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manIK
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Getting Cutting Roots to Bark

I have a few cutting that are rooting very well, taken from the parent Ficus Ginseng. One in particular has simply exploded over the last week, unbelievable.

This one in particular, let's call it.. I don't know... Chuck. Chuck is sitting in a water bottle and inside that are tiny rocks and one big rock in the middle. (will post pics if requested) The roots are draping over the rock, almost reaching the bottom of the bottle. My Question: If I lower the water level, carefully, millimeters at a time over the course of, however long, is there a way to get the roots at the base of the shoot to bark(en) ? I mean, rather than burying the whole root system underground - I would love it if I could get that thick tuberous base like it's parent Ficus.

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bonsaiboy
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I don't understand what you mean by all this. Do you want the root to get thicker or barken? As far as I know, the only way it can get the tuberous base is for it to grow for a while in a pot. Getting it to bark is not something that has any effect at this point, and is not needed.
הדמיון הוא יותר חשוב מאשר ידע

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manIK
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Sorry Norm, I guess I didn't explain it properly.

I want it to barken. So I can get the look of the typically thick, bulbous base, of a Ficus Ginseng.

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Gnome
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manIK,
Sorry Norm, I guess I didn't explain it properly.

I want it to barken. So I can get the look of the typically thick, bulbous base, of a Ficus Ginseng.
That wasn't me. But if I understand correctly then I agree with bonsaiboy the passage of time and a period of growth is required for the roots to thicken.

Norm

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manIK
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Ouch, I'm sorry Bonsaiboy ): How embarassing. :oops:

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IndorBonsai
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If you keep the Large rock in the roots when it is time to move Chuck your Ficus into soil. Then let Chuck grow with the roots covered with dirt for awhile. This will help thicken the roots and the roots will grow over the rock.

When the roots are thick enough you can slowly remove some soil around the base of your ficus exposing a little bit of the roots at a time. Root over rock style. If you don't want to leave the rock in the roots then remove the rock before the roots grow all the way around it. :)

Good luck with Chuck !!
If your going to have art in your house why not make it living art. :D

Jason

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manIK
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I moved it last night.

Since the roots were water propagate, I thought it might be best to move it into soil as soon as possible. The roots drape over the rock and the whole thing is buried in mostly tiny stone - very little dirt. I've capped it with another water bottle to retain as much moisture as possible so the roots don't dry out. I've read water propagated roots are very brittle compared to soil propagated and normally to propagate them in soil they suggest bagging the whole thing so that's pretty much where it's at. Hopefully it will survive.

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bonsaiboy
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I don't know what it is you mean by capping off with the lid, but if it stores water and wicks it back into the soil over time, its not a good idea. I am also not sure about this rock thing, if it is completely necessary. However, the general setup seems appropriate, so I guess we'll have to wait and see what will become of "Chuck."
הדמיון הוא יותר חשוב מאשר ידע

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manIK
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Not a 'lid' but with another half of a water bottle. Like so:

[img]https://www.mysweetslaughterhouse.com/ChuckWeb.jpg[/img]

logic1248
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bark

If you want to aid long roots getting bark for the root over rocks style you will first have to let the roots get really long and thick in a large over a couple of years with only the very tips of the roots cut off during root pruning to encourage some branching of the roots still. Then after you have done that, you and the roots are very long healthy with alot of fiberous roots and the very end you pot the tree( and rock for root over rock style but if the roots are thick enough they can support the tree alone for the exposed root style) with just the bottom fiberous roots in a good bonsai soil then fill the part with the roots to someday be exposed with sand. Then extremely extremely extremely gradually you remove a millimeter of sand at a time the air contact will make the roots thick and start creating bark to protect themselves from that air. Hope that helps, These ficus can have amazing roots I have one I got as a rescue from a friend with bad luck with plants and it has amazing nebari with one bad spot I will be grafting when one of the branches gets long enough so I think over some time you will see good results.
-Peace

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...

I would also advise letting it grow for a long time without the rock under the roots unless you want the tree to be small, under 6 inches. This will let the tree get faster momentum, put on more girth and branches and the rock that fits now may be too small for your full grown tree. Something to think about.
-Peace

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manIK
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Thanks Logic (: Definitely food for thought.

Yeah the rock is pretty small at this point. I don't want to replant it so soon though so I guess I'll have to wait. Hopefully the smaller rock won't stunt it too much during the interim.

logic1248
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...

at this age the rock wont do too much slowing of the growth but one thing to think about is that if given enough time the roots will fuse with the rock making it impossible to separate the two though I don't think this will happen if you remove it next repotting.
-Peace

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manIK
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Excellent. I probably wont more it for at least 6 months or more - depending on how it goes though. The next step for Chuck is to get it growing with the top off so I want the roots to have plenty of time to strengthen.

I'm new to all of this, still, so its a touch and go thing. I've kept very close watch on them since I cut them - about three weeks ago.

Definitely appreciate all the insight (:

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...

[img]https://i726.photobucket.com/albums/ww269/logic1248/bonsai183.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i726.photobucket.com/albums/ww269/logic1248/bonsai177.jpg[/img]
Here are some Ficus Benjamina the small one is gonna pretty much stay the same but the two in the other pic are just going wild for a long time with no pruning except terminal buds while I get the roots how I want
These trees do great for cutting. I have a couple dozen Ficus Benjamina and Ficus Nitada cuttings rooting right now and I don't even use a humidity tent just jiffy seed starting mix from home depot in peat pots and they do great so you are probably able to remove the bottle, a mist or two a day will suffice especially after there are roots , if there are roots they can rot no matter how young so it needs to dry some periodically. Also the roots will get thicker and longer if you use a soil or soil less mix with some coarseness to it and very good drainage the ficus roots just love it. Ive had mine for years and take cuttings off for friends all times of the year and they do just fine, I have even cloned branches as thick as 1/2 inch thick with bark and wood and they root as long as you mist em good even without a plastic cover.
-Peace

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manIK
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Wow nice. Propogated from frozen, eh? Seriously?

So you think I can safely remove the lids and the roots will be okay? As long as I mist them to refreshen the roots, daily?

logic1248
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...

Yeah once there are roots on the cutting you don't need a cover, like I said I never start them with a cover and do just fine. Ficus cutting really want to root you pretty much have to deny them air or water for awhile to kill them. If you loose a leaf or two don't panic, it will bounce back, and sometimes the terminal bud at the end will die off then a new one will grow after it roots.
-Peace

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...

[img]https://i726.photobucket.com/albums/ww269/logic1248/bonsai179-1.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i726.photobucket.com/albums/ww269/logic1248/bonsai185.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i726.photobucket.com/albums/ww269/logic1248/bonsai186.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i726.photobucket.com/albums/ww269/logic1248/bonsai183-1.jpg[/img]
-Peace

logic1248
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...

ps. the 4 with the plastic over them separated from the bunch are very thich and have to be watched a little more in my opinion as they can dry out easier.
-Peace

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manIK
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Wow! Excellent (: Thanks for showing the pics.

Out of my three cuttings, one of them is not doing so hot, in fact, all three leaves shriveled up and dropped ): I probably should have left it in the water another week to lengthen the roots as I felt they might have been too short when I planted it.

Another one which was cut on a not-so-green-area is doing okay - however it only had one big leaf attached to it so I'm not holding my breath for that one.

Chuck, on the other hand, is doing great... so far.

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...

[img]https://i726.photobucket.com/albums/ww269/logic1248/bonsai161.jpg[/img]
the mother trees
[img]https://i726.photobucket.com/albums/ww269/logic1248/bonsai164.jpg[/img]
-Peace

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