artistgayle
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Question about Cuttings...

I just got a Ficus Benjamina (Weeping Fig) it's a bit to large to be a Bonsai but I would like to take a cutting off it for a bonsai I'm pretty new to all this and I'm not to sure how to go about it, I've got some Rooting Hormonal Powder but I've had no success with it so far...any ideas? Also which part of the tree would I cut?

kdodds
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Generally, you cut soft wood (new growth) in the spring and summer and hard wood (old growth) in the fall and winter. So, you'd want to take new growth cuttings. IME, F. benjamina and its various varieties don't "take well" to cuttings. I've tried a few times with no luck. I've also used rooting hormone. You might try various methods (I have not), including heating the bottom of the growing pot, making it into a "green house" by wrapping it in plastic, or just placing the cutting in some water instead of using soil. A better option for you, though, might be to use the "air layering" method, which would potentially give you pretty advanced little tree in a relatively short period of time.

artistgayle
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Wow I never thought of Air layering XD I mean I've heard it a number of times but never thought to look it up Thanx for the advice

I'm actually trying it in a number of different ways I've got 2 cuttings right now one I have in just water and another I put hormonal solution on it and stuck it in soil I think I'm gonna try Air Layering as well,

I'll let you guys know how it turns out who knows maybe I can one day help someone else like me XD

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Gnome
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artistgayle,

I've had some success with F. benjamina (Mini Lucie). What has worked for me is to go the water route, I use dark glass to exclude sunlight. Then, later, as the adventitious begin to emerge (little white buds) I pot the cuttings and keep them under glass, or enclosed in a plastic bag, until rooted. I've had about 50% success this way. This is the only variety of Ficus I have so I can't speak to the relative effectiveness of this method.

If the plant is big enough then an air layer is certainly an option. I would expect Ficus to layer pretty easily.

Norm

artistgayle
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Gnome,

Thanx alot for the great advice! Dark glass you mean like a dark colored vase or soda bottle?

And my F Benjamina is about 5 feet tall I'd think I'm gonna try a bunch of different ways and the air layering does seem to be an option since my plant is so big and all :)

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bonsaiboy
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I think that if there is foliage low enough on the trunk you will be able to cut it down that far, and get it to branch even lower. Then, once it has branched down to the hight you want it, you can cut off any extra trunk. This will allow you to preserve the probably very thick trunk for the bonsai, whereas if you were to bonsai a cutting, it would not produce a thick trunk (anytime soon).
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artistgayle
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Thanx for the Advice BonsaiBoy! It's something to consider..I don't really want to bonsai my tree as I kinda like the thing as a large tree. However I do get where you coming from with the thick trunk an all, I think maybe if I got another F Benjamina I would try that method but right now I just want to try cuttings even tho it might take a long time to get a thick trunk.

Also just out of Curiosity are you the Bonsaiboy from the website that sells the Bonsai Tree's Tools and Pots and things? or just someone that came up with that name separately?

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artistgayle,
Thanx alot for the great advice! Dark glass you mean like a dark colored vase or soda bottle?
I have a small cobalt blue bottle that I have used for this purpose. I'm not at all sure of the necessity of this but my reasoning is that no light reaches plants rooting in soil so I drew the logical conclusion that excluding light would be preferable. Since you mentioned trying different methods this might make an interesting experiment.

Norm

artistgayle
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Yeah I'll try to get a hold of some dark glass tomorrow :) I've heard tho that the reason you use dark glass is because clear glass will promote algae to grow and I don't think that would be good fro the root system

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bonsaiboy
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Also just out of Curiosity are you the Bonsaiboy from the website that sells the Bonsai Tree's Tools and Pots and things? or just someone that came up with that name separately
No, I am not that same bonsaiboy. Its just a coincidence that the names are the same.

However I do get where you coming from with the thick trunk an all, I think maybe if I got another F Benjamina I would try that method but right now I just want to try cuttings even tho it might take a long time to get a thick trunk.
What you could do is get a cutting from the ficus, and once you have it rooted and all, you could then proceed with cutting the tree down.
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