New Ficus!

Discussion in 'New to Bonsai' started by Hannahmm, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Hannahmm

    Hannahmm Seedling

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    Location:
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    IMG_0654.JPG Hello everyone,

    I just got this ficus and wanted to know any tips, ideas (styling), advice I can get on Ficus!? Im new to bonsai and new to such a fussy type of plant =/. Thanks!
     

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  3. sorce

    sorce Nonsense Rascal

    Messages:
    16,278
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    Berwyn, Il
    They're not too fussy. Though My "OG Walmart Ficus" never grew well till this year 6 or 7!

    I let it get into the ground this year and it's a bush!
    Plus 3 cuttings!

    I move my ficus in once at under 50°F. Under 16hr flourescents.
    Out when over 50. In full sun.
    One move.
    With a BIP, and a BOP.
    Bring in Pruning.
    Bring out pruning.

    No leaf drop ever for years.

    100% sifted Napa #8822 for soil.

    Sorce
     
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  4. Hannahmm

    Hannahmm Seedling

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    Awesome! thanks, @sorce okay, everthing I hear they are just particular about rapid and often temp changing and humidity. I have a wood stove and even with a teapot on it they still zap the moisture out of the air! (I do have it on a humidity tray and spray daily) And you want to talk about rapid temp changes? One minute you're a notch below comfortable the next your running out of layer to be rid of....haha I haven't done all my research on one yet but off hand do you know how well they back bud?? I am not a huge fan of the shape currently but I wanted to be knowledgeable of their back budding habits? There is just no way I can have fluorescent going all day... as much as I would love to. Maybe I can relish doing it if enough of my tree seeds propagate??
     
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  5. sorce

    sorce Nonsense Rascal

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    16,278
    Location:
    Berwyn, Il
    @Nwaite got a wood burning stove 2.

    Sorce
     
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  6. cbroad

    cbroad Shohin

    Messages:
    410
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    @Hannahmm
    That's a microcarpa and they back bud very well assuming it's healthy and vigorous. Prune branches to 1 or 2 nodes. Since the sun is getting weaker it may be a little slow to push new growth, but try to give it as much light as possible.

    These types of ficus are nicknamed "ginseng" because of the bulbous roots, and are typically frowned upon for bonsai, so for the future think about ground layering it off of those fat roots.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Hannahmm

    Hannahmm Seedling

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    Thank you @cbroad good to know! Good cheap tree to do some practicing on ;)
     
  8. cbroad

    cbroad Shohin

    Messages:
    410
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Yep, I have one too, doing some experimenting on mine :eek::eek::eek::D
     
  9. JoeH

    JoeH Sapling

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    27
    Location:
    Florida
    It sure is refreshing to come here and not see all the negative posts towards this type of tree. I got tired of seeing that elsewhere. Have fun with it!!
     
  10. Hannahmm

    Hannahmm Seedling

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    Thanks @JoeH I will! There is a chance I may just let it live out its days with very little messing instead of making it bonsai just some minor pruning....not sure yet but for now I'm just going to see if it will survive it's major climate change!
     
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  11. cbroad

    cbroad Shohin

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    Location:
    Richmond, VA
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  12. cbroad

    cbroad Shohin

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    410
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    @JoeH
    Oh, you'll still see that here, but I'm still learning tropicals and mine was so cheap I wouldn't mind killing it with what I was doing. For me, the development is the adventure and a good learning tool so I'm not too worried about what people think, I'd rather butcher a cheap tree than kill an expensive one while I'm still learning.
     
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  13. JoeH

    JoeH Sapling

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    yeah, but not as condescending as at the other forum. :)
     
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  14. shinmai

    shinmai Yamadori

    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Milwaukee WI
    I think it's unfortunate that some folks dismiss ginseng or grafted ficus as the crash test dummies of bonsai. I've seen some really impressive trees that have grown from humble beginnings. As I have ranted elsewhere, most of them get killed off not because of anything done while learning about bonsai, but because of what's not done--not getting them out of the gummy soil at the beginning.
    Based on my limited experience, some observations for Hannah:
    Most species of ficus can have their leaf size selectively reduced without a large scale defoliation. If you cut across the leaf leaving a triangle of leaf and its stem attached, the leaf that grows out in its place will typically be about half the size of its predecessor.
    By pinching off terminal buds, you can stop a stem from growing longer, while simultaneously freeing the axillary buds to create new stems. The leaves that are on that stem will not grow any larger from that point forward.
    The biggest single contributor to preventing big leaves is lots of bright light. Selectively thinning the top of the canopy to let sunlight into the interior will help keep the interior leaves from getting too big.
    And finally, ficuses, microcarpa especially, can drop leaves big time in response to an environmental change. Apparently they interpret it as nuclear winter or something, but it's enough to scare the daylights out of you and make you think you've killed it off. Not necessarily so---continue TLC and be patient, and they usually come back.
    And for whatever my opinion is worth, I think it's a good looking little tree with some potential. Best of luck with it.
     
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  15. LanceMac10

    LanceMac10 Masterpiece

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    Let's take care of that........;):D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

    flamethrower.gif
     
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  16. Redwood Ryan

    Redwood Ryan Masterpiece

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    To be fair, these really can't become much of anything. There's a difference between 'humble beginning' and a good tree for practicing on ;)
     
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  17. shinmai

    shinmai Yamadori

    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Milwaukee WI
    I’ll check to the dealer. :cool:
    If there’s one guy who knows his ficus from a hole in the ground, it’s Ryan.
     
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  18. Hannahmm

    Hannahmm Seedling

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    Your advice and encouragement in this Ficus is well heard and respected thank you @shinmai im super excited about this tree anyway! Good bad or ugly I'm sure I can and will learn lots have fun and tinker with it. Even if it never turns into a true "bonsai" it'll be well liked and treated with just as much care as any other! I was curious, all of its stems are super long and spindly with leaves just growing at the very tip. If I shorten some of the branches even leaving no nodes would anything grow off the old wood?
     
  19. shinmai

    shinmai Yamadori

    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Milwaukee WI
    I can't say for certain, but I've had instances where I've cut off a branch altogether, and had new growth sprout from where I left a little stub for die-back. If it were me, I'd leave at least one node on anything I wanted to keep. You can always shorten later if it doesn't work out.
    Another option might be reducing the number of branches. It's always hard to tell from a picture, but on the right hand side it looks like there are a couple of places where you have multiple stems coming from the same place. You could pick the one or two that are the most robust, or best fit in to your idea for the tree, and then prune off the extras. I find it contributes to the vigor of the remaining stems.
     
  20. coltranem

    coltranem Sapling

    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    The first thing this tree will teach you is whether the climate and light levels in your house are suitable for this tree. I would not do much else until you can keep it thriving for a few months.

    I am not sure where bend is but have you considered outdoor trees. Given your heating situation an inability to provide supplemental light outdoor trees might be easier.
     
  21. Hannahmm

    Hannahmm Seedling

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    Oh yes @coltranem I have all outdoor trees, this is my first indoor tree. it was a $5 come and get it or I toss it before they move situation. And all I have to do is work on my husband a little more and maybe the adequate light situation will change ;) On a high note she hasn't dropped any leaves yet! so maybe I am not stressing her out too bad.....
     

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