Jezzie
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:42 am

Mould on Ficus Microcarpa Retusa

Ok So I've had my Ficus Microcarpa Retusa (Banyan Fig) for about a year. I was surprised I managed to keep it alive that long since I'm not so good with plants. It's grown a bit, shed leaves, regained them etc.

Watering and Care Routine
When it's hot I tend to water it each day or so and in winter (which we're in now) I water it once or twice a week. I touch the top of the soil and check the drainage hole to see if they're dry before watering. I don't submerge but pour water into the top. Before my spray bottle disappeared I also sprayed the leaves and trunk in summer. It sits on a window sill and gets full sun in the morning. I've tried turning it to get an even growth but it hated this so it grows on an angle towards the light.

The Problems
Unfortunately I forgot about it for a week or 2 due to a hectic work schedule. When I went to water it this morning and checked the drainage hole I could see white fuzzy mould growing in the hole! There's none on the surface of the soil or trunk, only in the bottom. After researching and trying to find a cause/solution I found other threads on this forum but none seemed to fit my problem. I noticed people always asking for pics and lots of info so I've taken a range of pics including the roots. I had never taken it out of the pot so it was a very quick slip it out, photo, back in. Now that it's back in I think it might need more soil as it's sitting much lower despite all the soil being replaced. Also I think the pebbles take up too much space. When I bought it there were HEAPS of pebbles and I removed most but left some for decoration, now I think they should all be removed but then it doesn't look like there's enough in the pot. There's also no pebbles or drainage area in the bottom, just the soil then a hole.

The Photos
[img]https://i984.photobucket.com/albums/ae325/Jezzie09/My%20Bonsai/P1040302.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i984.photobucket.com/albums/ae325/Jezzie09/My%20Bonsai/P1040303.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i984.photobucket.com/albums/ae325/Jezzie09/My%20Bonsai/P1040312.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i984.photobucket.com/albums/ae325/Jezzie09/My%20Bonsai/P1040306.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i984.photobucket.com/albums/ae325/Jezzie09/My%20Bonsai/P1040310.jpg[/img]

The Question
1. What caused the mould?
2. How do I get rid of the mould?
3. Should I be repotting it?
4. If yes to repotting, how do I go about this? I have never repotted anything before.

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Gnome
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Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Jezzie,

Thanks for providing the pictures and the information, it's hard to make any meaningful suggestions without basic information.

I think your problem stems from the quality of the soil and the saucer you seem to be using as a drip tray. If water drains from the pot and collects at the bottom of the saucer the soil may not be draining properly and promoting the mold. I must admit that the timing is odd in that you had not watered it recently.

Read [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3422]this[/url] thread for basic information on bonsai soils and re-potting. Make sure to follow the links for more information.

Bonsai soil can also be purchased if you would rather not get so involved. And just so you know the topdressing is not required. It also looks like a slightly larger pot may be in order.

Any specific questions, don't hesitate.

Norm

Jezzie
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:42 am

Thank you very much for the advice. The saucer was a temp thing that kind of never got replaced. A trip to the nursery sounds in order. To remove the mould would I literally just break away the effected soil and trim the roots if they have any on them prior to repotting?

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bonsaiboy
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Posts: 892
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:54 am
Location: Earth

A certain rot effecting only genseng ficuses I find occurs after its been under watered for a period of time. You've probably read about it here. This doesn't seem like that disease, but keep us posted on how the roots look.
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