My 2 Ficus (Fici?) (Ficuses)

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My 2 Ficus (Fici?) (Ficuses)

Post  JimLewis on Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:32 pm

As most of you know, I don't DO -- or even like, much -- "indoor bonsai." Maybe I would if I still lived in St. Ptersburg, FL as I did in the 60s, but . . .

Anyway, I do have 2 of them. This one, and another acquired at the same time -- the 2004 BSF convention in Cape Canaveral. This was a workshop tree with Jim Vanlandingham (apologies if I've butchered the spelling, but I don't think Jim is still with the IBC).

I defoliated earlier this summer. Here is the result. Suggestions welcomed, keeping in mind that these trees are ON THEIR OWN in the winter. I usually bring them in too late, and they spend the winter in a sun room, leafless and watered when I remember. Developing something as delicate as aerial roots is probably out of the question.



Here's the other one, much less worthy.


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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: My 2 Ficus (Fici?) (Ficuses)

Post  redvw5 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:53 pm

I did not realize they could be left leafless through the winter. What temperature does the sun room stay at? I put my ficus in the basement and set up flourescent lights. It survives but does not thrive much in winter.

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Re: My 2 Ficus (Fici?) (Ficuses)

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:01 pm

Up until this year, all of my Ficus plants have come to work for the winter. I was siuated in an area where the flourescent light over my cubicle stayed on 24x7. They stayed at of around 70 degrees all winter long and usually kept their leaves.

I think both trees have great trunks and lots of potential. But then again, I'm the one growing ugly trees and bad soil! Laughing (Sorry, newby humor.)

Do you defoliate, or do the trees do so because of winter conditions?

Jay


Last edited by Jay Gaydosh on Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:34 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: My 2 Ficus (Fici?) (Ficuses)

Post  Ed Trout on Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:24 pm

Hi Jim,

Nice to see you still have at least a couple of tropicals !! Those are both nice subjects for shohin. Jim V has some really great ones in his collection at Jim Smith's nursery. They usually require a fairly radical "chop", but recover incredibly fast here in South Florida. Not sure about that technique in your neck of the woods ? I routinely bring my shohin nerifolias into the house to enjoy. I put them on a humidity tray in a sunny spot where I also keep my orchids. They do great ! Of course they are happier outside, but then so am I !!! I see varying colors on the one tree, which means it's growing & happy.

Ed Trout

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Re: My 2 Ficus (Fici?) (Ficuses)

Post  JimLewis on Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:44 pm

Thanks, Ed. I forgot to mention that both of these trees are just a tad over 6 inches from the pot rim.

Jay and redvw (do you really have a red VW?). I defoliate once every other summer. Like with other trees, it helps with ramification and (incidentally) with leaf size. (I then counteract that by feeding with a balanced fertilizer and growing larger leaves). I probably could do it every summer, but I don't do it in years when I repot -- usually in July.

The trees lose their leaves in the winter through my carelessness. I almost always leave the trees out too long in the fall and the cold (40 degrees F) damages the leaves so that they fall off in a day or two. Then, they're kept in a tray on the floor behind a sliding glass basement door on the south side of my house so it is sunny there most of the day. Temps are probably about 60-65 in the late afternoon; 55 at night. The trees aren't where I can see them easily, and out of sight, out of mind. Luckily, leafless trees need very little water and Ficus don't mind having dry feet, anyway.

They go back outside as soon as temps stay reliably above 40 degrees. They came in and out this last odd spring we had. Then the leaves reappear.

This isn't the recommended management regime for Ficus. No

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: My 2 Ficus (Fici?) (Ficuses)

Post  mike Bat on Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:11 am

hey Jim love the ficus you have ... truth is i wouldent have found the love for bonsai if it werent for a ficus ... i know its lame to say but there was a ficus at a local stines( basic mall sai ) ... anywhy the ladie at stines had the tree half dead under a shelf where the top recived no sub light ... i took the ficus home put her in the window and sure thing she sprung back to life ... i cut away the dead and she re grew the entire apex new .. after 2 years of care now she has hit a bump in the road ,,, see i moved her out doors since then she just hasnt grew at all .. now days ive moved her in doors again ,, just waiting for some new groth ... anyway long story short this stupid mall sai is what pushed me into bonsai ... so i love the ficus for that ,,, i also really like bonsai there are worst hobbies a person could have ...

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Re: My 2 Ficus (Fici?) (Ficuses)

Post  kenduncan on Sat Aug 22, 2009 1:46 pm

Jim, I like your two ficus trees, if someone could only have one tropical tree in there collection I think that a narrow leaf ficus could not be a better choice. I think that everyone should have at least one the are very easy to care for and make great little Bonsai.
Ken

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Re: My 2 Ficus (Fici?) (Ficuses)

Post  Jerry Meislik on Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:37 pm

Jim,
I like your Ficus very well. Imagine what you could do if you really babied them!
Jerry
www.bonsaihunk.us

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Re: My 2 Ficus (Fici?) (Ficuses)

Post  JimLewis on Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:38 am

Aww come on, Jerry. The trees would die of shock! Cool

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: My 2 Ficus (Fici?) (Ficuses)

Post  Budi Sulistyo on Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:12 am

Hi Jim,

What you have done with the tropical babies is quite good. Neriifolia loves the dry and a bit high land condition in the tropics. I am sure it is one of the ficusses that tolerates the semi tropical condition.

Budi

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Re: My 2 Ficus (Fici?) (Ficuses)

Post  JimLewis on Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:13 pm

Thanks, Budi. These certainly do get dry in the winter. Very Happy

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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