Green Mantis
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:?: If you want to make a ficus into a tree, is the best way to find one with just a single stem? Or can you seperate stems off the plant that has lots of stems? I'd like to make one into a tree type. Has anyone done this before???? Would love to hear the results. Thanks.

Faayth
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You can braid the stems together; as it ages, just pick off the leaves growing from the braid.

Green Mantis
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Sounds like a good idea, if that's what you wanted, but I just want a single stem fig, or fiscus to let grow as a tree. I have the one with extra stems, but wanted to know about single stem ones. If you need to buy a single stemned one at the start?

Faayth
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I imagine you would just take a cutting and then make sure to keep it trimmed back to just one stem.

Green Mantis
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How do you take cuttings off a fiscus? I have no idea how to do that? Thanks in advance. :)

Faayth
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You can prune a ficus like any other tree you want to have one central stem. You locate the central, strongest stem, and cut everything else back ... best to do with a very young ficus. To take cuttings, you cut off young new growth branches and put them in rooting hormone per the instructions on that container, and root them then plant them.

Ficus trees 'leak' when you cut them .. avoid the juice, it is like liquid rubber. It will seal off the cut. Don't cut too much on any one day ... it leaks. too much leaking will kill the tree.

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froggy
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I asked this same question in the bonsai forum a while ago :) just phrased a little differently...

So it turns out that, depending on the size of the ficus you bought, it will usually be a grouping of cuttings.
The larger the plant(s) the more time they have spent growing together and the more intertwined their roots will have become. Some of them may or may not already be fused....

The advice i got was, if you can wiggle them, they aren't fused yet...

I took air layers off my plant, to make sure something survives in case i damage the roots too much. (seeing how well they are rooting, i am getting less worried about that possibility though...)

Once i take off the last air layer, I will be separating the single stems into individual plants. If the roots have started fusing, a clean cut will probably not be too bad...

Once you have them separated, you can fuse stems together to get a thicker base...

There's a lot of info on ficus in the bonsai forum here :D
;)

Green Mantis
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Froggy, Thanks very much. I wouldn't have thought to look on the bonsai site. :roll: But I think I will just look for one that just has one stem, hopefully. I really like them. :)

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froggy
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Lol, that would avoid a lot of guessing, work and headaches :)
Why don't I ever think of he simple way to do things... :p
;)

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