Being native to the subtropical regions of Australia and Asia, the Crepe Myrtle has beautiful white, pink, and purple flowers. Many bonsai cultivators are captivated by both the flowers and bark of this deciduous tree.
In autumn, the leaves of the Crepe Myrtle turn orange-red and yellow in a beautiful display. Since this tree can endure strenuous weather conditions, it is an excellent choice for beginners in Bonsai. However, taking care of Crepe Myrtle is not as easy as it seems. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at how to care for the Crepe Myrtle bonsai tree.
Where to Position Your Crepe Myrtle Bonsai
It will help if you position your tree in a spot with exposure to full sunlight. The position is essential because the sun helps prevent insect attacks and fungal diseases while encouraging flowering. If you live in a warm climate, you can place your Crepe Myrtle outside all year round. However, ensure that you transfer your Bonsai to a cool place if you live in a temperate climate.
Watering Your Crepe Myrtle Bonsai
Your Crepe Myrtle should never dry out, especially during the growth period. You should water your Bonsai adequately throughout the year. However, reduce watering during the winter period due to dormancy.
One common mistake that beginners in bonsai cultivation make is overwatering. Your Bonsai needs sufficient water; however, overwatering can be fatal. Only water your Crepe Myrtle bonsai when you notice the soil starting to dry up.
Fertilizing Your Crepe Myrtle Bonsai
During the growing season, ensure that you fertilize your Bonsai every two weeks. Understand that liquid fertilizer is best for your Crepe Myrtle bonsai tree. You can add solid organic fertilizer once your Bonsai matures.
Training Your Crepe Myrtle Bonsai
Only prune your Crepe Myrtle bonsai tree at the end of summer. Doing this will encourage the production of buds during the next year. Wiring is vital when it comes to training any bonsai tree. With the Crepe Myrtle, conduct wiring carefully so that you don’t damage the beautiful bark.
Start by wrapping tape or paper around your wire before you start training. You should also remove the wire around the branches in time to avoid any damages. Use guy-wires wherever possible.
Common Crepe Myrtle Diseases and Pests
Aphids can be a huge bother to your Crepe Myrtle bonsai tree. You can wash the insects off your tree with a strong water jet. However, in severe cases, you will need to use a specific insecticide for better results.
Mildew is also a common problem when it comes to the Crepe Myrtle bonsai tree. Get the specific fungicide that you need when dealing with this situation. Understand that your Bonsai could be affected by other pests and diseases as well. Conduct regular checks on your bonsai tree to spot early signs of pests or diseases.
Repotting Your Crepe Myrtle Bonsai
Your Crepe Myrtle needs to be repotted every two to three years to promote healthy growth. Repotting is crucial in ensuring that your Bonsai gets all the nutrients that it needs. With time, your soil mix begins to lose both its nutrients and water retention properties.
Introduce organic fertilizer to your soil mix when carrying out repotting. Your Bonsai needs the right soil mix to promote healthy growth. Be careful during repotting to ensure that you don’t damage the root system of your Bonsai.
Propagating Your Crepe Myrtle Bonsai
Propagating Crepe Myrtle can be done through cuttings or seeds. However, most people prefer cuttings because you get to save up on a lot of time. With seed propagation, it takes a lot of time to get a healthy seedling to turn into Bonsai.
Taking care of the Crepe Myrtle bonsai tree requires a lot of time and patience. However, the result is usually worth the effort. Understand that there is a little bit of a learning curve when it comes to bonsai cultivation. It will, therefore, take you some time and practice before you get that perfect bonsai tree.