I like to go nurseries and look for interesting trees and shrubs that might make a good Bonsai tree. One of the shrubs that caught my eye was the Beauty Bush. There two varieties, a plain green one and one has golden yellow and amber leaves. I purchased a “Dream Catcher” which is the golden/amber variety. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it would develop pink nodding Lily of the Valley type flowers, which smell really good. The leaves are compound leaves and they have an unusual characteristic of curling up like a cigar when they get to much sun. They will uncurl when moved into shade. I looked at bunch of large bushes and they trunks were very stiff and would be very hard to bend and they appear to be very brittle. I then looked at several in 1 gallon pots and found one that would make a good semi-cascade. I brought it home and the adventure began.
I gave it an initial styling for a semi-cascade and trimmed of some unneeded branches. An apex was developed out of the branch closest to the soil line. The apex looked pretty good for such a small tree. Aluminum wire was used to wire the branches and generally did a good job of holding the branches in place. The was potted in a Blue Chuck Iker Bonsai pot and left alone for a while. The tree responded well to being potted and starting growing some after that. The tree was displayed for the first time in local Bonsai Show in 2013. It was a very popular tree at the show and most comments were positive about it being such an unusual tree.
I have not been able to find any other examples of a Beauty Bush being used for Bonsai. Please contact me if you have any example of one.
Here is a photo of the tree when it was displayed in 2013.
Mother nature has continued to redesign the tree for me. The tree was growing on a bench under a large pine tree. The bench was attached to the privacy fence, and on the other side of the privacy fence were the trash cans for the neighbor. Well, Raccoon were climbing up the fence where the tree was located. They then would climb over the tree smashing the apex down as well as the other branches trying climb over the fence to get neighbors trash. I now had a tree that was pancaked by Raccoons on more then one occasion. I do not how many times I had to re-position the branches, the Raccoons finally killed of the apex branch and it is now a jin.
I moved the tree to the back yard and it is now hanging off another bench located under another pine tree! Success no more Raccoon problems, at least with this tree.
This spring the tree has responded really to over wintering the garage and produces new buds/branches all over the place. No new apex branch, but maybe some day it will happen. The tree is just starting to develop flower buds after leafing out. So it blooms on new wood and the flower buds are very tine and somewhat frilly looking.
Photo Gallery 04/17/2018: