->Bonsai Care Facts
->Bonsai Watering Tips

Bonsai Species

Black Olive
Black Pine
Brazillian Rain Tree
Brush Cherries
Chinese Elm
Dwarf Yaupon Holly
Eastern Red Cedar
Eastern White Pine
Fukien Tea
Japanese Dwarf Garden Juniper
Mugo Pine
Natal Plum
Sargent's Juniper
Trident Maple
Willow Leaf Fig

Silver Bonsai Gallery
Ben & Kathryn Stewart
Store Hours: M-Sat 10am to 6pm
  Sunday by appointment
  905 US Highway 64
  Manteo, North Carolina
  (252) 475-1413
SILVER BONSAI GARDEN - Bonsai Trees and Basic Care



Bougainvillea - Bougainvillea glabra

General Information: Bougainvillea, named for a French navigator, is a
native of South America and is grown extensively in the warmer
climates of the United States. It is a member of the Nyctaginaceae
family with close relatives being the four o'clock and the sand
verbena. Bougainvillea is an evergreen vine which is just as happy
spreading horizontally or hanging downwards as it is climbing upwards,
it makes itself at home in almost any situation. It can be grown as a
hedge, groomed as a ground cover, pruned as an espalier, trained as a
tree or contained in a pot in a variety of shapes. Its trunk tends to
be gnarled. Bougainvillea is ideal for bonsai. Red, violet, orange,
yellow or white bracts which appear on the ends of new growth.
Available in nurseries and from bonsai specialty growers. A good
source is from old gardens being redesigned and from trash piles where
a frustrated homeowner has thrown the thorny plant.
They flower most heavily in winter and early spring, but some plants
put forth scattered clusters all year. The colors are found in tones
of purple, lavender, carmine, scarlet, red, pink, orange, yellow and
white. Single and double flower forms are available. Double forms tend
to carry their blooms near the end of the stems rather than
distributing them evenly over the plant. The colorful, papery "blooms"
are not flowers; they are bracts. The true flower is white, trumpet
shaped and almost unnoticeable within the bracts. Bougainvilleas are
available in a variety of species, each having its unique

Lighting: Full sun.

Temperature: Being a warm weather plant, they must be provided winter
protection. They can usually tolerate die back from a freeze, but will
withhold blooms for awhile.

Watering: Sparse to light watering and good drainage.

Feeding: Fertilize once in the spring with a low nitrogen fertilizer
and maybe once again in the fall. The old established method of
forcing flowers is to withhold water to a point of causing severe
stress to the plant. Research at the University of Florida has found
that plants flower best when given high nitrogen fertilizers and short
day lengths (15 hours of darkness within ever 24 hour period).

Pruning and wiring: The bougainvillea takes well to pruning; a useful
attribute in styling bonsai. Because bougainvillea generally blooms on
new growth, each branch, as blooms begin to fade, should be cut back
to a point somewhat shorter than the desired length. Seal all cuts to
prevent rot. If rot is detected on a collected specimen, cut it out

Propagation: Bougainvillea may be grown from air layers, root cuttings
and branch cuttings. Young shoots, a few inches in length, should be
placed in sandy soil with bottom heat and moisture. Half-ripened or
old wood cuttings in six to twelve inch lengths may be rooted April to

Repotting: Repot in Spring. Do not prune the roots too severely.

Pests and Diseases: Caterpillars, aphids, scale, greenfly and mineral
deficiencies (chlorosis). Care must be taken that fungus does not
invade the tree; reduced humidity and a preventive spraying of
fungicide will help greatly.

Silver Bonsai Gallery
Ben & Kathryn Stewart
Store Hours: M-Sat 10am to 6pm
Sunday by appointment

905 US Highway 64
Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 475-1413
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