Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:25 pm

golden gate ficus ... i think it's dead

I've had this Golden Gate Ficus bonsai for almost a year now, and I live in San Jose, CA. For the first 6-8 months, I somehow managed to keep the bonsai alive and healthy .... all I did was water it every 2-3 days, and I kept it almost exclusively indoors though in a place with some direct sunlight. The bonsai didn't grow, but didn't deteriorate either.
Then, I read some website which said I should keep bonsai's outdoors as much as possible, so I started doing that. Unfortunately, that also coincided with my paying less attention to it, and I started going 4-5 days without watering it, and I started noticing a few leaves going brown. Alas, after another such hiatus where i didn't water it for almost 2 weeks, I saw that ALL the leaves were completely brown and dead.

Now I figured all of this was because of the cold... the nights here can be a bit frosty in the winters, almost going to 0 C. So for the last month and a half, I've kept the plant inside and have been giving it water consistently. I've recently also pruned away all the dead branches, hoping that might stimulate something.

Can anyone recommend something else that I need to do?? How often should I water it, should i start keeping it outdoors again, is there anything else like fertilizer or plant food that i should feed it?? Or is it going to be a waste of time? Ofcourse I'm a novice. But my girlfriend gave this to me, so I'd like to make an effort to resurrect it.

Thanks for your help.

Will Heath
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 4:59 am
Location: Michigan USA zone 5/6

Don't panic. Scrape the bark with your finder nail, do you see green? If so, it is still alive.

Don't kill it by trying to save it by over-watering, re-potting, feeding, or transplanting. Keep it in the location it flourished before, water only when almost dried out and wait.

Ficus are strong and amazing plants, soon it will bud again, once the leaves have unfurled, feed lightly.

Good luck,

Will Heath

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Thanks Will!

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

I have to totally agree with both posts... 8)

Thanks guys! :D


Return to “BONSAI FORUM”