Bougi Joy Tampa Fl

Just acquired a Bougi from my friends at Artisan Bonsai in Tampa. Can the Bougi be defoliated, styled and repotted now?


Nights over 60*f and your good to go. Central Florida still too cold for us. Also, 2 years from collection?

That’s a good question I know Juan answers that during the livestream Tropical styling I’m pretty sure he mentions the wood isn’t very hard and does decay faster than other species. I don’t remember the remedy.


Juan states wood hardeners are a waste of time. Better a clear finish than a hardener.

He mentioned that summer is a good time to repot the Bogi, I don’t recall if total defoliation is required when removing root work for repot.

I had not seen this video apparently! Thanks for linking. I have found the 60+ temps to be critical. Unless you have some strong supplemental lighting the Bougies don’t like the repot with out summer heat/sun. Here in Nebraska that means around May. I can style through out winter under lights however.

Also, nice tree @Cjlopez4

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Does the tree need to be fully defoliated for root work and repot in summer?

I have not fully defoliated but it can be. I usually reduce my leaves/branches (so I make my main cuts and go back a little further) and then repot. I still reduce the canopy every time and seek balance. I am watching the Juan Andrade video as we speak so I will update the thread if I learn something else

Things I have learned so far (notes aren’t the best i’m at work :laughing:):

Do not work on the tree after flowering. Juan considers the tree to be at it’s weakest at this point since it has expended so much energy in order to flower. Might affect your repotting schedule.

He recommends 1:1:1 akadama/pumice/lava rock but says the tree can grow in pure lava rock (they prefer to be dry). Depends on where the tree is in development.

You won’t heal cuts over 2-3" with out being in the ground or having profuse branching out of the wound area. The tree will grow like crazy in the ground but in the pot is significantly reduced.

With lots of rain he recommends using organic fert not liquid. Keeping some in the soil is good and won’t get washed out as quickly.

New growth (with thorns) are the where the branches develop. Those with flowers should be removed to preserve energy and prune back those flower shoots.

defoliation should only be done when tree is very strong (42:40) and multiple defoliations with out recovery time can be harmful for the tree.

Keys to defoliation.

  1. Timing: When? When the leaves have hardened off it is a sign that the leaves have given back their resources and is an indication of timing. Extensions should be hardened off first. (44:43)

  2. Full defoliation vs partial. Be weary as the tree will push energy to the tips and may lose the interior branching/development. Juan recommends partial defoliation. Outside canopy can be defoliated and the interior buds will be triggered in response (46:38). Mostly due to transpiration. Where ever you keep a leaf the tree will transfer resources. If its fully defoliated the leaf won’t readily carry resources there until there is a bud site developed.

Key pointer: defoliate outside and keep interior intact.

  1. Structure. Go for broom style at the branch set up (similar to deciduous) (50:50). You want equal distribution of energy to the branch.

If you are letting branches run (to thicken) you’ll need to support the branch or it will snap off in the wind. It parallels the growing structure of the vine. Use bamboo as stakes tied to pot/trunk/stand

**Avoid the perfect conifer look (1:01:33). We are allowed more branch movement (and in structure). So keep things loose and don’t develop so strictly.

Try to match the wire to the size of the branch. this is done to avoid wire scars (1:10:08). Use thicker aluminum wire matched as closely as we can to the tree branch. Careful, branches are brittle.

  • remove conflict of branches. Some is okay but in general we want to emphasize ascension of branches.
  • key to using thick wire. Use leverage!

don’t overwater…fertilize a lot

Ideal repotting time: Wait for the summer time. If you are in the tropical areas you can repot any time. In temperate early summer or mid-summer is best. You want to give the tree some time for their roots to harden off before cold weather so be weary of repotting too late in summer. (1:18:50 ish)

are the roots tough?
Temperature is the most limiting factor to root growth (compared to water for most). The tree has a survival technique where it will sacrifice leaves to use that water to grow out the roots. In a pot it will be a fine root mass but in the earth can get thick and much larger. Ramified roots= Ramified foliage mass. Juan doesn’t necessarily recommend drying out the roots but also says to not let it get water logged.

Extreme bends are best accomplished through pruning and not necessarily bending through wire. (1:31:31) Hard pruning gives it the nice angular feel.

Seal cuts because they are prone to rotting. (1:42:00) Use a cut paste with fungicide. Let the tree run afterward and as it thickens it will heal the wounds.

2:01:09 You can prune flush if you are willing to seal the wounds. If not leave a little on there to account for die back (quicker)

Plenty more. These were hasty notes. Second half the video I kept getting interrupted :roll_eyes:

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I’m holding off on any repotting until next season. I want to get a handle on how this tree reacts to my care. I have trimmed back a little and it’s exploding with new bracts all over. I tend to keep the bougi on the dry side between waterings. I started to notice a few yellow leaves, still on the vine not falling off yet. The watering has been once a week, we are however approaching 80-90 degree temps now.

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I hear “fertilize a lot.” Just what does that mean?

Take care of that tree! it will be really nice when you’ve completed your composition!