Bonsai_Angel
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:17 pm

Ginseng Bonsai, watering, lighting, misting tips

Hey, I'm kinda new and I was hoping someone could shed some light on proper watering, lighting, misting, ect... Any help would be greatly appreciated... :)

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Bonsai_Angel,

Hello and welcome the site and to bonsai. Have you read the sticky threads located at the top of this forum? The one on general growing has some tips on watering. Also read up on bonsai soils as eventually you will want to re-pot and bonsai soil is unlike conventional potting soil which I have given up on entirely, even for houseplants.

In a nutshell, always water thoroughly and then wait. How long to wait is a little more difficult to say as this will vary according to many factors. Most people have a tendency to over water, and by that I mean too frequently not the actual quantity which should always be copious.

I tend to keep my Ficus (You did mean Ginseng Ficus?) a little on the dry side during winter but they are in a fairly cool basement with minimal lighting. If you keep yours warm and under better lighting water usage will increase. Similarly, during summer when they are really growing well I must water much more frequently. You do intend to keep it outside (provided you climate allows it) during summer don't you? By the way where are you located? If you update your profile with a general location we can give more complete advice.

I use simple fluorescent shop lights to overwinter what can't stay outside. They work but I do not get spectacular growth, more of a maintenance kind of thing. If you don't have the space or the inclination to go that route you can use the new compact fluorescent bulbs in a regular fixture. Keep the light fairly close to the plant but not so close to cause problems from heat. The light available to a plant drops off rapidly as the distance increases so incandescent bulbs are a poor choice, they produce too much heat to get them close enough.

Ficus like humidity but adapt to our homes well. Misting is fine but a humidity tray is probably better. This is a shallow tray, the larger the better, filled with pebbles or coarse sand. Water is added just to the top of the pebbles. This raises the humidity in the general area of the plant.

Norm

Bonsai_Angel
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:17 pm

Thank you for your help...I cannot say exactly where I live but I can say i live in the Southeastern United States. I have read alot of the sticky forums and I have read alot from other forums. The weather down here currently has been overcast and too rainy. I'm afraid that if I put my bonsai out right now it may end up getting over watered by the rain.
My bonsai is currently in a pot with small rocks but I do not know what type of soil is in it currently because I just bought it a week or so ago. I plan to go with my mom to get a new pot and bonsai soil.

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Bonsai_Angel,
Thank you for your help...I cannot say exactly where I live but I can say I live in the Southeastern United States.
You're very welcome. No need to get specific about location, a [url=https://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html]USDA Zone[/url] is sufficient. In the southern part of the country you can keep the tree outside for large portions of the year. Most will suggest low temps of 55 or 60 degrees as a minimum for Ficus. I have found they are more hardy than that but when temps fall growth slows so perhaps it's best to go with that as a guideline.
I'm afraid that if I put my bonsai out right now it may end up getting over watered by the rain.
The use of a good free draining medium will greatly negate any chance of over-watering except for the very wettest times of the year.
My bonsai is currently in a pot with small rocks but I do not know what type of soil is in it currently because I just bought it a week or so ago. I plan to go with my mom to get a new pot and bonsai soil.
If the rocks are glued down, in a sheet or clump, it is very important that they be removed as soon as possible. With those in place it is very difficult to judge the condition of the soil and to water properly when required. You may have difficulty locating bonsai soil as it is unlike conventional potting soil. If you have not already, read it the sticky on soils, it has a lot of good information in it. Make sure to follow the links as well. Bonsai soil can be purchased on-line and this is a pretty good choice for the beginner who only needs a small amount. Later, if you maintain interest in bonsai, you may wish to learn to make your own.

If you have any more questions do not hesitate to ask and we will try to help. This site has a lot of good information on Ficus.
[url]https://bonsaihunk.8m.com/cultural.html[/url]

Norm

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”