ponty1979
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Large Ficus - Help a novice keep it alive!

Hello all,
I'm very new to bonsai tree's, buying one only last weekend, and would very much appreciate it if someone could identify it for me so I can research some proper care instructions for it, as the leaflet I had with it was no use at all!
It's very large for starters, maybe three feet tall and is one of the most fascinating tree's, and I would very much like to keep it that way (baring in mind it was bought as an indoor plant and I have no garden). Here's a pic anyway, and any advice would be a great help!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/11540103@N06/?saved=1

Do you think its size and thickness of trunk will make it as more durable tree?

Thanks for your time!
Steve

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Steve,

I'm not sure of the species, I'll try to do some research later this evening. You should know that no tree will be at its best inside, especially without supplemental lighting. Do you have any plans to provide such? If not I would strongly consider doing so. Our homes are very dry and a fairly large humidity tray will help with that.

Beside lighting, watering is the biggest concern right now. Over-watering kills many plants. Learn how to water correctly now and you are well ahead of the curve. Read the sticky threads, starting with the one on general tips, at the top of the forum. If your water is chlorinated draw it a day in advance to allow the chlorine to dissipate.

Check out Jerry Meislik's site for information on indoor bonsai.
[url]https://bonsaihunk.8m.com/cultural.html[/url]

Norm

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Steve,

Take a look at these threads and see what you think.

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5860

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5643


Norm

ponty1979
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Hi Norm,
Thanks for your replies... I had a look at the posts and even though there are simularies, it's the leaves that don't match up... I've been scouring the net myself, and I'm starting to think that it might be a ficus of some variey, maybe a Ficus macrophylla (pic here)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/11540103@N06/1146384619/

... A lot of threads talk of Ficus' excreting a white sap, which my tree does too.

If this is the case, I've read that they can be quite forgiving trees for beginners which is encourageng... I'll definately be sorting out the humidifier and light though... Though I migh end up sitting in front of the supplemental lights because British summer we've had I think we all need a bit more sun.

Steve

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Steve,
I'm starting to think that it might be a ficus of some variey, maybe a Ficus macrophylla
I thought I could detect serrations of the leaves on the pictures you provided, in which case it would not be a Ficus. The 'serrations' may simply be an artifact due to my enlarging the picture though.

The milky sap does point to Ficus but they are not the only species that exhibits this characteristic. Poinsettia comes to mind, although I'm not suggesting that you have one here. On my Ficus the new growth is rather pointy and appears almost 'rolled' until it matures a bit.

Norm

bmbeyond
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You have what looks to be a very healthy ficus retusa. They are very forgiving trees. I have a few "Tiger Bark" varieties my self. I love 'em. You have to try to kill 'em and half of the time they will still live. you can of course keep it indoors all year around if you like. I take mine outdoors in the summer to speed up the growth.

Jerry's website is a must read for any one needing info on Ficus bonsai.

Good luck.

ponty1979
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:12 pm
Location: London

Ah cool... I just googled it and it's definitely the one! And I'm happy its a keeper!

Thanks a lot to both of you to posting replies as like I said I'm a week old novice and appreciate the input... I'm sure i'll be back here in the future when I start to expand my collection.
Kind regards
Steve

JoeLewko
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Hello Steve,

I was looking at the pics of your new tree, and the soil it is in looks like conventional potting soil (heavy in peat and organic material). Is this correct? If so, it needs to be put into proper free-draining bonsai soil. Norm mentioned the problems of over-watering, and if your soil retains too much water, over-watering could become an issue. As Norm said, read the stickys at the top of the forum if you haven't alreay.

Joe

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