Striferitus
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a little help with my 2 new ficuses

How easy are ficuses to grow and gnome do you know any good trusty sites to buy suplies from cause i was thinking about buying some root hormone then trunk choping my biggger tree which is out of control so it would be great if you could help me.

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Gnome
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Striferitus,
How easy are ficuses to grow
I only have one variety and have only been growing them for about three years, but for me they seem rather easy. I keep them outside all summer and under fluorescents during the winter. I don't get nearly as much growth inside as I do outside. They grow much stronger outside in full sun.

For this reason I think I would wait until the beginning of next summer to do any serious chop. If you are just talking about pruning, leaving a fair amount of foliage, then you can do it now. If you intend to chop down past all the foliage I would wait. I also prefer to re-pot during warm weather as well but Ficus are rather forgiving.

The cuttings will stand a better chance of rooting during warm weather as well. You can find rooting hormone (for the cuttings, right?) locally, there is no need to resort to mail order.

There is no need to rush into anything, this is the way I have made some serious blunders in the past. Slow down, you will have these trees for many years if you don't kill them. I'm not saying that you can't work on your new trees over the winter just to carefully consider what you are about to do.


Norm

MartyWakat
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I recently got a ficus as well and had a few questions. I picked up a cheapo Wal-Mart bonsai because it was soo cheap and looked in decent condition. I have moved it indoors under a 400w HID HPS grow bulb and also 200w of daylight flourescents. All my trees are doing real well but the ficus does seem to be a bit more yellow than before. I have only had it less than a week and it seems to be growing well, just a bit more yellow than before. I have been keeping it pretty moist but I don't think too wet. I have been watering it about once every two to three days. I have read that sometimes when the light intensity changes alot the leaves might be a bit yellow for a bit.

Compared to where it was growing before, I sould say my indoor setup is giving the tree alot more light then it was getting before so maybe it is just adjusting to the new environment.

Below are a few pics. The first one just shows what my indoor setup looks like as far as growing. I am using a humidifier to keep RH at about 65% and temps range between 60-75 from day to night. The second pic shows the ficus that I have questions about. It is pretty good shape but the leaves are slightly yellower than when I first got it.

[img]https://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m304/martywakat/DSC05753.jpg[/img]


[img]https://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m304/martywakat/DSC05754.jpg[/img]

Striferitus
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It seems like it is prety happy to be with you and it likes all that light alot

JoeLewko
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Those look like junipers in that setup, and if that's the case, i hope you're not keeping them in there year-round. They need to be outside. Junipers go dormant in the winter, and they need the tempature change to cold weather in order to get this period of dormancy. If they don't they will only live for about 2 years (if that), and then die. If you are unable to keep them outside, you need to "artifically" give them a period of dormancy. However, this is very difficult, and i do not recommend growing junipers indoors if you don't have to, as i have no experience doing so. I would do a lot of research if that is your situation.

Joe

P.S. about the ficus, it looks ok, but this website has a lot of info on tropical bonsai
https://www.bonsaihunk.us/

MartyWakat
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JoeLewko wrote:Those look like junipers in that setup, and if that's the case, I hope you're not keeping them in there year-round. They need to be outside. Junipers go dormant in the winter, and they need the tempature change to cold weather in order to get this period of dormancy. If they don't they will only live for about 2 years (if that), and then die. If you are unable to keep them outside, you need to "artifically" give them a period of dormancy. However, this is very difficult, and I do not recommend growing junipers indoors if you don't have to, as I have no experience doing so. I would do a lot of research if that is your situation.

Joe

P.S. about the ficus, it looks ok, but this website has a lot of info on tropical bonsai
https://www.bonsaihunk.us/
There are two different Junipers in the picture. Those two will be going into a refrigerator for 3 months starting in December. I have heard that they can go with as little as 1000 hours of dormency but I feel better giving them a full three months. I am getting a few more tropical bonsai so that I can keep my grow setup busy all winter but I am aware of the dormency issues and I have unfortunately killed a few in the years past before I knew this.

I will gradually ease them into the dormency period as this is a refrigerator that will be used for nothing other than housing bonsai trees.

Glad to hear that most think that the ficus is looking ok. It had the crappy glued-on rocks from Wal-Mart in the original pot so I immediately repotted it and removed all the rocks and contanimated soil.

Striferitus
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how bad can the glue hurt the tree cause i got a fukien that has glued rocks. should i buy some soil and redo the soil thing

MartyWakat
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Striferitus wrote:how bad can the glue hurt the tree cause I got a fukien that has glued rocks. should I buy some soil and redo the soil thing
In some of the places I read they said to take it back to the place you got it if it has glued on rocks as the soil is contaminated and will not take up water properly. Since mine was soo cheap I thought it was worth the risk. I would probably get rid of the glued rocks and give it some fresh soil.

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Gnome
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Striferitus,

This is the first time I have seen someone raise the possibility of the soil becoming contaminated due to the glue used. I suppose it is possible but I suspect that they use some sort of water-proof product that once set will not leach.

My main concern with this situation is the physical barrier the mass of pebbles represents. With this barrier present you will be unable to observe the condition of the soil making it that much more difficult to determine when to water. When you do water this mass can only make it more difficult to thoroughly water your tree. And finally it may also interfere with the exchange of air.

So I concur that it is best to remove the glued on top-dressing. I don't usually use a top-dressing of any kind because of the difficulty in judging the soil it causes me.

Don't re-pot now. Until you acquire the proper soil, and knowledge, it would be wasted effort in my opinion. If necessary simply place some more soil of a similar texture on top of any exposed roots. Please read, or re-read, the sticky threads at the top of the forum, there is much information to be gleaned from them. Make sure to follow the links as well.

Norm

MartyWakat
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From what I have read the glued on rocks are actually placed there for shipping purposes to keep the soild from falling out of the pot. Most people are saying that you should definately remove them for the purposes that Gnome mentioned.

I actually read most of that from this forum from a post back in 2004.

Striferitus
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do you think i could just remove them and throw them out without damaging the tree.

JoeLewko
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you should do that, but like Norm said, you eventually will need to repot into proper bonsai soil.

Joe

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