My Hibiscus Bonsai

I’m going to be working on my hibiscus and my natal plum. My hibiscus has three flowers out at the moment and they’re, just beautiful flowers, wow and there’s many more on the way: flowers really zap the energy out of the tree.

I’Ve had a lot of leaves fall off, it’s kind of putting all the energy into producing flowers. So today I’m going to prune off all the flowers it’s been flowering for like weeks, so I’ve had my share of flowers off of it.

It’S time to prune it back to size. It takes up a lot of space in the plant room this one, because it’s a very spreading canopy and same with my natal, Plum down here, there’s just two trees in this pot, but and they’re not that thick a trunk, but they take up a lot of Space in the plant room, so I’m going to reduce these back.

Also, I counted, there’s still seven flowers to go on this hibiscus. So today I’ve got to prune it back, I’m going to begin by just pruning off the flowers after that I’ll get to the branches. Oh, they look how beautiful this is a little bit of white fly.

I see on these on this plant, so it’ll be good good idea to remove all the leaves when I cut it back and spray it with soap and water to get rid of that white fly. Otherwise, it just spreads to your other trees.

I’Ve removed all the flowers and the flower buds from the tree now so now, let’s reduce the branches back in size. My main goal is to get taper and movement to the branches and ramification. So you can see a lot of these branches like this one out here is just kind of straight.

It’S grown from here right to the tip, and you know, there’s been no pruning since then. So a lot of these branches – like here’s one, that’s going from here all the way to here, so I’m going to bring everything back and I may do some hard pruning.

You can see some of these branches. This diameter here on the branch is the same diameter as out here. So it’s kind of it’s got a bit of movement, but it doesn’t have any taper, so I might hard prune that back.

So I’m just having a look at the tree checking out the branch structure deciding where I’m going to prune. Let’S have a look at the front and I’ll decide how wide I want the canopy. So here’s a look at the tree from the front, so I’ve got you know these are the primary branches and they come out and then I’ve got secondary branches forming and I don’t really have a lot of tertiary branches.

That’Ll be the next stage for this tree. So you know I’ve always kept it a fairly widespread in canopy. You can see you know. Some of these branches are quite long without a lot of taper to them. Uh. You know it is possible.

I could hard prune them back, but I I don’t think I need to. I think I want to keep you know a fairly large, spreading canopy on this. I don’t want it tall, but I do want it fairly spreading. So I think it’s just a matter of a lot of these branches, just reducing this new growth back and if there’s back buds, maybe even further.

So I’m going to begin, I’m going to start with this Branch right here. Here’S that Branch here so it comes out from the primary Branch I have a shoot on the inside. Here I have a shoot on the outside.

Here I have a little shoot here, so I could definitely prune it back to there or I could even go shorter, because this section very very straight so yeah, my first I could easily prune it back to there to shorten it even more.

I could go back to here like that. Then I’ve got a bud here and a bud here or if I wanted to even shorten it more, I could go back to that that butt on the inside now it’s always risky kind of going back to one bud and not having much of a backup.

So I think I’m going to stop here, keeping this Bud on the outside and the one on the inside now the branch behind it. It comes out from the primary Branch it’s fairly straight again. I have a shoot here and then the branch comes out divides to two divides again, so it’s getting some ramification, there’s a butt here so and there’s a butt on the inside.

So I’m going to shorten this one right back to here, I’m leaving a stub. So I’m going to prune this one now, the one behind here, so this is a stump I’ll get rid of that. This is another stump from last time.

I pruned it. So I’ve got a shoot here, a shoot here and a shoot here. So three shoots on the end of that branch. Now this comes out. This part of this branch is a continuation of here. It just keeps going straight from the base of that Branch right up to here.

I do have a branch either side, so I could prune out the middle section and I would get movement then it would look much better. So that’s what I’ll do so I’ll need my Branch burners for that? Okay, so I’m going to come in and I’m going to prune it right here so here I go taking that whole Branch tip off now it’s kind of an ugly looking wound here.

I’Ve got to clean that up. I’M going to take the bottom part off like that. That helps and I’m just going to clean it up a bit here. Yeah. I think that’s good. So now you can see that Branch comes up divides into two now I could prune this back also um.

I do have a shoot on the inside here. It’S not all that long, but I could even take it right back to that one shoot. That’S certainly make it more. Compact has been pruned in the past um, I’m looking.

If there’s any buds, there is a bud on the bottom here, I’m just going to take off the tip of this branch to here, like that something should grow out of this area, then, and I’ll just clean up these stubs here, foreign like that, just make that Branch, a little cleaner, so that’s got this Branch cleaned up now shortened.

It’S looking quite nice off of this primary Branch. There’S another Branch! Here it comes out. I’Ve got a branch leader here, a branch leader here, so I could again take out that middle one and let me look from the front and see if I would need to do that.

So here’s a look. So this is the branch I’m talking about here. So it is getting very high if I were to prune it off there, it would look much better. It’S much more compact keeps the flowing lines. I think it’d be a good choice to prune that upper part off all right.

So I’ve made my decision so off. It goes so I’m coming in here and pruning It Off. Just like that. I think the next Branch I tackle will be the one on the right hand side here, so this Branch comes up from the trunk.

It divides into two here, there’s a fairly long straight section here, there’s a bud here, um, I think uh. If you can see from this view, you can see these two branches kind of run parallel. It might be wise, there’s another, but here it might be wiser to take that one back, develop it out this direction.

So it’s not so close to this branch I would lose. You know my ramification out here would be then transferred back to here. Definitely get the tree more compact now I think that’s what it needs. So I’m going to do that, I’m going to take the tip off this branch.

So here I go so I’m going to take it off right, um right here, get in there a bit of a stub for diabetic, and here I go so there that branch is taken off, definitely make the tree more compact. So you can still see how these converge here so yeah I may I don’t know I could take this leg off here, still kind of stuck with these parallel branches.

I think maybe, instead of taking it back to these two buds, maybe I should just take it back to the one. So I shorten it a bit more. I think that’s better. Now, let’s follow that Branch. So it comes up.

I’Ve got a branch here, one here. I’Ve got one down up the bottom here and I have several branches at the tip here. I’Ve got like the one two three four, so I need to uh pick my best branches and what are they? I think I have to look in the front view.

Looking in the front view at that Branch now, um the hanging branch is kind of nice. Actually, it kind of you know instead of everything’s sweeping upwards, it’s kind of the first of the kind of horizontal or hanging branches.

I think I’ve got to go with that and definitely remove the upright one off of it. So I take that hanging branch is going to be the new Branch leader. I think that’ll look very nice all right. So if that’s my new Branch leader, a lot of the other stuff has to come off so on this Branch.

You know I had four branches coming from the tip: I’m reducing it to one so I’ll, be losing some ramification but I’ll be gaining some good taper and movement, and the branch will have a a nice leader with a good direction.

So here I go. I’M going to do it, I am coming in and they’ll come in from the top here and take that off. So it’s a big big cut here so here I go like that. Taking that whole Branch off the top, so I think that’ll look quite nice in the future, so this Ranch now has a branch to the back the front and a leader.

So let’s go to this Branch at the back now this one it come, comes out and divides into like a y shape and then runs parallel. So this was the one that was kind of converging with this other Branch here.

So if I can shorten that, I will I’ve got a leader here, which is a little strange um, but maybe not from the front view. It looks all right – and I think I’ll do – that – I’m going to take it right back to this upright leader and then you know I’ll get it going horizontal again.

So it’ll have a bit of a a bit of a kink in the branch which should look quite nice in the end. So here I go. I’M taking this off here like that, so the rest of that Branch. You can see it kind of zigzags up and then starts going vertical here, so it needs to be brought back.

So I need to shorten that branch and I’m looking for places where I can shorten that. I have some buds in here. I got a bud here. A butt here, so I could definitely shorten it back to here, which might still be too long.

I’Ve kind of got a straight section here. I have got a butt here, so that would be a good one. I think that’s where I’m going back to right back to here, like that now this is a stub I can remove. Here, gets that Branch flowing a little nicer so that that cleans up this whole Branch back here.

So the next branch is the one coming out front sort of my Apex, so my branch that flows from the trunk line up. So let’s look at that in the front view. Here’S the front view now, so I do like the one coming out front here.

That looks nice and flowing um. This one is kind of parallel to the branch uh behind it there. So maybe something could be done with that. A lot of possibilities in this uh Branch structure here, so I’m having a good look at this Branch structure.

So I definitely like the leader up here this one coming forward, there’s one kind of coming back in on the tree here that could be removed. I could take this one off here, shorten this um. I could remove that whole piece there.

I don’t know if I’d want to do that, I’m going to start by cleaning this Branch up and then decide if I want to keep it. So let me do that first and when I mean clean it up, I’m going to reduce it. So I’m taking it back here, um come in like like this, so here I go cutting that back.

So again I have a taper change of taper there, I’m going to Nick the tip off this one shorten that a bit, and then I got this one that bends back inwards, which is a little bizarre looking I mean I could keep it and then develop a Branch kind of coming out here, so it’s zigzags, but I still have this Branch parallel to this one, which is a little a little distracting.

It could be taken right off like right off to here, I’m just seeing if there’s any other solutions to this problem of these parallel branches. You know it doesn’t look so parallel when I rotate it to a different front.

I’M just worried that if I got rid of that, then I’ve got my branches here that are flat and then all this kind of sticks up um with not much else. I could reduce this back one back quite a bit. Take that off and I’m kind of left with a trunk line that doesn’t have any branching much.

I think it’s best to keep this actually maybe shorten it more. I’Ve got some buds underneath here. I can shorten this back to here and then this this Branch I’m going to develop it as a zigzag Branch.

So I’m going to take off the part that kind of grows behind here like that and I’ll shorten this one like that. So it grows out this direction. I think that’ll look good here. I definitely have to shorten that that taking way way high do I want to shorten them back to there as a question here, probably I think so.

Okay, I’m going to do some quite a reduction. There’S a bud here, so I’m going to going to reduce this Branch back so here I go like that. So All That Remains now is to reduce this one shooting upwards here.

So I’m looking at it. I’Ve got a nice division here, I’m not so keen on the branch coming out front there. Yes, in fact I’m going to get rid of that one. I don’t like it at all foreign. I do like the other one, and then I’ve got to shoot behind here.

That’Ll be the leader here, so I’m going to take this back to here, like that. That should be it. I’M going to have a look from the front. Now here’s a look at the tree now there’s a couple of things.

I don’t like. I think this hanging Branch here is a little long. I could reduce that back, although if I leave it long, it’ll thicken up and blend in a little better. So maybe I should leave that the one on the left hand side here looks a bit long and straight and thick.

You know it’s pretty thick out to here, so I think I need to cut it back now. I could take off the back leg of it here. I’Ll show you that, from a different View, here’s a look at that Branch, so it comes from here – has some movement, but not much taper up to here and then it kind of tapers.

I could take that off to there getting rid of this back branch. I don’t like to do that because you know it’s good ramification here. I’Ve got branches here too, you know I could cut it right back if I wanted, which would probably be the best thing for the tree.

I think I’ve just left this like it’s too thick too far away from the trunk, and it’s this thickness. It should should taper, so maybe back to here is the best thing. I think so it’s a foreign leave quite a scar.

It’S a big cut. Could I go here? No, it’s just too straight all right. I’Ve got to do it for the future of the tree. I’M sure, five years from now I’ll be so happy. I did that and until then there’ll be a bit of a scar.

So here I go, I’m taking the whole end of this Branch off, which is you know, a big big cut, all right, big cut. Coming up here I go wow. Sir Yep looks better, though I think now I’m going to just take the back part of this Branch off just so this.

This cut heals a bit better. So I like that, should flow a little nicer. Okay – and I was a little concerned about the length of this Branch, but I think I’ll leave that one. Let me have another look at it and then I’ve still got to prune this lower Branch.

Here too, here’s a look at the tree, yeah I’d like that. A lot better with that that left-hand Branch shortened here, I think it really once that uh, you know new shoots. Come up from that Branch. I think it’s going to look really good.

Having that taper, it’s got. Taper movement. It’Ll! Look really good! I’M wondering if I should do the same for this branch that one kind of uh you know I’ve got a leader coming out here. If I took it off here, I would have better taper on that branch, because it kind of stands out as being a little long now without much taper.

I think I’ve got to do that all right here. I go another big cut, all right, big cut! Coming up done just like that, okay, let me have a look at this now: okay, yeah! I I think that’s much nicer. It makes the trunk line stand out more before those spreading branches were kind of dominating the tree.

It looks much more mature, more compact. I think it once you know it all shoots out up top. I think it’s going to look really really good. So now I’ve got to tackle that low Branch down there. Many times I’ve thought of taking it off and I’ve always kept it, and I think I think it’s a nice branch, I’m just having a final look at it.

I’Ve got a bit of moss going up the trunk. I want to get rid of that clean up. The uh base of the tree – and I have a root spread in here – that I want to expose it’s kind of covered it up with moss, so I’ll have to pick the Moss away from the roots here, and I do want to repot this tree.

I don’t think it needs a bigger pot, but I think maybe a different style of pot would suit it better. The trunk of this tree is kind of a a light beige color almost whitish in some light, so I think it needs maybe a glaze on the pot or something I’m going to think about that uh and you know, when I go to repot it I’ll.

Try a a variety of pots out with it and see what looks good and it does need repotting, because it’s starting to lift out of the pot a bit. So what I’ll do is I’ll, let it recover growing in its branches over the winter buildups, its stores of energy and then probably early summer, will be the time to repot it.

You can see the root base down there. It’S fairly interesting. I’Ve been working on it for you know quite a few years, so here’s a look at the amount I took off today. You know some fairly beefy branches, yeah all right time to water.

The tree I’ll, give it a good soaking out here. Let’S fly in now and have a look at the Hibiscus all pruned up: [ Music ]. Thank you! [ Music, ], the next trees I’ll be working on are my natal plums. These started out life as cuttings.

I got them from Hong and they’re they’re quite old. Now, I would say: they’re uh at least 10 years old, here’s a look at the natal plums, so they take up a lot of area and if we come down here, you know the trunks aren’t very thick on them: they’re fairly small trees.

So they need to be brought back to size, make them more compact. So let’s get pruning all right here I go so this chunk line comes up. I’Ve got a branch it divides here. Let me just remove this leaf uh, it divides, there’s a y shape here and then there’s another one coming out front um.

The branch here has a really good floor line. Uh. I don’t like you know. If I got rid of this one, this one doesn’t flow. Very well with the other one I could reduce it to a single trunk there. Instead of having it divide down low.

Like this, you know that’s pretty early to be dividing your trunk. You know you’ve only got a short stubby trunk before it starts branching. So maybe you know, reducing the tree back to a single leader is a good thing, would be a good thing.

There’S nothing kind of sticking up vertically this one’s, not bad back here, yeah, it’s kind of a funny looking thing well, this is the close. This back branch is the close, closest thing I have to a vertical trunk line, so I’m going to keep that and I’m going to remove all the others, because I I think it’s just too small, like you know, if I had it dividing there, you know the Tree could only be a very small tree, which is all right, but I think I’d rather be a little taller foreign.

So I’m going to take off this new shoot here, this skinny little one there. Now you can see the branch is a bit better okay. So I decided to keep this as the trunk line and remove the others. I think that’s a good move here.

I go because none of them are very vertical they’re, all kind of kind of sprawling branches so that one comes off. It was the y shape and then I’m going to take that part off here. I’Ll rough cut it first, so here I go taking that whole top off and then I’ll clean that cut up I’ll come in here, not on the angle like that.

I think I think that’ll be quite good like that, and then I’m coming up with my trunk line, I’m dividing here, which isn’t too bad I’ve got a little Branch down lower. If I’m looking for taper, I would utilize the thin one, and I think I will so I’m going to take off this thick branch up top here like that, so I’ve got a trunk line.

Now I’m going to leave this on for now, but it’ll come off from the future. So I think that’s that’s sure is a lot more than the other one. So let’s do the same for the other one, Let’s uh and get it pruned up now this one! The trunk Line’s a little higher, so it’s not too bad um.

I’Ve got to come in here and get a look at it. So it’s kind of awkward, looking uh it comes up and it has. It comes up and it divides into four here. There’S two on this side and two on this side: it’s nothing up top, so quite strange.

Looking so again, I think I’ve got to pick a nice trunk line and go with that. So my most vertical one is this one here, so I think I’ll keep that as the trunk line and remove everything else, big cuts.

Here I go okay, so here I go, I’m going to remove this lower Branch. First, that’s off! Then I’m going to remove the one off here. This is attached to my trunk line like that, and then I want to remove these two trunk lines here.

Take this one off first, that I’ll rough cut this one off like that, and then I’ve got ta. Take that off trying to get a nice Cut here here I go, and then I don’t want this Branch here so I’ll take that away and I’ve got to clean this cut up a bit better.

It’S pretty good this thumb here. I can remove another one down lower okay, so that’s got a bit of a trunk line happening, so I’m coming up. I divide here again. I want to get taper, so this would be a nice leader or this one um.

I think I’m going to keep this as the leader, the the higher up one and I’ll explain my reason. Let me just prune this off here. First, foreign, that’s better! The reason I wanted this as the leader is: I’ve got a straight section down here.

That’S this long and then I’ve got a straight section here and it’s shorter. If I went you know this straight section and then here it’s getting it’s getting, maybe a little too twisty looking for I’ve got to match the stylus straight section.

So straight section short, a straight section, shorter straight section, and so on. So that’s my plan. I just think it would be this straight section here would be too short if I prune it off here, so it would make this long section stand out more.

That’S my reason, thinking behind that. I’M going to take this one off here without any leaves oh two buds each side that should should grow. So I think that’s it. You know I this thing used to be very sprawling and it’s down to kind of two trunk lines now and they’re nice looking trunk lines, so the next step for these trees would be just to let them grow wild again for maybe many years and uh, and Then go at it again.

These trees could also use a water, so I’m going to give them a good watering out here in the greenhouse, like that. Just let that soak in wow that water is soaking in I’ll. Show you what I took off of these natal plums, so really some big branches.

Now these would make excellent cuttings, like they’re thick Woody, but I just don’t have the room. I just can’t do it so I’ve got ta compost them. Let’S fly in now and look at the Nutella plums. I don’t know if these have been on the channel before if they haven’t been on the channel before I’ll start a playlist for them.

So you can follow the progression into the future and I have no idea where the fronts will be for these yet, but to just kind of reduce down to a trunk line. I have had these flower and the flowers smell Heavenly they’re, like a citrus flower, they’re.

Very very fragrant, little white flowers and they do get plums on them. You can get a red plum and you can use the plums for making Jam it’s hard to get the fruit to ripen here in Ontario, because the growing season is so short.

But I have seen plums develop quite a severe reduction for both my hibiscus and my natal plums. Today, they’ll certainly take up less space on the benches and I think the overall form of the trees is improved.

That is all for today. I’M Nigel Saunders. Thanks for joining me in the Bonsai Zone, foreign [, Music, ]

You May Also Like

About the Author: James

- -