Chinese Pepper

Chinese Pepper Bonsai
(Xanthoxylum Piperitum)


It is very easy to look after it and makes a very attractive tree species for indoor Bonsai. It has dark green, glossy leaves which can turn yellow in autumn.  In early summer greenish-yellow flowers appear, these are followed by tiny red berries, giving this species a lot of visual interest throughout the year.

Positioning

The Chinese Pepper is originally from China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan, although this is a hardy species it still should be treated as an indoor Bonsai.  Place your Bonsai tree in a bright position such as a window sill. You can put your Bonsai outside during summer and position it in full sun, but bring it indoors for winter.

Watering

Make sure your tree is well watered throughout the growing season, but please note Chinese pepper don’t tolerate stagnant moisture. If it’s in a well-draining soil, then Chinese Pepper tree must be watered thoroughly as soon as the soil surface becomes dry. In winter it needs to be watered less but make sure to avoid the rootball drying out.

Repotting

You should repot your Chinese Pepper Bonsai tree every other year. The best time to do this is in mid spring, although this is an indoor Bonsai, you could repot it at any time of the year.

Wiring

This Bonsai species has very stiff branches which can’t be wired using conventional methods. The best way to wire these Bonsai trees is by using guy wires to position the branches. These guy wires should be left on for at least a year so that the branches can set in place. However, if you have bought a trained Bonsai, you don’t need to worry about wiring, unless you would like to reshape the branch structure.

Feeding

Apply liquid Bonsai fertilizer fortnightly from spring to autumn and once a month during winter, although you should refer to the instructions on your fertilizer as they vary depending on the product.

Pruning

To maintain the shape of your bonsai, new shoots should be cut back leaving two leaves after four leaves have developed. Do not defoliate the Chinese Pepper completely.
Hard pruning is only necessary if you plan to restructure the branches of your Bonsai.

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