Bougainvillea bonsai – there are many types of plant suitable for bonsai training; one of these is the bougainvillea which is a versatile plant. The most common species used to make a bougainvillea bonsai is the Bougainvillea glabra which offers brilliant blooms in bright white, red, orange, pinks, yellow and purple.

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Bougainvillea bonsai requires

A bougainvillea bonsai requires more attention and care than other bonsai, but it is worth the time and effort.  Caring for it includes frequent trimming, pruning, training, fertilizing, and watering. Here are some tips in growing your own bougainvillea bonsai:

Pot Selection

You can choose whatever shapes of pot you want but make sure it has drainage holes at the bottom. The depth of the pot or container should be equal to the diameter of the trunk of the bonsai plant. The best time to move the plant into a pot is during the late spring when it is in its active stage of development. Ideally, your bougainvillea should be planted first in the soil before being potted in order for its roots to grow strong enough to withstand moving.

Soil

The bougainvillea bonsai requires a well-draining and fertile soil. To make the soil suitable for the plant, you can add organic fertilizer rich in nitrogen to encourage beautiful blooms. You can also mix equal amounts of soil, perlite or river sand, small lava rock, fresh peat moss and pine bark. Use the fertilizer at 1/4 the normal strength to avoid the risk of burning the roots.

Lighting

Bougainvilleas prefer a generous amount of sunlight to grow well. At least 5-8 hours a day of sun exposure is needed. If you plant to keep you bonsai indoors, make it daily habit to bring it outside for some time under the sun or you may place it near a well-lit window. It tends to drop leaves when the light is low.

Water

Regular watering in the initial days of repotting is needed to grow a dense root system. However, do not overwater your bougainvillea bonsai because it can cause root rot and encourage growth of fungus which can kill your plant. Once the plant gets settled, water the bonsai only once the top layer of the soil becomes dry to touch. Keep the soil damp and moist.

Pruning

A bonsai bougainvillea requires regular pruning to keep it in your desired shape. Prune your bonsai once a month during its growing season, removing only a little at a time. It is best to prune your bougainvillea bonsai after the blooms has fallen off. Pruning encourages new growth. Cut off yellow leaves, weak stems and broken branches. New branches can be trained to take a shape on a wire.

Because it is cold-sensitive, Bougainvillea bonsai is best planted in summer and generally will bloom in the spring for about a period of four to six weeks. It is virtually pest-free and disease resistant, you just have to be mindful of fungal disease that may affect the roots of your bonsai bougainvillea.