I just pulled my Bhuts today and I kept one for over wintering. Here he is with a nice new hair cut.
Hi Bruce that looks like a Bhut tree, good luck on the overwintering, I will check out your blog to see how things are going. Thanks for posting.
Make sure to protect it for the next few days - no direct sunlight, just bright shade.
Once the roots are back online, ease it into the sun. After two weeks, give it a light
dose of fertilizer. I usually start off with 1/2 strength. Later in the winter I
cut the dose back to 1/4 strength.
Josh, gonna leave it out tonight.. Low of 49, then I will keep it in bright shade tomorrow...after that, temps will force me me to bring it in at least at night. Back out during the day for a while yet. Josh, I used about a 4-2-1 mix of mulch, perlite and garden soil. The mulch is very fine ground pine. It is basically finely shredded. It is almost like a light soil. We will see how it works out. I am hoping it does because I would like to use it next year in my containers.
Bruce, looks great. Any chance you have a "right before" the haircut picture?
I've got three bhuts I want to overwinter, but I'm a bit lost as to how much I need to cut them back.
From what I remember your plants were much larger than the pic above, so I'm guessing it was a pretty aggressive pruning session.
Cut them back a little, cut them back a lot.
They'll resprout as soon as the roots are re-established.
mbellot: Josh knows "overwintering" well and I based my approach on his advice. My plants were huge. The plant I used for the bonsai, was 3 plus feet tall at its tallest point and wider than my wingspan which I figure is about 6 feet. I grabbed the tip of one branch and reached to the top of the opposite side branch and I couldn't quite reach it. So, I pruned very heavy...probably 80-90%.
The latest photo I have of the whole plant is almost a month old from 8-18-11. The plant I bonsai'ed is the furthest right. It is hard to tell it from the middle plant which is behind it and to the left. It basically merges with that one. They had all grown a lot since last month when I took the photo though.
I kick myself for not taking photos before I pulled them. I also could have laid them out and photographed them. Another interesting thing about them is they snap just like a tree branch. The stems were basically hard wood and not like a tomato plant or other vegetables. They are more woody.