Grow chili bonsai

Making a bonsai tree yourself is a tedious business. You should plan about 5 - 10 years for a deciduous tree. In addition, you can correct errors during pruning only slowly. Isn’t it obvious to start with fast growing chillies as a beginner?

The advantages of chili plants as bonsai are immediately noticeable when you look sharply. Chillies grow fast and are easy to obtain. You can grow Capsicum plants from chili seeds yourself with little effort. Chillies also form a woody trunk. All this allows you to quickly learn the art of bonsai.

With all the advantages, the plants, flowers and fruits also look decorative. Read here how to grow your own chili bonsai.

Chili Shell
Chili Shell

Select young plants🌶

Chili plants are much cheaper than trees. The financial risk you take when buying chillies is clear. Capsicum plants are available in almost all garden centres in spring. At the latest in the mail order business you will find what you are looking for. Here you usually have a larger selection of different young plant varieties.

Capsicum annuum are about 2 years old. Capsicum chinense, to which Habaneros belong, grow about 5 years old. Just the thing for our Bonsai Chili experiment. Here is more about the topic: how old chilies can get.

You have an even greater choice if you grow chillies yourself from seeds. There are about 4,000 varieties. All these chili varieties can be bred as bonsai.

Even before a bonsai friend complains that you don’t breed bonsai, but make it yourself, we agree with him.

When choosing a suitable plant, make sure that it looks healthy. Pest infestation is often a sign of weakness. The strong trunk should be less than 15 cm high. Your Bonsai Chili cannot be trimmed smaller than the first branches.

Make your own Bonsai-Chili🌶

Prepare shell🌶

A flat shell is filled with a layer of pebbles. In order to prevent them from sliding through large holes in the bottom of the ceramic bowl, they are covered with a wire mesh.

Exposing the root network🌶

Now take your chilli plant together with root ball and soil out of the growing pot. Try shaking the soil from the roots. If possible without damaging the fine mesh. A simple trick is to prick the root ball frequently with a prick stick or pencil. Once most of the soil has been removed, only a fluffy root network remains.

Cut root🌶

Use scissors to cut back the root network so that it fits into your bonsai bowl.

Remember, you can fan out the roots. The roots will no longer be deep, but will now grow flat in width.

Rough cut🌶

Prune the stem, twigs and leaves a little. The height can be about five times the height of the shell.

Shaped cut🌶

Now plant your raw material with tomato earth in a ceramic bowl. Now give the chili the final cut. Do it as needed or if you want to learn the high art of bonsai cutting techniques: Chokkan and Sōkan1 are well feasible. With Rocoto plants, Kengai1 is probably only a small challenge.

Bonsai Trees
Bonsai Trees

Had you thought it would be so easy to make a bonsai plant yourself. Very easy to learn with chili plants.

Chillies are perennial. Some varieties become 30 years old. There are indications that chillies last longer than bonsai and form new flowers and pods every year. The already sharp pods are usually even sharper. Chiltepin is a perfect variety as Bonsai Chili. It is small from house to house and gets quite old.

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Habanero plant

Habanero chili plant

Habanero is a beautiful and hot chili variety. The chilli is popular for gardens and balconies as it grows compact and bushy.

Scoville table

Scoville Scale

On the Scoville Scale, the Sharpness of Chillies and Chilli Sauce is measured. Now, the concentration of capsaicinoids is determined with modern instruments.

Chili leaves

Chili loses leaves

If many chili leaves fall off, turn yellow or brown - please sit down now - this is not a good sign. Unfortunately, it is certain that the chili plant is not doing well.