WIP: Skull Mountain Bonchi

Edymnion(7a)June 7, 2012

I have a 7-Pot Douglah pepper I've been growing over a buried skull mountain aquarium decoration in hopes that I could get the roots snaking down the crevices in an appealing way. I just did the first soil pulldown and root repositioning, and I must say the initial results look extremely promising.

Most of the active roots are re-buried, leaving what you see here up top to lignify. I also made sure to fan the rest of the roots out across the face of the mountain, hopefully they'll thicken up nicely in the next couple of months and really look nice for my next pulldown.

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Admit1(4b)

Really cool, since joining this site I have seen some awesome new forms of art via plants and other things.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 10:28AM
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Edymnion(7a)

Its one of the nice things about using peppers. They're cheap and they grow very quickly while still giving very tree-like results. Lets you experiment with stuff a lot easier than if you were using trees, simply because you can afford to try something totally off the wall. Lets you get the same results in months that a tree would take years to achieve.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 1:07AM
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Edymnion(7a)

Not the same one as before, but a good quicky I made the other day.

Its just a Masquerade ornamental pepper I picked up a couple months ago at the hardware store. Grew it out some, shaped it up, tossed it in a spare pot with whatever random decoration I could find (a cow skull aquarium decoration, in this case). I'll try and find something a little more suited next time I go out.

Anyway, point is this pepper can't be more than 6 months old, and I got it 90% grown to this size for a couple bucks at a hardware store nursery. Bonchi (bonsai chile) is a nice cheap way to practice, without the need to risk hurting expensive/time intensive trees. And the results aren't half bad, considering ultimately how little effort you have to put into them.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 3:39PM
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Edymnion(7a)

For anyone interested in how this one is going.

Just pulled down the soil level and repositioned the roots again last night.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 1:24PM
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zone 8(Zone 8)

Looking great, how often do you pull down the soil? Larry

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 12:16PM
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Edymnion(7a)

Seems to be about once a month. I posted that picture after the first pull down on June 7th, and I just did it again here on June 10th.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 2:10PM
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Edymnion(7a)

Update for anyone thats been watching this one. Plant is doing great, and since the end of the pepper growing season is starting to approach I've started trimming back limbs that I didn't want so that it would have time to heal over nicely before the final chop down.

Before:

After:

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 3:58PM
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simsedward

Coming along great! You have inspired me to try it again! I was out in the garden today and I have some nice woody trunks!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 9:25PM
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Edymnion(7a)

Its a lot of fun, and if you have pepper plants you like its a lot better to make bonsai out of them to overwinter them instead of just letting them die out in the garden from the cold.

And the best part is, its darned near impossible to actually kill an adult pepper from chopping it back. Pretty sure you could cut it down practically to the ground and it would just grow right back.

Very forgiving plants, they make yummy fruit for you to eat, and they'll live upwards of 10 years if you don't let them freeze. So its not like you're wasting effort, once you get an impressive looking bonchi, you can keep it around for as long as most people manage to keep a regular bonsai alive.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:13AM
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simsedward

Do you pot them up in bonsai soil or do you use potting soil?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 8:21PM
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Edymnion(7a)

It depends on what I intend to do with them. Some bonchi I make are really just fun ways to overwinter my favorite peppers so I can put them back out in the garden again come spring. Those I leave in potting soil and small containers. "Finished" bonchi that won't be going back out in the yard (like this one) I will put in a bonsai soil.

My bonsai soil tends to contain more organics than normal, usually a .66/.33 of fired clay and orchid mix.

Not quite sure how I'll fill the inside of the mountain on this one yet though.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:48PM
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simsedward

Cool...I just want to over winter them...but the bonsai enthusiast in me may get attached to one...never can tell.
Keep up the good work and thanks for all the tips through these threads.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 8:27PM
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hookilau(long island NY)

Awesome! He looks great! I saw that same aquarium ornament at Petco the other day & wondered how yours was doing. I chopped 2 of mine & brought them in, they look miserable, lol!

Hopefully they'll leaf out in a week or 2. I still have about 6 more to chop & experiment with so the fun is just beginning -_-

Antoinette

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 7:49AM
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Edymnion(7a)

Its doing pretty well. I chopped it back completely... last week I think it was.

As you can see, its leafing back out nicely, especially given the overall cooler temperatures we have here right now.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 4:10PM
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Edymnion(7a)

Its finally starting to look more like a bonsai now.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 5:04PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Awesome!!

Laura

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 12:02AM
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simsedward

It looks really good...I dug up and potted four of my own to overwinter/bonsai this year...so far they are just starting to leaf out again.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:06PM
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Edymnion(7a)

Update on this one. Its well on its way with the shaping. Been trimmed back a few times to help encourage bushing out, and its really starting to look the way I wanted it to.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 1:48PM
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NonCircNick

Amazing! How are they doing? Any updates?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 8:08PM
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Edymnion(7a)

Whoops, completely forgot about this for... a year and a half. Sorry about that!

Yeah, this one didn't make it. I had moved it back out into my raised bed to let it really grow big, and there was an unexpected frost. The other pepper next to it got a little nipped, this one didn't survive.

However I'm using what I learned with it to make something even bigger and badder this coming season.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2014 at 5:59PM
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