First, let me say that the mini crape myrtle cascade bonsai project is over. While the wiring and shaping was going swimmingly well, it became clear very quickly that the plant in question was not a crape myrtle runner, but rather, a simple weed. So, I unwired it, and got rid of it.
Second, let me say that I had just about given up on the big, slanting tree. All the back budding which had occurred and prompted my pruning off the dead leaves utterly failed to sprout, and here we are some months out. When the branches began to tighten together, being less fanned out than they’d been some weeks ago, I assumed root rot had set in, due to an insufficiently draining soil mixture, and so I set about to tear it out, recover the materials, and plan a new project to begin after the holidays.
But lo, and behold, I got the thing out of the soil and the roots were just fine?! A gentle scrape of the trunk revealed green?!
So, I went ahead and added a hearty helping of gravel to the soil mixture, re-wired the thing back into the pot (better this time), and got it re-soiled in (sitting up a bit higher in the pot this time) and well watered.
I may very well have to wait for spring, even with the plant indoors, for any progress to show on new growth. But, now that I’m more confident in the soil mixture, I’ll be able to exhibit more patience.
Here is what things look like now (you can see how much the branches have straightened and tightened).
And here is a bonus photo of my “green house” roma tomatoes. One has finally ripened!!