My First Bonchi

Edymnion(7a)October 10, 2011

My nagas finally ripened up to the point I was satisfied with them, so it was time to prune it back and attempt my first pepper bonsai.

While pruning back branches and deciding which to keep and which had to go, I started to see a hand shape, so I went with that. Overall, I think it turned out quite nicely.

Soil is an akadama substitute in the form of fired montmorillonite clay.

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Edymnion(7a)

Be nice if we could edit posts. Oh well, some basic decorating.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 2:18PM
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caricapapaya(5)

I am really excited to see how this goes. I have a bunch of peppers I am planning on doing this to, and I have never done it either.

Keep us updated!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 4:10PM
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ooprea

This is very interesting... Thank you for posting the pictures! I want to get a Bonchi too :D, but I'm still researching on the Internet so I take good care of it

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 4:38PM
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Edymnion(7a)

Update, 7 days after cutting back:

Appears to be thriving.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 12:56PM
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simsedward

They grow fast! This is why I always cut mine back to the thick woody branches like you did...great start man!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 6:02AM
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Edymnion(7a)

Oh yeah, and I'm still having to pinch off shoots down around the base of the trunk where I don't want it growing anything. I think its finally getting the idea as it seems to be slowing down on how many ground level shoots it tries to make, but man. I get the feeling I could have cut this thing down to the GROUND and it would have come back.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 9:37AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Sweet!
Yep, peppers respond well to a good hard pruning!

Josh

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 4:13PM
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Edymnion(7a)

This one isn't so much a bonsai as a cut back overwintering with a fancy pot, but I plan on shaping it like a bonsai until its ready to go back in the ground this spring.

Soil mix is about 50/50 turface and miracle grow (doesn't look like its that much because I gave it a good soak to settle everything in, which made the soil float to the top some). I'll have to be more careful about how and when I water it, although the pot does have a sufficient drainage hole in the bottom.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 7:34PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yeah, you'll have to be more than careful about watering...

Honestly, you've defeated the whole purpose of the Turface by cutting it with Miracle Grow.
The mix you've made will retain all the miserable drainage characteristics of the Miracle Grow soil,
which means that it will be heavily moisture retentive. You might need to employ a wick to remove
excess moisture.

That said, I overwintered a Pepperoncini in a pot of garden soil in my garage.
The plant survived, and produced the following season, but it had lost most of its vitality
by that time. Healthy plants produce sooner, and better.

Good luck.

Josh

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 2:48PM
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joeturbo26

As a somewhat beginner bonsai guy, with just 7 or 8 varieties under my belt, I stumbled upon this post. I have never heard or or seen a Bonchi! Then I googled it, and I am in a fit of obsession! I need to make one! What is the exact species? Where do you suggest I get the seeds!!!

Thanks :)
Joey

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 6:01PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Almost any pepper variety will work, though some lend themselves better to bonsai.

In this case, the peppers (at least in first pic) are Nagas - so that means Capsicum chinense.

I actually started growing peppers after seeing Fatalii's guide to bonchi peppers.
When I learned that all peppers are perennial, I felt immediately challenged to see
how many years I could keep one alive. That was 2008, and I still have the Hungarian Wax,
my first pepper plant.

Josh

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 7:19PM
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joeturbo26

So after seeing this thread, I remembered that a few days ago, I had seen a pepper plant in chinatown... yes, I actually got into my car at 7pm, drove to chinatown and had to see if it was there! I FOUND IT!!! here is what I got for 12.00 ... lol.

Anyone know what species it is? I will be growing it in my greenhouse-- Should I cut back and defoliate as you would a regular bonsai--or allow it to grow some more?

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 9:11PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Nice score, Joe ;-)
I'm not very good at ID's, but it could be a Japanese Takanotsume pepper, Capsicum annuum.
Very popular pepper in restaurants, dried, et cetera. Since the peppers are ripe on your plant,
why not harvest them and then do some judicious pruning.

Josh

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 12:23AM
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Edymnion(7a)

Almost time to start wiring and pruning on that first one, I think.

The halloween one is alive and well too.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 3:09PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Lookin' great...!

Josh

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 3:35PM
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