get some new roots to replace the current ones.

My personal experience on growing and styling Buxus bonsai:
1.  It seems that the trees grow through the year here in Rustenburg, South Africa.
2.  In my conditions the tree has to be watered every day.
3.  I have not bare rooted any of my Buxus- I yearly alternate removing half of the roots from the bottom and surface roots. I do this in spring.
4. I don't keep the tree heavily pinched. I allow new buds to grow out to about 10cmm before I cut them back. The result is a flush of new growth. In my growing season, almost 9 months long. I can do this cut back about 4-5 times.
5. The tree reacts well to wiring and the branches maintain their wired position after about two months- but be very carefull bending older twigs and branches because they are very brittle. Great care must be taken when bending growth close to old branches/trunks or they may snap off! On new trees I use cable ties on top and below a branches before bending them sharply.
6. When cutting back branches/twigs, do make sure there is some leaves left ot the branch may die.
7. These trees are fed throughout the year by using a mulch.
8. Some of my Buxus are kept in full sun and some get morning sun and dappled shade- in both scenarios they do well.
9. Pest on the trees are not common - I do get some scale during winter time. Malasol rid the trees very quickly of the pest.

Will post more pics soon.