Repotting camellia bonsai


It’s been lengthy break since my final submit. Whereas I’m energetic on Fb and Instagram I’m discovering it exceedingly tougher to jot down between the time I make investments finding out bonsai in addition to studying Japanese. In any case I’m nonetheless alive, and for many who are nonetheless round thanks for studying!


I’ve not too long ago gained a robust affection for camellias. Previous to coming to Japan I’d by no means seen a camellia used as bonsai earlier than. Their floral show is spectacular and supply some distinction within the backyard between the extra generally seen coniferous and deciduous varieties.

Throughout the Kokufu-ten, the place I assisted my Oyakata for over 2 weeks (brrr),

I picked up a small tsubaki (camellia) tree. It wasn’t something tremendous costly, however the flower selection was good, leaves have been small, and was a younger plant with good potential.

photograph from the identical tree, taken one month prior

The variability is “izumotaisha” (いずもたいしゃ, 出雲大社). Sadly I misplaced the tag however I used to be in a position to re-verify the variability from a tsubaki e-book I picked up on the Kinbon vendor desk. One other enormous incentive for me to check and study Japanese is to have the ability to learn the books right here. Japan undoubtedly has a excessive degree of horticultural and aesthetic mastery from practising bonsai for thus many generations. Though bonsai could be very a lot a “palms on” studying follow, I can’t cowl the identical floor from shear trial and error. There’s a wealth of printed data right here and I hope after a couple of years price of kanji I can entry it higher.

でた!Discovered it!

The tree as acquired. Many leaves have been already lower in half. As a result of the leaf dimension of this selection is already small for camellia I can’t think about it was completed so for aesthetic functions. Seemingly it was completed for repotting which I’ll talk about subsequent.

As an evergreen species, camellias don’t drop leaves throughout the dormant season. This implies after we work the roots we have to compensate by performing partial or full defoliation of the tree. For this tree, I’m doing the previous. Full defoliation usually ought to solely be completed on very robust vigorous timber. Defoliation reduces the transpiration stress on the tree and might enable plant to correctly recuperate from repotting.

Versus uniformly defoliating the tree, we are able to take away extra from stronger areas and fewer from weaker areas to stability the tree. As I develop out and develop this camellia I need to protect the inside buds so the design stays full and never leggy.

terminal bud and leaves, we name this the “おめ” “ome”

On the finish of every shoot there’s a robust terminal bud with pair of adjoining leaves. We name this “ome.” On the ome, the leaves hooked up to the robust terminal bud are lower fully. This helps direct vitality to the weaker and dormant inside buds.

like so

The inside leaves and the dormant bud at every petiole’s base could be known as “kome.” We need to direct extra vitality to those buds so the leaves on the kome are solely lower in half. Most of which have been already lower so I left them as is.

Lowering power at suggestions can even encourage improvement of inside backbuds

Along with the dormant buds at each petiole I discovered some inside backbuds. I’d prefer to protect these and permit them to develop too.

The weakest and smaller leaves have been left as is. After ending the scissor work, we are able to work the roots.

Camellia roots are fairly tender and brittle. Careless raking or prodding will simply tear out giant chunks. Fastidiously work and tease out the roots to maintain them intact.

I need to let the tree develop out extra and thicken the trunk, so I eliminated it from a budget manufacturing pot into a bigger terra cotta pot. Since there is just one drain gap an anchor must be made. I used a bit of thicker gauge copper wire from the scrap bin.

Tie down, anchor, and drainage mesh set.

The end result! I’m fairly excited to develop this tree and to study extra about camellia cultivation for bonsai generally. I’ll submit updates as this tree develops.

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