Bonsai Kapilaas : Peepal Tree as Bonsai

Aug 31, 2019

Peepal Tree as Bonsai



Peepal is called as ASHWATHA in sanskrit. It can be also called as Pippala, peepal peepul.It is considered as a holy tree. This is a native tree of India, held sacred by the Buddhists, who believe that Gautama Buddha received enlightenment under a Bo tree at Bodh Gaya. The botanical classification of this tree is:Family:  Moraceae.
Scientific name is- Ficus religiosa.


  

Aswatha is a fast-growing species. It is a large deciduous tree. In about 50 years it matures to a height of about 15 meters, with  
dense umbrella like crown about 10 to 15 m in spread. Peepal grows profusely and abundantly in and around any openings, inhabited plots, and grow as an epiphyte on other trees and then when the host-tree dies, they establish on the soil. The bark of peepal is grayish white in colour. The bark secretes a kind of milk like latex which dries into a kind of jelly having considerable medical utility. In fact, all parts of the tree have medicinal value.
The leaves of peepal are alternate, orbicular to ovate, like pan leaves. These are reddish when young. Subsequently these are somewhat coriaceous, shining above and dull green below, they hang from long, flexible petioles and rustle in the slightest breeze. Individual leaf is about 10 to 15 cm in diameter. The species sheds its leaves during autumn. New leaves sprout in February-March. Peepal bears small dark purple hardly visible flowers during February-March. The fruit is purple in colour, globule in shape and nearly 4 to 5 mm in diameter, appear during March-April. These are sweet in taste.
However, peepal seedlings can be raised from seed. and also the cuttings in well-worked soil can propagate the species. Peepal trees are wonderful and very versatile plants, beautiful to look at during any season of the year. Tolerating a wide range of soil conditions and a certain degree of drought, Peepal trees add permanence to the garden landscape as they maintain their foliage color throughout summer and winter. Foliage color change within the same plant vary a little, depending upon season.
In general, peepal are the trees which are easy to grow. Usually they should be grown in free-draining soil, and do well in poor or impoverished soils. They do not like boggy or water-logged soils.  Their native habitats are often rocky or mountainous in nature, and they look particularly good in such settings in a garden

They can be grown well from the cuttings of 5 to 6 cm in length in mixture sand and peat. They generally enjoy full sun and good drainage. During summer droughts they withstand heat and dry conditions much better than other plants. 
These plants give compact new growth with regular pinching of the new leaves once in three months and this encourages the plant a bushy growth. Repotting should be done during growing season preferably every second year for a full-grown plant or when the pot is root bound. After the repotting, don’t allow the soil to completely dry. And one more important thing is that, keep the plant in shade, or in semi shade at least for one month. Regular Watering is important, and allow the soil to dry out completely in between watering.
Regular fertilizing makes the plant look beautiful. Spray the foliage at once in a month with liquid fertilizers, generally neem based. Fertilize the soil once in a month with sufala or bone meal in very little quantities just like half a tea spoon. Before fertilizing the plants wet the plant fully and put the fertilizer in the soil and again water the soil a little bit. Regular spraying of fertilizes keeps the plant hale and healthy.

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