Bonchi (Bonsai Chilli)….

Bonsai, is the Japanese art of growing small trees in small pots…. and dates back as far as the 6th Century.The word Bonsai,so I believe, literally translates as… plantings in tray.
Through the years that I’ve been growing chillis, I have come across Bonchi on numerous occasions,Bonchi being Bonsai chilli plants, and have seen some beautiful specimens. This is a subject that has fascinated me for a while now, so after doing some research and reading on the internet…. I decided at the end of the 2011 growing season, that I would have a go. I chose 2 plants, a Habanero Orange and a 7 Pot Yellow.
The first thing I did was cut them right down to “sticks” about 6 inches high, as you would for overwintering, (sorry, no pics of this stage !), the roots were then cut right back, small enough to fit inside a Bonsai pot. I used plastic pots, as I didn’t fancy paying for expensive ceramic ones if it all failed !
Anyway…. the “sticks” were planted in their pots with fresh compost…watered, and placed on a south-facing window sill to get plenty of light. It didn’t take long to get some new growth coming through, and before I new it….I had small, untidy plants.
As 2012 moved on through Spring, and Summer…growth was very vigorous, and I was constantly trimming off any large leaves. The more you trim large leaves, new ones come through…only smaller.
The plants were fed every couple of weeks with Chilli Focus, and were soon abundant with flowers…. a lot of which did drop unfortunately ! However…. I persevered, and eventually got some pods on the Orange Hab ! here are the results:

Orange Hab


Yellow 7 Pot


And here they are after another trim:


Ok…they’re not the prettiest looking specimens…. but with a little more trimming of the branches, they will look better. I am so pleased with the results, that I’ve decided to do another half a dozen at the end of this year’s growing season….and this time, I will take pics of every stage !
If you fancy having a go yourself, or want more information…then check out this site
http://www.fatalii.net/growing/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=95&Itemid=105
iggy :-)

EDIT: One thing that I forgot to mention when I originally posted this, was that if for some reason you’re not happy with the way your Bonchi has turned out….. just re-plant it into a large pot in Spring, and it will happily grow on as a normal plant….with a slight head start….. a more interesting way to over-winter a chilli plant :-)
Update: Here is a pic of the Orange Hab now: