Bougainvillea Bonsai Training and Shaping | How To Train a Bonsai Plant

Training and shaping are the techniques responsible to give an attractive look to the bonsai bougainvillea or to any bonsai.

The bougainvillea bonsai tree can be trained to acquire many shapes and styles as it can grow both vertically and horizontally. Bonsai Bougainvillea training and shaping methods are described with detailed instructions on this page.

How To Train Bonsai Bougainvillea

There are various techniques to train and shape bonsai. You can use wires, weights, clips, etc. for training and shaping your bonsai bougainvillea. However, most bonsai artists use bonsai wire.

Shaping is an ongoing continuous process that is done with single or multiple branches.
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Bugainvillea Shaping By Wiring

Wrapping Wire
Wrapping Wire
Picture of Bonsai Shapes
Bonsai Shapes
The most popular method of bonsai shaping is to use a copper or aluminium wire. Wring is a technique to make the bonsai plant to grow into the desired shape.
  1. Buy aluminium or copper wire from a garden or a hardware shop. Use a wire which is 1/3 to 1/2 the thickness of the branch. This means, thicker branches need thicker wire to bend the branch to take a shape.
  2. Cut a wire with a length of 33% more than the branch length. Thus, for a branch of 10 cm, cut a 13 cm of the wire. Wrap the wire around the trunk and branches to guide their growth into the desired shape.
  3. Try to keep the coils reasonably close together, not doing so reduces the strength of the wire.
  4. First wire the complete tree, starting from the thickest branches, then building up to the small branches. Wrap the wire moving in a 45 degree angle to the branch for optimum flexibility.
  5. After wiring and wrapping is complete, bend the wire into a desired shape. Never bend a branch against its natural direction to prevent breaking.
  6. If a branch of the tree allows bending easily, it means that branch will quickly bend back again. In that case, it must be trained several times.
  7. Keep the wiring for a few weeks, then take out to see the shape.
  8. Keep a uniform gap between wire and the branch to provide enough room for growth. Keep in mind that the bougainvillea branches are brittle and will break or die if wrapped tightly.
  9. You can also create a wire skeleton in a beautiful design and shape and guide the branches on it. Over a period of time your bougainvillea bonsai tree will take the shape of the skeleton.

Bougainvillea Shaping By Weights Clips

  1. You can put a weight to pull down the branch at a desired angle by hanging a small weight like a pebble.
  2. You can also use threads and clips to change the shape of the young branches. This method is very handy and produces a natural curve and bends.
  3. If attaching a string to the branch, make sure that the string does not pull the branch directly, wrap a cloth or sponge around the branch and then tie.
Observe your creation from a distance from several directions. If you are not satisfied, modify the position or direction of branches.

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