shncjj
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New to bonsai ...pls help me

Hello!

I got a bonsai last week but it was like a plunge I took without really knowing the depth !!!!! I wanted one and got one but had no idea about the care and effort that goes behind this.

Now from what I read, I think its a ficus. U can view the pic in the link below and correct me if I am wrong.

https://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/shncjj/my_photos

I got confused reading the watering method. Are we supposed to immerse the entire pot in water for 45 mts and then again water it with the watering can and repeat the same after 20 mts..?? Or one of the method is fine..? The plant wont get decayed if I immerse the pot for so long ? Is it ok if I just water it with a can? :?

I got my bonsai from Walmart and somewhere on the net I read that it is a bad start...is it so ???? It has glued stones on top....should I remove them??

Can I manage without disturbing the glued stones and soil..? I am scared as I don't know how to do it . :?

Should I keep it in sunlight or is this variety purely for indoor? I keep my other plants in the balcony atleast 2-3 days a week.

Last but not the least, am I supposed to cut the leaves when they outgrow....or grow in haphazard manner...? Now the new leaves are coming from almost all the stems.

I would really appreciate if you could help me with this. I want to keep this in good condition as long as I can :!:

Thanks!
shncjj

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Shnjj,

I very rarely immerse any of my trees, the exception is my Jades which get very dry over the winter and therefore are difficult to re-wet. At any rate 45 minutes is way too long in my opinion. I water my trees liberally from above wait 5 miutes or so and repeat. This helps to thoroughly wet the soil.

Ficus will tolerate low light levels but thrive in full sun and warmth. Some Ficus will drop their leaves if moved suddenly though, this is not usually fatal. With nights getting cooler, where are you located?, it may not be appropriate to move it outside at this time.

Remove the rocks they impede watering and don,t allow you to accurately judge the level of water in your soil. Don't keep the plant too wet, allow it to approach dryness before watering thououghly. Don't water on any kind of schedule but when the plant needs it.

If the tree is healthy the source is of little consequence although you may have overpaid. Don't worry about pruning for a while concentrate of learning how to keep the treee alive. Hope this helps.

Norm

shncjj
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hi Gnome,

Thanks for your thoughts ! I am at Indianapolis...here the summer is still on....I was thinking of keeping the tree during the day and bring it back to the room at night....currently, I have kept it facing a window which is on the south side.

Well, could u pls tell me how to remove those stones...? Should I change the soil too....? Right now it is in a plastic pot ....Should I change it ..?

Thanks!
Shncjj

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Shncjj,

I would think twice about moving Ficus on a daily basis, it may be OK but it may resent it as well. These mass produced trees are often potted in less than ideal soil, so repotting is something to consider, but unless you know a little about bonsai soils repotting may be counterproductive. Read the recent thread entitled, "soil has made the difference". As for the rocks just pry them off with whatever you have on hand, dull knife, fork, etc. This will allow you to better evaluate the soil. A plastic pot is not neccessarily a problem.

Norm

shncjj
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Thanks Norm ! Let me do some reading on bonsai soil and repotting...and I am sure I will come back with more questions..... :)

Zombiefreak
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Akadma, red ball, River sand a few questions???

was trying to post ane w topic posted in here sorry woopz

Petra26
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Location: Chicago, IL

ha cool! i bought the same plant from wal-mart except it was in a different fancier pot, glazed ceramic pot to be exact. i pried the glued-down stones off with a flathead screwdriver. after i had done so, i pulled the bonsai up and it was actually inside a smaller plastic pot. anyways, what you need to do is follow gnome's watering technique. water it, then wait a few mins and water it again. i like to water it first and then water my other plants and come back to it. make sure there is good drainage and water until the water runs out through the bottom. it is a good idea to keep the soil moist and check on it often. usually will require watering every 1-3 days depending on the conditions and growth rate. if the ficus doesn't use up most of the water in about 5-7 days, you might want to repot it in a better draining soil to prevent rotting roots. also, don't let it sit in water for a long time, your goal in watering is to make the soil moist, not to fill the pot with water.

what you have is a ficus retusa. here's a picture of one i found online, you can compare it to yours.

[url]https://www.bonsai-collectables.com/Ficus%20retusa.jpg[/url]

you should try to keep your bonsai in a place where you will not move it much and receives a lot of sunlight. it will survive in shadier places but it will make the branches look barren and leaf growth spread apart. the bonsai in general will not have a bushy look. they love sun and they love moisture. if you have it in high humidity which they normally thrive, it will cause it to flourish and shoot out lots of aerial roots. get a humidifying tray to put under it to help increase humidity. make sure the drainage hole is not sitting in the water or the soil will suck up the water and cause root rot. misting helps also, but not when it is in direct sun since the water beads will cause burning of the leaves.

it does not like constant temperature change so keep it away from vents and drafty areas. in the winter i would suggest keeping a compact fluorescent light a few inches over it for 16hrs a day as it has fairly high light requirements. if not, it will survive but not look as lush.

as for pruning, prune as you desire to keep the shape you desire. make cuts slightly above a node since the branch will die back slightly and you don't want it to take the leaf below with it. try taking 2 or 4 leaves off the tips of the branches at a time for branches with 8-10 leaves.

shncjj
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hey..thanks a lot! Yes mine is Ficus retusa !

Well, I still have not removed the glued stones form the pot......basically I am scared....so just waiting and making the watering correct till I venture to do something big....

Well, Since you have already moved yours from the store bought pot, Could you pls share with me the type of soil u used for ur bonsai..and also the pot u used ? It would be of great help to me. If u have a picture pls post it for me.....I hope I am not bothering u too much

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