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Summer Bonsai Brilliance

06/18/20

Bougainvilleas can be a little ostentatious, even gaudy at times, and this one just might qualify. Still, ostentatious, gaudy or whatever, this lush combination of flowers, aged character and power is magnificent. The photo is from the Club de Bonsaistas

Not only are Bougainvilleas brilliant when flowering, but they are easy to grow. That is if you live in a tropical or subtropical climate. Here in the North, wintering is a challenge, which isn’t that much different than with many other tropical or subtropical bonsai

When it comes to care, two things stand out. Bougs are sun lovers and they don’t like to stay wet for too long. In order for Bougainvilleas to flourish and most importantly to flower, direct sunlight is essential. Plenty of direct sunlight. Particularly in the summer. If you winter a Boug indoors, you’ll need a very bright spot for it to remain healthy

When it comes to not staying wet, soil with good drainage is essential as is drying down between waterings. Like almost all bonsai, you can go overboard by allowing the soil to become bone dry for too long while in the hot sun. But still, drying down between watering is essential. This can make growing Bougs in wet climates a real challenge

 

This cheerfully bright Bougainvillea illustrates the principle that, when it comes to flowering bonsai, the tree should be designed and displayed in a way that, first and foremost shows off the flowers (bracts in this case - see below). Success! This photo is from Bonsaimania; Bonsái del álbum de Virgie Bambilla

 

Yet another brilliant Bougainvillea. This one is from a post titled Welcome Summer! by Salvatore Liporace

 

Not so ostentatious but more elegant and lonely, clinging to cliff on some tropical island (well, actually in Florida, gracing Ed Trout's bonsai collection). Is that a coconut?

  


You have to use your imagination for the pot, but not much imagination when it comes to color.
This photo and the others in this post are from an article on Chinese bougainvillea on Bonsai-Penjing

 

 Bougainvillea bracts and flowers. The pink petals aren't really flowers, they're bracts (a modified or specialized leaf). The little white things that look like flowers, are in fact the flowers

 

 

Scenes like this are common in tropical and sub-tropical climes. Photo from My Greece Travel blog

 

 This one is designed to spark our envy I don't have to tell you who the photo belongs to

 


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