Powder Puff Bonsai Care [Calliandra schultzei]

Different people have different interests and likes as some people like to have a bonsai tree that has big bulky leaves while others just want one that can add color to their house. If you are a person who loves to have bonsai with some of the best flowers in all bonsai options while adding charm and colors to the corners as well, powder puff bonsai is probably the best suitable option for you.

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Powder Puff is considered one of the most frequently used bonsai trees because of its white cotton-ball-like flowers that look puffy and could be categorized as the most delightful showy flowers in the bonsai category.

Before you move forward to grow this beautiful powder puff bonsai at your home, just go through this guide so that you can get all the necessary knowledge about this bonsai tree.  

SpeciesCalliandra schultzei
Average Height10 to 15 inches
Average Spread10 to 15 inches
Origin CountryBolivia
Flower Bloom TimeWhole year-round
VarietiesCalliandra haematocephala, Calliandra Tweedii, Calliandra emarginata
FamilyLeguminosae (Mimosoideae)
WaterModerate (requires consistent moisture in the soil)
SunlightModerate to High

Powder Puff Bonsai history

Powder Puff is one of the plants belonging to the Calliandra genus of trees. It is one of the most popular plant varieties and has almost 150 different species.

Although they all are good and can be grown at home without requiring any major maintenance or care, some of its species cannot be grown as bonsai.

The tree was firstly found in the town named Gunai, Bolivia. Because of its good quality bark and beauty, its trade was started during the early 1840s and was initially transferred to a large part of Southern Peru.

Although Powder Puff bonsai is considered native only to the tropical regions of America and Asia, it can be widely found in other regions mainly including the Mediterranean and some European countries as well.

In different parts of the world, powder puff trees were grown just because of their charming and showy flowers and when the trend of bonsai became popular, the same reason gave it a boost to be included in different bonsai options as well.

One of the best things about powder puff bonsai is that it will have flowers during the whole year and they can easily be maintained without requiring any special care.

They are very resistant to pests and diseases which makes them suitable for beginners who want a safe bonsai for learning purposes.

Powder Puff Bonsai care

Care and maintenance are two aspects that cannot be ignored especially if you’re growing a bonsai tree in indoor conditions.

Powder Puff bonsai requires medium-level maintenance but still, you need to take care of some things in an appropriate manner so that you can enjoy the beauty of powder puff bonsai to its fullest.

Experts claim that if you care perfectly and maintain your bonsai, it can live for decades without showing any dullness but to do so, you need to practice activities just like they are briefly explained below.

Powder Puff Bonsai temperature

As powder puff bonsai comes from tropical regions and is considered one of the best to be grown indoors, it requires a large amount of warmth to grow healthy and strong.

You can also place it outdoors if you feel that the temperature will not go down to extreme cold.

Experts claim that 65 degrees Fahrenheit is the least suitable temperature for powder puff bonsai and any temperature below this point can be harmful to the health and growth of bonsai.

Powder Puff Bonsai fertilizer

Fertilizers are essential when you are growing powder puff bonsai indoors as it is one the biggest heavy feeders. You should go with the liquid fertilizers and they should have a balanced amount of nitrogen in their composition.

During the spring or summer season when new branches are coming out or any part of the bonsai is growing efficiently, it is highly recommended to fertilize powder puff bonsai every 7 days in the prescribed amount.

As powder puff bonsai usually stops its growing process during the end of fall or in the winter, it is recommended by experts to only feed fertilizers once in 30 days as they don’t require fertilizers for growth but only to protect themselves from pests and diseases.

Powder Puff Bonsai pruning/trimming

Pruning or trimming should be done frequently as powder puff bonsai is one of the best trees as it responds exceptionally well to pruning.

Constant pruning will help bonsai to grow more branches, foliage, and flowers. This will not only enhance the look of bonsai but will allow you to change its patterns as well.

While the branches are small or fresh, they can easily be bent and wired but once they get old, bending them may only result in breakage which will bring no results in terms of pruning or shaping your bonsai tree.

Just do keep this fact in mind that the more you prune your powder puff bonsai, the denser its foliage and flowers will become.

Although there will be flowers all year round, it will show its highest level of elegance during the summer and spring days (usually from November to April).

Powder Puff Bonsai repotting

Summer and spring are probably the two best seasons to repot your powder puff bonsai. It is because these are the days when the growth process is at its peak.

Repotting should be done once every two years if not every year because it can enhance the growth process and life of bonsai too many folds.

Make sure you remove all the dead roots during the repotting process while you should only take care of healthy roots as cutting them too much can also harm the tree in a new climate or soil.

Powder Puff Bonsai pests and diseases

Pests are most commonly found if you place your powder puff bonsai in outdoor conditions but this factor is very minimal with this bonsai.

You may only find pests that remain in the greenhouse such as scale, aphids, or mites. While having bonsai inside your room or any other indoor area the probability of pests and disease attacks is mitigated to almost zero.

If you notice any issues, spraying the mixture of water and diluted soap will bring the desired results. Simply spray leaves and every other part where you find pests, remove the solution with a sponge after some time, and let the bonsai air dry.

Powder Puff Bonsai soil

Normal soil that is used for almost all kinds of conditions will be best for powder bonsai as well, it is commonly known as bonsai soil mixture.

It includes some specific ingredients that too in some specific ratio. You can simply get an idea by talking to a local gardener as it will tell you what kind of soil is best for tropical plants or bonsais.

You may add pebbles, moss, and sand as well to enhance some factors, especially to keep the soil moist for a long time.

Powder Puff Bonsai watering

Watering should be done on a regular basis while ensuring that the soil always remains moist. Letting the soil dry for long periods can not only slow down the growth process but may decrease its overall life as well.

Watering once a day during normal temperature days will be best but you may increase or decrease the frequency if the temperature is too high or too low. While watering, you should keep on adding or spraying water until it starts to drain from the bottom of the bonsai pot.

Powder Puff Bonsai sunlight requirements

Powder Puff bonsai will grow better in the bright light and this is the reason that placing bonsai near a window is highly recommended.

The more the light is, the better growth and blooming of the flowers there will be. Providing enough light will also allow the leaves to remain in their beautiful small size which will also prevent you from the hassle of constant pruning or trimming.

Exposing your powder puff bonsai to extreme direct sunlight may also result in the burning of leaves and maybe other parts as well. So, it will be best to only provide good sunlight but don’t put bonsai directly under the sun.

Powder Puff Bonsai indoor or outdoor

Powder Puff bonsai likes to have warm conditions and can grow efficiently in temperatures ranging from 75 degrees Fahrenheit to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

This factor makes powder puff bonsai one of the best bonsai to be kept indoors as they love such conditions but if the outdoor conditions in your region are also warm and the temperature remains in this range, cultivating bonsai outdoors will also bring the same results.

The only reason why indoor conditions are recommended is that there will be a minimum threat of pests and diseases.

Types of Powder Puff Bonsai

There are various species and varieties of powder puff bonsai and mentioning all those would be a messy job. Below are the most prominent and best suitable bonsai varieties as they are not only easy to grow but look flawlessly charming as well.

Dwarf powder puff bonsai

The dwarf powder puff bonsai is an evergreen plant that has beautiful flowers in pink color when blooming to the fullest. They originate from tropical regions of Asia and can also be found in Ecuador.

Its flowers start blooming during the end of the fall and remain to their full charm for the whole summer and spring. The flowers may only change their shade but will remain in between the pink and white-colored cotton ball-like showy flowers.

Red powder puff bonsai

This is almost the same as any other powder puff bonsai but it blooms flowers in white and red colors. This factor allows home residents to have varying colors in their homes and make their corners look more charming and attractive.

The Beautiful and different splashes of colors during different seasons along with beautiful flowers that are mainly attached to branches in continuous intervals, make it one of the best and most beautiful options when it comes to indoor bonsai.

How to propagate powder puff bonsai?

Powder Puff bonsai can be propagated by going through the process of cutting or air layers but using the seed for their propagating purposes is the most common way of growing bonsai at home.

There is no hard-to-do procedure but below are the step-by-step instructions to get the job done efficiently. We will go with the cuttings procedure and summer or spring are the best seasons to take cuttings for propagation purposes.

  1. Take cuttings that should be at least 4 to 6 inches in length.
  2. Remove all small to big leaves from the bottom side of the stem.
  3. Trim the upper foliage so that the moisture cannot be sucked out by it in excessive amounts.
  4. Put one end of the cuttings into rooting hormone and then place it in a container or tray.
  5. Cover the mouth of the container or the tray with lamination but there should be some pores for air passage.
  6. Place the pot at a place with a warm temperature and a little bit more humidity such as the kitchen.
  7. Keep an eye on the container and remove the bag when you see roots coming out of the cutting as this is a sign of cuttings to be used for further procedures.

How to grow powder-puff bonsai from seed?

  1. Put powder puff bonsai seeds into the water for at least 2 to 4 days before sowing them.
  2. Sow the seeds in the bonsai soil mixture along with a thin layer of sand above it.
  3. As you cover the seeds with sand soil, make sure that the temperature remains in the 70 degrees Fahrenheit range until it starts germination.
  4. If you have soaked the seeds as instructed above, it will only take a couple of days for seeds to grow a shoot outside the soil.
  5. If the seeds were not soaked, the first shoot will take about 10 to 20 days to come out of the soil.

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