horticulture
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I Have Some Questions About My Bonsai

Well my Bonsai is a Ficus benjamina 'Mini Lucie' that a transplanted into a nice small rectangular blue ceramic pot about a week ago. I did not tie it down with some copper wire or anything. I just planted it with the Bonsai style soil I got with it. it was very loose in the pot and I figured it would settle down more once the roots took action, and I was told that too.
To put my mind at ease I tossed some regular soil on the top of the soil it came with to make it more stable witch has worked really well.
Is that not a good idea? Should I take it off? I don't want to but that is why I am asking the experts :P
And another thing, I have a couple 100 watt (that is the output, they use only 27 watts) 2700k CFL's and 2 15" 6500K's fluorescent lights. I am definitely going to add some more CFL's as soon as I get some extra cash. I don't have my tree in there (the closet where the lights are) because when I first got the lights I put it in there and when I went to water it the next day I noticed the leaves were very dry and by just touching them and not grabbing them or anything they would fall off so I just put it back in it's spot on the counter safe from my little tiger :roll:
Any idea why the lights made the tree dry out?

And How often do you suggest I water the tree?

Thanks!
Peace, Frankie.

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GardenerX
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:45 am
Location: Cleveland, TX

well I don't't havea ficus Bingemina myself but I do have a Ficus Nitida and I know it needs alot of light I have it in front of m window and also I have a Flouresent Light going in the day time just incase the window doesn't have enough light going trough it also I have to water mine alot I'm no sure i I'm over watering it or not but it is doing great how it is I water it any time the soil is dry or a spot gets dry, reccently I put my Ficus Nitida in a pot with the roots falling over a rock I found, then filled the pot to how its supose to be I made sure that the rock was completely covered with soil, doing this should create the root over rock effect witch in time will look very nice but for now you can't see the rock so.......

anyways I hopethishelps and GOD LUCK
signed GardenerX,
Plants are children of Mother Earth and Father Time, as they cling to their mother for comfort today, Father Time works his ways to shape their FUTURE...

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Frankie,

Here is my guess as to what has happened. The recent re-potting left the tree in a vulnerable condition and it seems that you have made a series of poor decisions since then.

I'm assuming that your growing area is pretty warm and dry with the lights in a relatively confined space. So, although Ficus like it warm, I feel that the environment was a little too much for it to handle right now. If it had not been re-potted recently it probably would have been fine. In other words you rushed it.

Also, by putting the potting soil on top you have created a situation where you cannot judge the moisture content of the soil below. Bonsai soil, medium is a better term but everyone thinks soil so..., is intended to be very free draining and will dry quicker than other mediums that you may be familiar with. The Potting soil on top may have fooled you into thinking that it did not need watered, when in fact it did.

Letting a little of the potting soil wash down into the mix is OK for a Ficus but now that the plant has stabilized I would remove any remaining soil from the surface. Use the 'Chopstick method' to judge when to water and I think I would avoid the 'hotbox' for a while.

Norm

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GardenerX
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:45 am
Location: Cleveland, TX

hmmmm I wish I could explain things like Norm I mean jeeze I go on and on, he just says this is what you need to do and this is what he thinks would work best I can't do that but if I could I'D BE A FREAKIN GENIOUS ummmm I think I spelled that wrong :lol: anyways I agree with Norm about the soil it makes it hard to tell when the bottom drys out and also can cause this thing that happened to a plant I had I did the same thing but with a Ti Plant and it caused the wetpart t wrot and Ididn't notie untill it died.....
signed GardenerX,
Plants are children of Mother Earth and Father Time, as they cling to their mother for comfort today, Father Time works his ways to shape their FUTURE...

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