Pepper bonsai

Features pepper bonsai

The pepper bonsai is an evergreen plant with a thin stem, with wrinkled bark, light brown in color and with taproot roots, much appreciated by bonsai lovers. It has very small, lanceolate leaves of a beautiful bright green color, arranged in parallel pairs. It has internodes that are very close to each other, arranged on a single shoot. In spring it produces many shoots and until summer bunches of small yellow flowers, very pleasant and fragrant which then turn into small fruits of a color that is initially reddish and which matures becomes blackish brown, similar to peppercorns however, it is easy to see its flowering and fruiting in our country). In nature it can reach a height and a width of 8 meters and it is possible to find it up to 300 meters above sea level. It owes its name to the similarity of its leaves, its flowers, but above all its fruits to the pepper plant itself. There are different types of specimens (zanthoxylum, shinus molle, sophora prostrata or operculicaria decaryi) widespread in the African continent, in some parts of Europe and in the Far East.

Pepper bonsai exhibition

The pepper bonsai is mainly an indoor plant but also an outdoor one, but it must be protected when the temperature is below 10 ° centigrade. If placed outdoors, in spring, when the new foliage begins to sprout, it should be placed in full sun, to ensure that the foliage grows vigorous, compact and uniform. In summer, however, it should be moved in dim light, to prevent the sun from overheating and damaging the root system which is protected by little soil and a small pot. In autumn it should be placed again in full sun, so that it stores all the energy necessary for the winter vegetative rest. In winter and in any case when the temperature drops below 10 ° it must be protected from the cold and moved to a cold greenhouse or apartment. When grown indoors, it should be placed near a window (while trying to avoid the so-called «lens effect» caused by glass) and away from heat sources (which would dry out the soil too much) such as radiators and drafts. It will also be necessary to take care to place a saucer containing water and gravel, to maintain the right degree of humidity throughout the year.

Pruning, pests and diseases of pepper bonsai

With pruning, the foliage is thinned, dry branches are eliminated, those that develop too much upwards, which cross and oppose each other and the course of the plant is corrected. The training must be carried out in winter, to avoid sap losses from the cuts made. On the other hand, the maintenance one can always be performed. After pruning, the wounds must be dressed with healing mastic. It is also necessary to provide periodic stapling. For this type of bonsai, however, it is not necessary to carry out the defoliation, since the leaves are already small and proportionate. To give the plant the desired shape and style, you can also use wires, weights and tie rods. The best time is in spring, as the branches are more moldable. As for diseases, the pepper bonsai is a hardy plant. We must be careful of parasites and aphids such as scale insects and spider mites that can be treated with preventive pesticides. The whitish spots on the leaves, on the other hand, can be removed with a toothbrush. You can also use a solution, to be sprayed on the hair, based on pine oil.

Bonsai pepper: Watering, repotting and soil

The pepper bonsai should be watered often and in any case whenever the soil is dry. The frequency depends on several factors, ranging from the size of the pot, the nature of the soil, the climatic zone, up to the season. Water stagnation, which cause rotting of the root system and attack by fungi, must be avoided. If grown in an apartment, watering will certainly be more frequent as the soil dries up more easily, as well as in summer. In winter it is good to irrigate it in the warm hours, while in the summer in the cooler ones. The soil should be watered slowly, without wetting the trunk and leaves. The best time for repotting is in spring, when the temperature is over 15 °. Dead and woody roots must be cut, the soil renewed and the pot replaced. L’ this operation must be carried out every other year for the younger specimens and every 3-4 years for the adult plants. In addition to the reduction of the roots, the crown must also be pruned, in order to balance it with the root system. The ideal soil is that made up of a compound of akadama (70%) and sand (30%).

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