User avatar
manIK
Senior Member
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:01 pm
Location: Rhode Island

Yahoo! It's rooting! (Ficus)

I did some cuttings about three weeks ago and out of all of 5, 1 is rooting! (: yay!!

I'm not exactly set on what I'm going to do with it. I was thinking about a root over rock... But I also had thoughts about adding it to the large base of my ficus and see if the roots would take to it... Any thoughts?

How about a Root over Wood? Is that possible? Or root over a quartz crystal? Anything to be concerned about with that? I'm using [url=https://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATRootoverrock.htm]Bonsai4me[/url] as a reference.

User avatar
bonsaiboy
Greener Thumb
Posts: 892
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:54 am
Location: Earth

You could try an epiphyite style of fig. See here: https://www.bonsaihunk.us/EpiphyticCreate.html I guess you could consider that a root-over-wood however. Or, you could by one of those moss poles, train the roots to grow down it like a strangler fig, and when its well rooted in the pot, remove the ties that hold it together. This will allow the moss to deteriorate over a period of time. The result will be a tree propped up on tall, stilt-like roots.
הדמיון הוא יותר חשוב מאשר ידע

alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

Congrats :-)

Just take it slow and easy as 'enthusiasm' & hurriedness is likely the number-one reason why cuttings fail to thrive, especially when wanting to do something 'fancy'. If going the ROR route, plan on leaving it alone for a year (or two) after wrapping the roots or it will not be as good as you wish (been there/ done that, LOL)...

Alex

User avatar
manIK
Senior Member
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:01 pm
Location: Rhode Island

How long should the roots be before I plant it in some soil? At the moment its in some pebbles and water.

alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

With Ficus, they can be even be little nubs as the roots are growing form 'stored energy' and will establish easily in soil whenever they emerge. Longer roots tend to break easily, but not a big issue if some breakage happens.

IMO, its better to get into soil sooner rather than later as plant wants to begin uptake of nutrients ASAP, but its acceptable to wait until roots are longer - can be a real PIA to deal with *really* long roots all tangled up together. Getting longish roots out of pebbles in one piece, so to speak? Good luck ;-)

Alex

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

manIK,
Just take it slow and easy as 'enthusiasm' & hurriedness is likely the number-one reason why cuttings fail to thrive, especially when wanting to do something 'fancy'. If going the ROR route, plan on leaving it alone for a year (or two) after wrapping the roots
Alex is correct, as usual :wink:. I would like to add that you will also need at least a year (or more) before you attempt the root over rock planting. This allows the trunk to acquire some girth and the roots to attain some initial length. After all it is hard to do a ROR if you have little root to work with.

Alex also wrote something in another thread that applies here as well:
I see way too much 'thinking'/dreaming here and less focus on basics-of-care. It takes years of basic to get to where 'fancy' comes into play, and if basics were ignored, there will be no 'fancy' time, right?
Take this to heart. I have some ficus that were established (nursery center) plants when I bought them and after three or four years they are only now beginning to look like something more than cuttings.

Norm

alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

Thanks, Gnome - but I've been known to be waaay wrong before - but that was years ago, LOL (j/k) Anyways...

It is doable to start a cutting/seed over a rock if desired, but I have a found a drawback in that the rootage will be practically as big as the trunk! At least that is my experience with an Ulmus crassifolia (or alata, not certain yet) started as two seeds over a cool rock - and now two years later with roots exposed at start of first Spring growth the majority of roots are close to lower trunk thickness and show some taper way down the length before going sub-soil <just took pics ~hour ago and will post-up a bit later today, fwiw>

And on the 'dreaming': I did all of that stuff back when I first dabbled in this stuff and quickly learned about 'patience'...by having to throw out dead trees I had dreamed upon, so to speak. What a 'pain' it is to stay restrained and stay in pace w/ the trees...and such a chore when literally hundreds of things need to be repotted/chopped/etc within days of each other as Spring arrives. Enthusiasm wanes sometimes, but that's how obsessions go, right?

Alex

User avatar
manIK
Senior Member
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:01 pm
Location: Rhode Island

Thanks for all the great advice (:

You're right, of course. Patients is important. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that I wanted to ROR it right away; just that it was something I was hoping to do down the line, once it has established itself.

However I'm still not sure if that's what I'm going to do.

I stuck it into a little bit of a better home. Before, it was in some pebbles and sand in a 1 inch cut plastic cup with some drain holes and sat, raised, in a plate with some water. So it was always wet. I've just added a tiny amount of dirt to that mix and I'm going to slowly pull back on the saturation and start letting it dry out. It has 1 large leaf, which was original to the cut and has remained and it has since split it a bud so it starting to move forward. I'll keep an close eye on it over the next few weeks to see how it progresses in its new home.

alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

I should also mention that Ficus re notorious for dropping leaves with most any change of environment, like moving from one side of room to another or such. If leaf-drop happens after some little change of routine/locale, don't fret as it is somewhat expected...leaves wil return shortly :-)

Not sure how much experience you have, so if you already knew this, 'oops'... Its just that sooo many folks post ?'s starting with "My Ficus lost its leaves", LOL! No biggie.....

Alex

User avatar
manIK
Senior Member
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:01 pm
Location: Rhode Island

Thanks Alex. Knew it from experience? No, not at all. But I have read that. I did move it about a foot into the room, as it has been pretty chilly the last few nights so I thought it best to get it off the sill.

[url=https://www.mysweetslaughterhouse.com/clients/ficus/george.jpg]Here is it btw[/url].

User avatar
bonsaiboy
Greener Thumb
Posts: 892
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:54 am
Location: Earth

I would give it better drainage than what its in right now. It doesnt look like it will last long in the saturated conditions its in.
הדמיון הוא יותר חשוב מאשר ידע

User avatar
manIK
Senior Member
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:01 pm
Location: Rhode Island

That's what is has been sitting in since I cut it. From what I read, it pretty much needs to be in water and not allowed to dry out until its rooted.

I took that picture after removing it from the bath it had been sitting in for the last few weeks. It's pretty much dry now. Or, at least, moist. There's maybe 10% dirt in that, it's mostly pebbles and sand. The cup has numerous drainage holes and is raised so as not to allow it to sit in pooling water.

It should be dry to the bone by tomorrow.

alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

And here's a twist: you really don't want the new/tender roots drying out to any degree or length of time. That's why so many folks use a semi-water--retentive media (like Perlite or such) when rooting cuttings, and even bagging some species to keep really 'moist' consistently for long periods of time. When roots are somewhat going strong, then you can treat them a bit rougher, so to speak.

Just clarifying is all :-)

Alex

User avatar
manIK
Senior Member
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:01 pm
Location: Rhode Island

OH! Thanks for clarifying! So should I keep them moists? Just not as wet as it was?

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

manIK,
So should I keep them moists? Just not as wet as it was?
In a word, yes. Roots need air as well as moisture. The thing is such young and tender roots can be damaged by dry conditions rather quickly. A period of dry soil that would not harm an established plant could kill your cutting.

Norm

User avatar
manIK
Senior Member
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:01 pm
Location: Rhode Island

Thanks Norm (:

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”