Dougie085
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Ok I bought 2 bonsai's now what?

I bought 2 bonsai tree's at a local store. One of them is a Ficus the other is a Tropical. My question is what do I need to do with them now? I mean of course watering and what not. I live in an apartment is there anyways to have them indoors and be ok? Like a plant light or somthing? I have a room thats unairconditioned. Another option I could probably do is have a shelf outside my window to set them on. Another question I have is they have them planted in this like pebble stuff thats all like glued together or somthing, should I transplant it into some soil? If so what kind of soil and what not?

JoeLewko
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you should start by figuring out what kind of tropical tree the other one is. i cant really help you with that one. You should take the rocks that are glued down off, as they are harmful. The ficus tree actually does well indoors...keep it by a window with indirect, but bright light. You can keep it outside in the summer, but not when the day or night temp drops below 60 or 59 degrees F. It would also be helpful if you knew what kind of ficus you had. Maybe you can post some pics, so myself and others can help you identify them. Also, i would usually wait until the spring to repot them, but since they are probably not in an ideal soil mix, i would think its safe to repot now. You need an inorganic soil mix, one that provides excellent drainage. If you cannot find this, i find that schultz's cactus and succulent potting mix is an ok substitute, until you can find better soild, because it provides excellent drainage, and has organic matter for root growth. I have a ficus benjamina in the succulent potting mix, and although the soil doent dry out as much as it probably should, i adapted watering so that it doent remain too moist. You should keep the ficus humid, by putting a humidity tray under the pot ( a tray with rock in it, and then filled with water, so that the pot isnt sitting in water), and by misting it two times a day. Also, check to make sure there are drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, as this is necessary. As for water5ing, you can check the soil by putting a toothpick ion the soil, and taking it out again. If the dirt sticks to the toothpick, it does not need water. Otherwise, it does. You should also fertilize, i have read many different opinions on when to fertilize, and i am not sure myself. It seems to be every two weeks in the summer, and less often in the winter. I would reccommend doing some research online, reading other threads on this forum, and eith buying books, or going to the local library, and taking out books on bonsai

Zombiefreak
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I think Joe hit the nail on the head with this one. Read a whole bunch of this boared since its probably your greatest resource right now. As well I hope your not talking about the trees from nursery men exchange that I spotted at a local walgreens store. They really weren't that bad looking as far as health but those if thats what they are will need to be put into training pots.

Dougie085
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To be honest they came from walmart.....not the greatest place for plants I'm sure but they look pretty healthy :) the tropical one has some dry ends on the leafs but other then that looks good...its looking a lot better sence i waterd it and misted the leafs a few times. I bought a book today at barnes n nobles its called Successful Bonsai by David Squire. It has all the tools needed and everything. I'm wanting to order some seeds and stuff and grow my own now lol :) Know of any good places to order bonsai tools and seeds and stuff online? Also are there any nice looking tree's that will do ok inside with maybe a gro light or somthing? I really like the japanese maple especially in the fall season when the leaves are changing colors....Right now I really don't have a way to put them outside but we are going to move into a new apartment soon and a balcony is on the list of things we want. So know a good place to order this kind of stuff? None of the places in town really carry any of this stuff at all not even really the tools.

Dougie085
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These were grown by Delray Plant INC. I pulled them out of the pots and the ball of roots isnt that loose i don't think....but then again i don't really know? its not that tight either lol

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Gnome
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Dougie,

Unless the trees that you purchased are quite mature the need for specialized bonsai tools is minimal at this time. Take a few months and see if you think that you will stay with bonsai. I believe that you alluded to the fact that maples will not suvive indoors, this is correct. Wait until you have acccess to an outdoor area.

Growing from seed is a long term project and probably not well suited for an apartment dweller. You will spend years just watching them grow up to the point that you can even begin styling them. Not that seeds are unworthy, on the contrary, but as a beginner your time and efforts can be better spent with more mature stock.

Look here for information on tropical bonsai in general and Ficus in particular.

[url]https://www.bonsaihunk.us/cultural.html[/url]

Norm

Dougie085
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So whats a neat fast growing plant that will survive indoors? The book I got doesnt seem to exactly say which will be ok for indoor use and what not. I can easily get a grow light and everything and I'm also going to keep my current Bonsai's to train and what not while the others are growing. As for the maple can you germinate the seed indoors and then move it out doors? I will be moving into a new apartment by time its going to need to be planted so that might still be a good option. Also I have a window ledge box to put them in if needed.

Dougie085
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The only thing I don't like about my current bonsai's are they cant really be trained so I cant do anything with them really. The tropical one is like a big palm looking thing...the ficus is low but the trunk area has been trained already and is like in a big knot sort of. I want somthing I can train lol. I might have to order somthing that I can work with and train. Whats a good size to get to start with training and what not on the Fuku bonsai site? Is there a better place to order bonsai's from? a little cheaper perhaps? I'm sure I'll love this but I don't want to spend too much up front just to make sure.

Dougie085
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Well I have been reading my book tonight and I think I'm going to buy a tropical potted plant to train. I'm thinking maybe a Sageretia,Serissa,Chinese Elm,Ilea europaea (common olive), or a Lantana. According to the book these are all indoor plants that are great for bonsai's Now if I could just find a good place to get these? I really like the chinese elm and the common olive they are very nice looking plants. Well anyways need to get to bed gotta get up in a couple hours. Let me know what you think of this? and if you know anywhere to get one of these plants let me know :) I live in pittsburgh, pa I don't know of any special nurserys around here or even a regular nursery.

Sharp
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Alot of the tropicals can be hard for beginners to even keep alive let alone train.

Might I suggest trying a ficus at first. Its semi-tropical, does well indoors and is a good beginner tree.

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Dougie,

Maple seeds need a cold period to break dormancy, also they should be fresh and never been allowed to dry out. If you buy seeds now you will probably get last years seed. If you wait a few months you will be able to acquire fresh seeds and provide the proper stratification period. Start the seeds in spring as in nature. Perhaps by then you will have access to the balcony you mentioned.

You made the comment that you are not able to actually train the trees that you have now. Seeds will take years of growing before you can begin anything that resemble bonsai.

I have several Chinese Elms and enjoy them greatly. I keep mine outside and allow them to go dormant throughout the winter. I have been told by a knowledgeable individual that he allows his to experience a few weeks of cold weather and then brings them inside where they put out a new set of leaves. I got my first one at a local retailer who is an enthuisiast and sells trees on the side. I got my second on Ebay, not the best way to acquire trees but I have been lucky so far.

By the way we are neighbors, I am in Beaver Co. Check out this link to the local bonsai club. They had a very nice show on the North Side about five weeks ago.

[url]https://www.pittsburghbonsai.org/[/url]

Norm

Dougie085
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Well thats cool I live on the North Side :) And I was saying that I want to get some sort of house plant or good indoor plant (those mentioned in my last post) to train while my outdoor one is growing. When does this bonsai club meet? do they usually do it in northside? Just curious...I'd like to visit a meet and see what happens and what not maybe learn a thing or 2.

Dougie085
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The ficus I have I don't see being able to train much...the trunk area is like in a knot don't know where to go much from there?

JoeLewko
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maybe you could try reducing leaf size....or grow it root over rock? im planning to do that with my ficus...

Dougie085
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Hmmmm maybe...how hard is reduceing root size? I'll have to try and get ahold of a camera to take some pics of it.

JoeLewko
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i was reading on one site a good technique for reducing the root size...ill try to find the link....and yes pics would be helpful...

JoeLewko
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this is all that i could find for now...

https://www.bonsaihunk.us/ficusforum/FicusTechniques/FigTechnique11.html

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Gnome
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Dougie,

Did you visit the link that I provided? They give their schedule, unfortunately you just missed a workshop on tropicals. No I don't believe that they usually meet on the Northside.

Norm

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