How to Get Roots Just Right

Edymnion(7a)September 9, 2011

Hey all, just getting into bonsai (well, technically bonchi, since I can have a new one go from seed to display in only a year), and I've got a question you guys might be able to answer.

I've got some halloween themed pepper seeds coming in the mail any day now (the fruit is black and orange), and I'm wanting to turn at least one into a cool halloween bonsai.

One of the things I'm wanting to do is to replicate the classic "candle melting over a skull" setup, only with the bonsai roots instead of wax. Thing is, I don't want it to be just a mat of roots.

How do you control how the roots end up growing? I know you plant whatever you want the bonsai to grow over in the soil beneath the tree (or in my case pepper) so that the roots will naturally grow around it, but do you just trim the roots off the places you don't want after you dig it all up?

Also, will woody roots continue to grow in size after they're exposed to the air? Was thinking I could let the plant grow over the skull and slowly pull the soil away to encourage it to keep growing deeper down, but I don't want to do it too early if the roots won't get any bigger once they're exposed.

So yeah, I found lots of info on how to get the above part to look the way you want, much less on how to sculpt the roots.

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I've looked into it before (for future reference) and it doesn't look like it works the way you think it would. It looks more like you affix the plant (and roots) to your rock and use soil/sand to keep it moist while it gets use to the conditions, then slowly remove the soil.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 1:16AM
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