Brazilian Rain Tree Bonsai Care [Pithecellobium Tortum]

Brazilian Rain Tree (Pithecellobium tortum) – Like a fascinating natural weather station, this bonsai responds to ambient conditions by closing its leaves when it rains, gets dark or becomes too hot. Have a father or friend who loves weather lore? This is the answer to your next gift-giving occasion. Brazilian Rain Trees prefer full sun except in the hottest locations.

Your 6 year old Brazilian Rain Tree Bonsai is an indoor bonsai and stands approximately 10 inches tall. A personalized message card and care information are included.

Pruning my Brazilian Rain Tree Bonsai, The Bonsai Zone, Dec 2020

Brazilian rain tree bonsai

Pithecellobium tortum is the scientific name of the legume commonly known as Brazilian raintree. Like most of its relatives this tree has compound leaves, hard wood and is spiny.

Brazilian rain tree bonsai care

Family: Legume

Brazilian rain tree bonsai lighting

Although they grow in the full sun in nature, Brazilian raintrees as bonsai seem to appreciate some shade during hottest days of tropical summers.

Brazilian rain tree bonsai temperature range

Will tolerate temperatures in the upper 30F range, but not for a long time.

Brazilian rain tree bonsai watering

Evenly moist.

Brazilian rain tree bonsai fertilizing

A regular weekly feeding program with a balanced liquid fertilizer during the growing season and once a month during cooler weather will keep the P. tortum nourished.

Brazilian rain tree bonsai pruning and wiring

Brazilian raintree bonsai : Basic pruning

When cutting branches and twigs leave a small nub to allow for the possible die-back that often occurs. Many artists do not use a concave cutter on the Brazilian raintree for this reason. Later this can be refined. Once the initial trunk and branch shape is established, clip-and-grow is the best way to develop a Brazilian raintree.

Marcelo also stated ” No wire is used here, only nylon due to the delicate green branches. It is very difficult to ‘educate’ the wood once it forms. It is better to use nylon strips on green branches.” If you utilize wire, do so loosely or use it to tie down branches.

Brazilian rain tree bonsai propagation

Most of the styles used are upright because of the nature of the tree to grow straight when not affected by the winds in their natural habitat. Mame and shohin are excellent possibilities, especially when begun from air layers. I have seen somewhat large branches airlayered as good small trees!

Brazilian rain tree bonsai repotting

Repotting Series: Brazilian Rain Tree Summer Repot

The sandy growing environment in Brazil demonstrates how well P. tortum tolerates dry conditions, however it prefers to be evenly moist in a container. By planting it in a fast draining soil this can be easily accomplished.

Marcelo Miller, Rio de Janeiro wrote ” when these trees are collected at seaside they are replanted in 100% pure sand (no soil).” Too much organic in the soil mix can create wet conditions which causes root rot, fungus and branch die-back.

Brazilian rain tree bonsai pests and diseases

Mostly pest and disease free. If grown indoors, look for common greenhouse pests.

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