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Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:25 am
Location: London

Advice on watering my Ficus Retusa please?

Hi, I'm new to this and hoping someone can help me and save the life of my bonsai tree! I've read that you are supposed to water them by submerging the pot in water until the bubbles stop.

However, the pot is too big to submerge in water, so I was hoping someone could give me some advice about how I should go about watering it, and how often? Any help would be much appreciated!

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Senior Member
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:14 pm
Location: west seneca ny

i have a rather large ficus that i water in the sink. i water it with the sink sprayer but a watering can can be used.i let the water run over the whole thing for a minute or so which drenches it pretty good. you want to see water draining from the bottom, that lets you know its watered well
a watering schedule has alot of variables to consider... soil make up, pot depth, air humidity, sun exposer tree is in a very fast draining soil, in a 4 inch deep pot, and a rather dry enviroment so i mist it daily ,but only water once a week
what kind of soil is it planted in? could you post some pics ? its easier to help when we have an idea what you are dealing with and we all like to see others trees :)
you have to post pics from an outside site and copy them to the page here. i can't find a copy of the link that shows you in detail how to do it tho. best of luck

Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:25 am
Location: London

Thanks a lot for the advice, I will put some pics up later

Green Thumb
Posts: 469
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 1:15 pm
Location: NJ

Different soil/mixes react different way to watering. If the soil is too broken down, compacted, water will run through the air pockets without really getting to the roots. In such case you may have to repeat the process a few times. I find that with compacted soil, it helps to mist the surface of the soil before the watering can so it helps the soil to obsorb water evenly. Watering is done as needed, not on a fixed schedule. Plants with more leaves will consume more water in a warmer day vs. something with less leaves or during colder days.

It helps to stick a chopstick in the soil to find out how much of the soil is still wet before watering. The Retusa likes the soil to go dry 2/3 of the way from the top before watering. This takes about 3 to 5 days here with my soil and environment. Sometimes I let it dry out even more but the important thing is to water it plentifully to give it a good soaking. I can tell from the weight of the pot how much water the soil has by now.
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

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