cbmiller
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 4:33 pm

No Clue

I received a beautiful Ficus Bonsai tree as a gift a few weeks ago and have absolutely no idea how to care for it. It is in a small plastic container with a glued rock base. I have been keeping the soil moist from the bottom but it has sprouted several new sprawling branches that seem really out of place. What do I do to take care of this tree and what do I need to do that?
cbmiller

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Might want to invest in a pair of pruners that are sharp on both ends because the regular kind actually crush the branches when you cut them. Anyway, just picture in your mind what you want the tree to look like and prune the excess branches off.

Better to water your tree only when it needs it so, check the soil with a toothpick (from the bottom) by immersing the toothpick into the soil. If there is soil on the toothpick, the plant does not need to be watered.

Also, a good way to water bonsai is to immerse the pot in water and let sit for about half an hour to an hour. Your tree really shouldn't need this more than once a week but, check using the method described above.

A good bonsai book will be helpful to. Bookstores are abound with them. Also, read the bonsai articles in this website. They are very informative.

I personally love ficus trees, enjoy your to the fullest!

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7492
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

Hi

Ficus are a good beginners tree as theyu tolerate all sorts of treatment, but they can be very vigourous, so some maintenance pruning is in order on a regular basis. For beginners I recommend ikebana shears because they are easily located and much less expensive than bonsai shears.

Water when the surface of the pot starts to get dry; I wiggle a finger in and if it's not moist a knuckle down, it's in need (Opa's toothpick works for when they are potted in regular soil, but a true bonsai soil has such a large particle, it wouldn't show anyway...)

For a beginners book I recommend The Bonsai Survival Guide; evreything you NEED to know without adding on a bunch of stuf to confuse you...

Scott



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