ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

Ficus Forest Progression {Ficus benjamina 'pandora'}

This is still a work in progress but I thought some may be interested in the process.

I had a group planting of five Ficus benjamina 'pandora' living together about two years but they are not very exciting. [ 'pandora' is A cultivar of ficus with smaller leaves than normal, They are also a bit curly.]

This picture is from April 7, 2005, 14" high in a 11"x7"x1" pot

[img]https://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y291/novusordo1/Ficus/Forrest%20Pandora/ficuspforest.jpg[/img]

I had often thought this group was far too tall. After letting them just grow on for awhile.
...And taking yet another opportunity to show the benefits of the soil these are in. From August 29, 05
[url=https://imageshack.us][img]https://img137.imageshack.us/img137/6526/ficuspforestrootsthrudrvq3.jpg[/img][/url]

I finally decided it was time to do something about it on August 15, 2006. You may notice the arrangement has changed slightly As when I repotted I improved the display IMO.
By putting the shorter thinner trees in the rear of the composition and the thicker and [ they will eventually be] taller trees in front it gives the illusion of more depth. The human eye [rightly or wrongly] sees smaller objects as being significantly further away. A forced perspective if you will.

[img]https://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y291/novusordo1/Ficus/Forrest%20Pandora/FicusForestChopped_0002-1.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y291/novusordo1/Ficus/Forrest%20Pandora/FicusForestChopped_0001.jpg[/img]

The trunks on the right hand side are 3" tall.

October 1, 06. Six weeks later and looking pretty good.

[img]https://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y291/novusordo1/Ficus/Forrest%20Pandora/FicusforestsmallOct06_002.jpg[/img]

As of today [10-27-06] they have a bit more wire keeping them in shape and have had a snip or two here and there. Standing 9" tall roughly ten weeks after the chop:

[img]https://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y291/novusordo1/Ficus/Forrest%20Pandora/FicusForestchopped10-27-06_0003.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y291/novusordo1/Ficus/Forrest%20Pandora/FicusForestchopped10-27-06_0004.jpg[/img]

You may be wondering what happened to the tops that I cut off...

Why I rooted them of course :D.
Since it is getting late in the season When it came time to pot them up, I threw 3 of them in a single pot I had laying around to save space under the lights. They have new growth and are doing just fine, Coincidentally they are 9" tall also. :D
Eventually they will be added to the forest planting along with one more for a total of nine. The other two are involved in other projects

[img]https://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y291/novusordo1/Ficus/Forrest%20Pandora/FicusForestTopCuttings10wks10-27-2.jpg[/img]

It is still a work in progress... 8)

As always questions, Comments and gift certificates are welcomed.
ynot.

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

Update:

A couple of the former tops [to these trees] have migrated into the pot so this is now a seven tree adventure that is currently just under 7" high.

:D 8)

[url=https://img120.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ficusbpandoraforestplan1mz.jpg][img]https://img120.imageshack.us/img120/5392/ficusbpandoraforestplan1mz.th.jpg[/img][/url]

So you can judge the scale:

[url=https://img120.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ficusbpandoraforestplan2iv.jpg][img]https://img120.imageshack.us/img120/3862/ficusbpandoraforestplan2iv.th.jpg[/img][/url]


Even though It just had a trim [New growth is coming in allready, I can't wait until it bushes out a bit :D .] I just thought I would post a bit of progress.

As Always:
Questions, Comments, and Chinese carryout are welcome.

Thanks for looking. 8)

ynot

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

Ynot,

These will look a whole lot better after this coming Summer passes and they fill in. I find one thing a little unusual though, some parts of the composition lean to the left while others to the right. Is this deliberate or did they just settle in that way?

I see that you were careful to leave a shoot on each that you pruned. Have you tried anything more radical than that?

I have some F. benjimina (Mini Lucie) that I have had for a few years now. Thanks to some advice you gave me earlier this year they are doing much better this winter than last. These are the only tropicals that I grow besides my succulents, which don't require much attention over the winter. I am afraid that I had neglected the Ficus last year but you set me straight even though I was a little stubborn in taking the advice.

I have been toying with the idea of doing a group planting with them this summer but I don't have a pot large enough, perhaps I will look into hypertufa, (spelling?). Anyway, thanks for posting the update and be sure to do so again later in the season.

Norm

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

LOL- Thx, I only beat you over the head when I am right. ;)

These will look a whole lot better after this coming Summer passes and they fill in.
:arrow: I am hoping they fill in in enough to be pruned twice before summer even gets here...[I try to keep them happy you know...:wink:8)].
I find one thing a little unusual though, some parts of the composition lean to the left while others to the right. Is this deliberate or did they just settle in that way?
It is deliberate wrt the outside trees The 2 on the left and the right rear one are leaning away from the group on purpose- searching for the light. They do lean a bit more than I would prefer at the moment but I will worry about fixing that in the next repot. [If I adjust/fool with them I just end up having to tweak them all the time... I will wait on that.]

As the very center tree continues to fill out I am hoping that the spatial relationship between [what will be] the dominant tree and the surrounding trees will start to look more natural.
I see that you were careful to leave a shoot on each that you pruned. Have you tried anything more radical than that?
Other than the chops that got them this small in the first place, Not really. These spent the holidays at my moms [Not under any extra lighting, So they had some long leggy growth] but I have them back under the shop lights and am looking forward to some nice compact growth.
I have some F. benjimina (Mini Lucie) that I have had for a few years now. Thanks to some advice you gave me earlier this year they are doing much better this winter than last. These are the only tropicals that I grow besides my succulents, which don't require much attention over the winter. I am afraid that I had neglected the Ficus last year but you set me straight even though I was a little stubborn in taking the advice.
The M. Lucie are very similar in leaf size to my 'pandora', I am glad they are doing well this year 8).

As to the advice... It's only my opinion but it does work for me, I am happy to hear it works for you too. :D
That is really gratifying to hear actually, Thanks.
I have been toying with the idea of doing a group planting with them this summer but I don't have a pot large enough, perhaps I will look into hypertufa, (spelling?).
:shock: How big of a group are we talking here?
Anyway, thanks for posting the update and be sure to do so again later in the season.
Thanks for checking it out, I will update as needed for sure.

ynot

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

Ynot,

Here, finally, is a photo of the Ficus group in question. I only have 6 at the moment, a no-no aesthetically but come this Summer I can take some more cuttings. I have no luck with them over the winter but did get two to root last Summer. I don't think I have a pot big enough to accommodate them besides I am still on the fence about the forest. I might keep the larger one as a stand alone. What are your thoughts?

Norm

[url=https://img400.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ficusgroupln3.jpg][img]https://img400.imageshack.us/img400/5052/ficusgroupln3.th.jpg[/img][/url]

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

Gnome,

I apologize for the delayed response here, This post got buried apparently [Read: I forgot :oops: .

I feel there is potential in this group for a ..er group planting certainly.

You may want to develop them in their individual pots for a while. I kept mine grouped together as I was really in no hurry but they would develop more quickly individually as I am sure you know.

You may recall I have two different 'mother daughter' ficus pairings? When I moved I was forced to bare root them [and many others..:( ].

I repotted them together and they currently reside as a dual-twin trunk group... Against all the rules - I do not have a pic for you [Actually I just pruned them yesterday so they look a bit bare] But I will eventually put them up.

It does not look as horrid as I imagined and though I thought the slight slant they have would be advantageous... The symmetry of '4' still comes shining through...[img]https://www.mainzelahr.de/smile/genervt/platsch.gif[/img]

All in all, I think you could have a nice group there. If you don't like it it is always easy to dis-assemble...;)

Keep me posted man,

ynot

Return to “Bonsai Photo Gallery”