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Another Bonsai Newb Needs Some Help

So, I'm just getting into bonsai. I dabbled with the bookstore kit before doing any real research, but now that I have done some, I'm realizing that the kit will not provide me with what I want. So now I'm starting again, and doing it right.

I plan on starting with a willow leaf ficus. I plan on growing it on my window sill, where it'll sit in a corner and gets light from the south and west, and I keep the window open to let a breeze through. (the pot with soil is just a placeholder)

I'm curious if this is the normal 'indoor' conditions that people are using, or if that refers to totally in doors with little to no natural light. Would my ficus have success here, even if I never move it outside? Do I need a humidity tray for it?

Also, what size plant should I look for? Ideally I'd like to find a willow leaf ficus that won't grow more than a foot tall.

Oh and just for completeness, I live in San Diego, California.

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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

What size your tree gets depends on how you maintain it. They are trees. If you give it enough soil and leave it alone, it will become a tree. I have a ficus in a large pot that is 6' tall and stays indoors in front of a window much of the year. If it were in the ground (in a suitable location), it would be a lot bigger by now. If you want it to stay small, you keep the tree AND roots pruned and keep it in a small pot. That's what bonsai is about, keeping a regular tree, that has the potential to become huge, miniaturized.

It looks like a nice location for it. It should do well there. Most trees and plants benefit from a vacation in the outdoors when the weather is nice. But they have to be hardened off to it. When I bring my ficus out, I keep it in a pretty shady location or it sunburns. If you had to leave it indoors all the time, it would probably survive.

PS and yes it will benefit from a humidity tray and reular misting.

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