Khaled
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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:33 pm
Location: England

Ficus Microcarpa Ginseng

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I am a newbie to bonsai trees. My wife got me this Ginseng Ficus for my birthday about eight months ago. The shape of the tree was broom style in the beginning, and it was planted in a small pot. Since the beginning of summer, the foliage has been really growing fast but the leaves were kinda large considering the size of the tree. So, I decided to trim a few branches and about 70% of these leaves. Moreover, I have wired the branches in an informal upright fashion (i don't like the broom style because it's too common for Ginseng Ficus). The bonsai is about 9 inches tall. I have also re-potted the tree to a larger pot with Akadama soil, Kokedama soil, some Biogold fertilizer and some used tea leaves (tea leaves can be good organic fertilizers). I water the tree when the top soil starts to get dry (so more frequent watering in the summer time). Since I am new to bonsai trees, I am not sure if I am doing things right. Any suggestion will be appreciated.

imafan26
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Re: Ficus Microcarpa Ginseng

Your plant looks pretty healthy. What was the reason for the larger pot? Most bonsai when they are top worked also get some root pruning to keep them in the pot and only potted up when the tree needs to be, but the roots are still kept confined to keep the plants relatively stunted and the pots are usually still going to be shallow. The deeper pot is allowing the roots to grow more and the leaves are probably getting bigger because of that.

You are watering the plant correctly so it is very happy.

For an informal upright you still need a leader. Remember to take the wires off before they cut into the tree. I would have used some thinner wires on the branches so they could be bent and shaped more. Here's a tip. if you want to pull a branch down slowly use weights. Fishing weights, even heavy bolts make good weights.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Khaled
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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:33 pm
Location: England

Re: Ficus Microcarpa Ginseng

Thanks for the advice. Actually the original pot was very small and I wanted the branches to get thicker with the help of new mixed soils and fertilizers. The new pot is not too large, so I hope the roots won't grow too much and the young branches won't get thinner. To ensure this, I have trimmed 50% of the roots while re-potting it, and planning to do the same next year as well. Using weights to bend the branches is a good idea, I'll try that. I have heard trimming the large leaves after every few months helps the leaves to grow smaller over time. Is this true?

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Gnome
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Re: Ficus Microcarpa Ginseng

Khaled,
I have heard trimming the large leaves after every few months helps the leaves to grow smaller over time. Is this true?
Yes it is true, sort of. Removing the leaves of a bonsai, or defoliation, will cause a new crop of smaller, fresher leaves to emerge, giving a temporary reduction in leaf size, but eventually the new leaves will enlarge and that temporary gain will be lost.

The real value of defoliation is in that it helps to promote a larger number of growing points. This is known as ramification. Think of it like this; if a tree has more growing points the energy available to any one is less than it would be with fewer. In other words more leaves that are smaller rather than fewer, larger ones.

Be cautious though, you must know your victim, err subject, well and it must be in good condition or you may cause more harm than good.

Norm

tomc
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Re: Ficus Microcarpa Ginseng

We are talking figs here, a tree of the tropics. Why is it indoors in June-going onto July? In England? September to May will likely be more than enough time under cover, even if the fig hates it.
Think like a tree
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