Bonsai a Poinsettia?

johnh_or(Portland OR Z8)December 28, 2009

I have an approx 7-8 year old Pointsettia that my MIL neglected to water while we were on vacation. Needless to say, it has dropped all its leaves and looks pretty crummy. After looking at the branch structure of the plant, I can see that it has potential for Bonsai. Nice thick trunk and sturdy branches. Just wondered if anyone has ever tried this and if you may have some tips. Been growing plants for some 25 yers and have never attempted a Bonsai.

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ashley_plant_addict(Zone 8)

John, this sounds interesting. I want to do the same thing with my Bougainvillea.

My poinsettia also was neglected and lost all the leaves. So I decided to cut all the branches back to just the main stem so that it would promote new growth, I did this about 2 weeks ago. When I cut it there was white sappy stuff that oozed out. The trunk is looking brown / grey and no new growth. Did I do the wrong thing buy cutting it back so much?

Thanks
Ashley

    Bookmark   December 28, 2009 at 5:17PM
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johnh_or(Portland OR Z8)

I think you will be OK. Try to give it as much light and warmth as possible....filtered sun is good. Don't water till you begin to see some new growth. The white sappy stuff is a characteristic of the Euphorbia genus. A genus of plants belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae. It's a form of latex! If you scratch the bark lightly and still see green then there is a good chance it will make it.

I have seen a few Bougainvillea bonsai. You might want to check the Bonsai forum too. I posted my quetion there also.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2009 at 7:26PM
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johnh_or(Portland OR Z8)

Hey Ashley....just wanted to add that when night time temps average above 50-55, you can put your Poinsettia outside. Mine goes in full sun during the summer.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2009 at 7:33PM
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ashley_plant_addict(Zone 8)

Hey John, we're expected to get snow today and the temps have been in the low 40s but once the temps start moving up (and stay up) I'll put my poinsetta out. I didn't know they could stay out in those temps! Good to know!

Latex?! Interesting! I had no idea.

I watered it yesterday before I read the post, and when I did the tops of the stem are green. :) I guess when the sap dried it left the grey color, so at least its still alive!

Hey! Now that my plant is trimmed and has a thicker trunk, I can try to Bonsai mine. Well, only if tips and advice come our way. :)

Ashley

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 11:17AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Bonsettia, perhaps? ;-)
I'm following the Thread in the Bonsai Forum....
I, too, am eager to see what you might be able to create.

Josh

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 12:35PM
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ashley_plant_addict(Zone 8)

Bonsettia! I think it fits! :)

I just saw this post on the bonsai forum....keeping up with it there from now on. :)

Another Bonsai mission: turning my big bougainvillea into a bonsai.

Ashley

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 4:05PM
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johnh_or(Portland OR Z8)

Josh and Ashley.....Sounds like a Bonsai plan then....I think I'm gonna wait till the days start getting longer and warmer before I "buzz cut" it. The only think left on it are the yellow bracts and some flowers. Plus I noticed it has scale. Pruning should get rid of most of those critters. I always prune it back right before it goes outside....that way the new growth will be be sun conditioned as it grows.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 4:41PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi John, I am also going to keep an eye on this thread...I have a Poinsettia since '06. If yours works out, I would love to try it. Keep us posted.

I like the name Josh...Bonsettia!

Ashley, I did a bonsai from a bougainvillea plant I had. I was able to remove this small branch that had a natural bonsai form to it. I placed it in a bonsai pot almost two years ago and its still alive and has a couple of blooms even. Good luck with yours!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 7:19PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Ashley, here is my amateur attempt at bonsai(bougainvillea) and a Ficus. I've had the ficus for three years and the other for almost two. The fact that I haven't killed it yet is a big surprise for me,lol...If it wasn't for Al's mix I know it would have been long dead by now.

Ficus...

    Bookmark   December 30, 2009 at 1:52PM
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tommyr_gw

Those bonsai are sweet! Nice job!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2009 at 3:52PM
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ashley_plant_addict(Zone 8)

Pug, those are beautiful! The ficus has such a great shape and the roots are wonderful! I'll post my bougainvillea project once I get started. I am about to post (in the bonsai forum) my Mexican Heather project I started last night. Take a look!

Ashley

    Bookmark   December 30, 2009 at 4:40PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thank You Tommy and Ashley! I will take a look at your bonsai project...

    Bookmark   December 30, 2009 at 5:46PM
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ninecrow(England)

I Did one in 06...

But The Soil was the Wrong type and got Waterlogged... So it Didn't Survie

    Bookmark   December 30, 2009 at 6:07PM
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ashley_plant_addict(Zone 8)

Wow, thats pretty nine! Do you have any other photos of it up close? How long did it take you to create the bonsai form? What type of soil did you use?

Thanks
Ashley

    Bookmark   December 30, 2009 at 6:22PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Great pictures!

Josh

    Bookmark   December 31, 2009 at 12:12PM
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ninecrow(England)

No Sorry, that is the only one I have.... But I think I'm going to try again....

The Soil was Cheap Crap... What Do You think Would be the Best to Use this time?
Thanks
NC

    Bookmark   December 31, 2009 at 2:17PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Nine, You might want to try... turface, granite grit or(coarse silica sand) pine bark fines(or similar products)...equal parts of each, just screen all ingredients to get rid of dust and fine particles. Great for any container plants. Very porous fast draining potting mix is best for bonsai and most plants I grow. A lot of us use this mix with very good results...just search for Al's mix.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2009 at 9:03PM
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houseplantlover(ontario/canada)

Al's mix should do the trick

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 12:37PM
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ashley_plant_addict(Zone 8)

I agree! Use Al's mix, its great!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 2:24PM
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Kangwel

As a Poinsettia grower, I thought I would do some experimenting with Poinsettias and bonsai. Some varieties do better than others. I usually start with a 4" starter plant from the greenhouse. I will usually grab a small stunted one that will not sell at retail. First off, I have failed at this more than I have succeeded. Secondly, until very hardy and three to four years old, they will not take a wiring, they simply break. With Poinsettias there are a few critical factors. One, a PH between 5.8 and 6.2 is near critical. An EC of below 2.0 is also critical as Poinsettia roots are very succeptible to salt burn. They are also very heavy feeders making this a particularily tricky proposition. They require a very large amount of natural light to vegitatively grow. They initiate flowering when days are shorter than twelve hours, and yes the light of a room will inhibit this. It takes a few years to develop a woody stem along with reducing the size of the leaves so the tree doesn't look overly top heavy. Once woody and established though, they are very hardy. As for potting soil, I use a peat and bark mix with natural limestone mixed in. A drip tray with river rock underneath to prevent drying out and burning of roots. They require water daily in such a small pot. Once Flowering it is critical to keep moisture off of foliage as it wll cause bortrytis. Points can go downhill in a hurry and are susceptible to root rots, phytopthera and bortrytis. Points are naturally a tree that grows very tall, nocha buenas in many parts of the world are very tall. Heavy humidity during vegetative growth and dry conditions after flower initiation. They are a desert plant. I know my writing has little continuity, but I hope this helps, I continue to try this year after year.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 1:09PM
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