Crape Myrtle Bonsai Project – Pruning

I noticed over the weekend that the long branches were beginning to actively back bud. This is a good sign. So I decided to remove all that length, full of clearly dead leaves, and let the plant focus on those buds down at the points where I want the branching and twigging to begin in earnest.

This is a bit early. I’d wanted to wait for genuine dormancy. But, perhaps, given the controlled green house conditions, I can get enough new growth in place before that dormancy so that I can do some wiring over the winter.

Notice each cut is just above a bud. Sorry they are hard to see in some cases, it was difficult to get the photos sufficiently close up and still 100% in focus.

Back budding

Back budding

Very dead leaves

Very dead leaves

Counter directional branch

I’m keeping this counter directional branch to offer balance to the shape.

Horizontal Cuts

Each cut is parallel to the floor so that I don’t end up with new branches growing down — which I’d end up removing eventually anyway.

Cut above the bud

Notice each cut is just above a bud.

Proportional lengths

I’m not making each main branch the exact same height, but I am making them all relatively proportional.

All pruned

Yes, this looks drastic, but you should see what people do to crape myrtle in my neighborhood.

Slanting shape

You can see here the slanting shape, set to create balance in the pot, and also the counter directional branch to offer some three dimensional interest.

And there you go!

Hopefully I will have photos of happy, fresh, new growth soon.


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