Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

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Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Neli on Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:16 am

Not too important if I succeed, but I am trying to learn some how...
So far my efforts are for sure laughing matter but had to start some how...
I chopped it and wired it with some wire I had left from building my new pond...but the wire finished so it is only half wired...
I chopped the tall trunk around 30 cm high and the shorter one 20cm.
Trimmed it also though honestly did not know what I was doing.
Have I chopped it too high? Will it grow the trunk taller later or I need to shorten it some more?
Are the brunches too close together?
What should I do now?
And what mistakes did I make?

Neli
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Neli on Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:32 am

This is what I started with. Did not find any green figs at the nursery...so variegated will just have to do.

Oct 13, 2012 by MISS MUZUNGU, on Flickr
I chopped one brunch longer and one shorter...the tall trunk is 30 cm. will it grow taller later? Should I make it shorter?

Oct 13, 2012 by MISS MUZUNGU, on Flickr
This is left view

Oct 13, 2012 by MISS MUZUNGU, on Flickr
Back

Oct 13, 2012 by MISS MUZUNGU, on Flickr
And right view

Oct 13, 2012 by MISS MUZUNGU, on Flickr

Neli
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Neli on Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:34 am

What should I do now?

Neli
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Guest on Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:45 am

Hi Neli

It looks OK...not bad at all.
But can you send a bigger photo of the front? no need to show the surfaceroots again, just cower them Smile

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Neli on Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:03 am

Thank U Yvonne,
I was still adjusting the angle of the tree and pushing with my fingers to stabilize it...I have covered it after taking the picture.
I can not send a bigger picture at the moment, the program I use to upload them from the iPad reduces the pictures...and I don't know how to solve this problem.
My laptop is coming from repares and I will post bigger pictures soon. My dog cracked the screen.

Neli
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Guest on Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:58 am

Hi Neli

I know all about problems with laptops/pc.....all year has mine been bugging me. Not many days ago, did the 10 year old pc finaly die, and a new one is now making my life much easier Very Happy

Look forward to bigger photos from you later.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Neli on Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:00 pm

Yvonne Graubaek wrote:Hi Neli

I know all about problems with laptops/pc.....all year has mine been bugging me. Not many days ago, did the 10 year old pc finaly die, and a new one is now making my life much easier Very Happy

Look forward to bigger photos from you later.

Kind regards Yvonne
Thanks Yvonne,
My darling it is a brand new laptop...the dog pulled the cord and cracked the screen...after dropping it.
It chewed my brand new phone too...it is a disaster...it is a puppy!

Neli
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  EpicusMaximus on Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:20 am

Hi Neli,

I am also new to bonsai, and think using trees from around your geographical area is a great thing.

You should try portulacaria afra, I am sure it would be great in your zone and it's from south Africa. What about something like baobab?

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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Neli on Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:42 am

EpicusMaximus wrote:Hi Neli,

I am also new to bonsai, and think using trees from around your geographical area is a great thing.

You should try portulacaria afra, I am sure it would be great in your zone and it's from south Africa. What about something like baobab?
We have plenty baobab here....need to go in the bush to dig out some.
Thanks!
That is a great idea...I can try ebony , mukwa...too. That is all the names I know of local trees...he he he!

Neli
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  EpicusMaximus on Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:10 am

Exactly! That is awesome. Plus I can only imagine how fast something like portulacaria would grow in your climate.

I am jealous. I am getting my outdoor trees ready for winter! -30 to -40 degrees celsius!

Please post pics of local trees you might dig up!

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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Neli on Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:59 pm

I have just finished my second Koi pond....put water in it and it is leaking! I am in a panic!
Need to sort that as soon as possible...I went to Japan to buy my koi and they are in a QT since may....need to rush it.
The moment I am done, I will go in the bush to look for local trees and will post lots of pictures.
Baobab is normally found in southern province....and that is good 500 km from here...but I can go to a mountain range around 30 km from here to look for trees in the rocky areas.
I will post lots of pictures for you then!

Neli
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Eastern Bonsai on Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:45 am


http://www.ebay.com/itm/321009361252?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Eastern Bonsai
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Neli on Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:46 am

Thanks! It looks good! I can see some roots are above ground...has the soil been gradually removed to expose the roots like that, or it is another method...
I found one picture on the Internet of a group of variegated fB....all of them formal upright...it looked good also...
So maybe later I will combine the two benjamina and look for some smaller ones to add on.
At list they are a good material for me to learn on....

Neli
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  my nellie on Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:40 am

Hello Neli!
It’s good to try your hands on and this is some good first steps you have taken. It’s also good to ask because you know it is said that the only stupid question is the one not asked.
Neli wrote: … … I chopped one brunch longer and one shorter...the tall trunk is 30 cm. will it grow taller later? Should I make it shorter?… …
If this ficus was mine I would have cut shorter and increased the difference of height between the two trunks (“mother & daughter” style) and then I would have let it grow free, no wiring. You need to choose a branch for your new apex, too.
By the way your local acacias are a great tree for bonsai. You should give this a try.
Neli wrote:... ...has the soil been gradually removed to expose the roots like that... ...

my nellie
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Neli on Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:35 pm

Thanks for the advise!i will cut it shorter...I was a bit scared since I pruned ones a tree in a pot and it died...let it recover from the transplant a bit and I will chop it as U said...
I will remove the wires also...
I was just practicing wiring he he he! And trying to see what will
Happen.

Neli
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Neli on Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:36 pm

I brought one acacia seed from Malaysia...it has been growing in a pot for twelve years now...but don't want to kill it ...it is very special...need to plant it in the ground maybe.

Neli
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Cockroach on Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:08 am

Hi neli,

Where in Zambia are you? Not seen many Zambians on forums.

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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Neli on Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:55 am

I am in Lusaka Zambia.
I am a keen gardener and Koi keeper.
Some pictures for You from my garden.

Neli
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Neli on Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:18 am




Some pictures for U from home.

Neli
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Neli on Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:24 am






Neli
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Cockroach on Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:28 am

Really, I used to live in Lusaka for almost 4 years before moving to Taiwan. I helped the Lostrums open the Rhapsody's in Arcades Shopping Centre. My parents still live in Zambia but moved up to Ndola.

Your garden looks amazing and I didn't know people put that much effort into gardens in Lusaka.

Cockroach
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Neli on Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:53 am

Rula and Nick are dear friends..
You probably know me.
Do U know the Findlays? Chrismar hotel? That is my family.
Many people here have very nice gardens.
I imported most of the plants from SA.
It is a new garden...newly planted.

Neli
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Cockroach on Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:24 am

What a small world. I do know your family. Are plants hard to come by in Zambia? Is that why you imported them? Zambia has great weather for gardening.

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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Neli on Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:47 am

There are plenty of nurseries, but they dont have everything I want...
The Findlays are a well known family in Zambia...I new U will know Us.
Every thing grows here...very well.

Neli
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

Post  Neli on Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:15 pm

I really searched for this topic. This is my first bonsai and topic ever posted on a forum. Such lovely memories. I read it now and I can not help it but smile. I was asking such silly questions.
Meanwhile I have clocked my first year in bonsai. After reading 14 hours a day every day, and going to Japan for an apprenticeship, I can really laugh now at my questions.
But this thread needs an update on the first anniversary. Just for memory sake, and to show how special this fig is to me.
Also I would like to thank everyone for the kind words, setting me on the right truck, and making me love bonsai and bonsai people.
So here is the little one. I have done clip and grow, some wiring, and my usual pegs to weight branches while very young. I was scared that Benjamina branches die if no foliage is left after the cut so I was trimming often and always to a leaf.
I did two trunk chops, and wrapped the trunk with some duvet padding which I keep wet in the hope of developing air roots.
It is informal upright style.
before after the first chop

after letting it grow free

My styling pegs. He hehe!

After trimming and wiring it.


Side view

front

They say ficus benjamina leaf does not reduce. Look how much the leaf reduced and I hve never defoliated it and it is in a training pot.



Neli
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Re: Trying to learn on a ficus Benjamina

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