Loropetalum Bonsai Trees
Loropetalum is being seem increasingly as a bonsai species in recent years. A relative of the Witch Hazel, it flowers in a similar manner with 1-2 inch bright pink blooms. the dark purple foliage stays the same colour all year, though can get a little greener in summer.
Frequently sold as an indoor bonsai, we would suggest that it is kept outdoors. Loropetalum seem to prefer a semi-shaded position. Full sun seems to encourage leave loss in bonsai.
As with many bonsai, this tree does best when the soil is kept evenly moist at all times. This tree does not like the lime present in some tapwater so rainwater is recommended.
There is currently debate around how well the species stands up to pruning when kept as a bonsai. As a garden plant, Loropetalum are very vigorous can can be pruned like a hedge. In bonsai, many sources of information advocate regular, light pruning to achieve the desired shape rather than heavy pruning. Make sure you only prune back to a bud as if you prune back to bare branches the branch is unlikely to survive.
What is certain is that the best time to prune is in late spring after the tree has finished flowering. Pruning later than this means that many of the flower buds will be lost resulting in less of the fantastic blooms in the following spring.
No special requirements. A general all round feed applied most of the year when the tree is actively growing (so not in winter) should be fine.
Does not like having it roots heavily pruned. We suggest no more than about 10 -15% of the root mass at any one time. Benefits from a large, deep pot which can hold plenty of moisture.