Family of 70 Different Evergreen Species
Is Boxwood Bonsai
a possibility for some body who is new to bonsai as a hobby?
To give you a precise answer
Introduction to Boxwood Bonsai
This is a family of about 70 different species widely distributed all over the geography. Central America is found to house some of these species. Of all the species Japanese and Common Box respond well to the Bonsai culture. Japanese Box grows less aggressively and is smaller in size, the reason why I would go for it if ever I am to choose between the two species.
Boxwoods are small plants thus that make them ideal for Bonsai. However one major limitation with these is that the bonsai shapes are limited. We will get into this in much detail later in the article.
Boxwood leaves are dark green and fleshy those reduce in size when converted to bonsai impeccably well. The internodes are short and the growth of foliage is usually dense in these shrubs.
Shallow root development in Boxwood is boon for bonsai artists as that is ideally suited for those intending to use for root over rock style. This seems natural as well as these plants grow in hilly regions of Asia, Africa and Central America.
Boxwood bark looks mature very early in its development cycle but this is not supported by the thickening of the shoot. Thus care should be taken during wiring not to hurt the shoot. As said the look of the bark can be very misleading as these plant verities are known for slow thickening of the bark.
For the fact that there is slow development of the bark thickness in these plants it’s always suggested to get mature stock for converting to bonsai.
Boxwood Bonsai Care
Boxwood can easily sustain temperature of up to -4 degree centigrade. Below that there are chances that the leaves of Boxwood will start decaying. You will observe yellow patches on the leaves in these circumstances. So under such atmospheric conditions you will need to provide some extra protection to the bonsai plant.
It’s advisable not to subject this plant to direct sunlight. But then that does not mean light should be avoided completely.
Repot Boxwood every year. One year is an ideal time frame for repotting this plant variety.
Foliage growth in Boxwood is rapid. One problem caused due to this dense foliage is that light is restricted from reaching the inner leaves and buds thus hindering their growth. Thus it’s necessary to prune and trim the plant at regular intervals. Regular pruning plays a pivotal role in reducing the leaf size as well.
One word of caution though…
Excessive pruning could reduce the rate of growth of the plant as a whole.
Wiring is difficult in case of boxwood because the shoot becomes brittle upon maturity. Newly formed shoot is ideal for wiring as they are flexible.
Boxwood Bonsai is susceptible to box blight, a fungal disease. The cause and cure for this disease is still unknown. The main symptoms include development of spots on leaves and subsequent defoliation. Usually this disease leads to the death of the boxwood bonsai giving a tragic end to your efforts.
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