Ficus Benjamina

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Ficus Benjamina

Post  Twisted Trees on Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:59 pm

This is a Ficus that I've had for about 17 years now. Last spring I defoliated it so I could wire it. I put this outdoors for the summer after the last threat of frost and bring it back indoors before any frost threat. I live in an area where winter often goes below 0 F. I do nothing in the winter except give it enough water to keep it alive and place it in front of a western bay window.



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Re: Ficus Benjamina

Post  coh on Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:07 pm

Nice looking tree. Does it basically spend the winter in a dormant/defoliated state? Do you have any photos of the tree from years ago? I'm wondering how much growth/development you've been able to accomplish in that time, given our short (and not overly tropical) growing season.

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Re: Ficus Benjamina

Post  Twisted Trees on Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:21 pm

This is the oldest photo from '09:


It started out as a regular cheap Ficus from a nursery. Probably no bigger around than a fat thumb. About 8 years ago I stared at one time during the winter and cut the top off an moved a branch up to regrow the crown. I do not defoliate during the winter and found out that with proper watering most of the leaves stay on. The problem is not to burn them when moved back outside in the spring.

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Re: Ficus Benjamina

Post  Twisted Trees on Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:22 pm

By the way, your avatar, is that Letchworth Park?

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Re: Ficus Benjamina

Post  coh on Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:33 pm

Yep, it's Letchworth.

So what was the watering "trick"? I'm having a hard time keeping some of my tropicals (including a tiger bark ficus) healthy during the winter. I've got them under a metal halide light so I don't think lack of light is a problem. Temps range from low 60s at night to mid/upper 70s by day. Watering, I'm trying to figure that one out!

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Re: Ficus Benjamina

Post  Twisted Trees on Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:38 pm

I keep my house @ 64F. I do not try and get any of my tropicals (bouganvillia, ficus, boxwood and crepe myrtle) to grow or thrive, just stay alive. About the time the soil begins to dry out I put it in the shower for a good soaking. That's all. No fertilizer til spring. The west window give it good light (not great). Again I'm not concerned about it growing and if it does I usually cut it back or off since it tends to be strageley (sp?).

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Re: Ficus Benjamina

Post  JimLewis on Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:00 pm

I do nothing in the winter except give it enough water to keep it alive and place it in front of a western bay window.

EXACTLY what I do with my 2 willow-leaf figs. They usually drop a lot (but not all) of leaves.

I like the older picture where the top of the tree isn't so tent-like, but it's a quite nice tree.

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Re: Ficus Benjamina

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:33 pm

Good tree,

and I wish you had some secret to getting these trees to slow down, other than winter - chuckle.
Thanks for showing.
Khaimraj

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Re: Ficus Benjamina

Post  Jerry Meislik on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:24 pm

Love your tree.
Great work.
Jerry

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Re: Ficus Benjamina

Post  Twisted Trees on Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:46 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Good tree,

and I wish you had some secret to getting these trees to slow down, other than winter - chuckle.
Thanks for showing.
Khaimraj
Daily pinching but that's part of what I love about bonsai, going out in the morning with my cup of coffee as the day starts and inspecting my trees.

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Re: Ficus Benjamina

Post  aris30 on Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:50 am

This is so lovely tree.. I am new to Bonsai world.. you have used term pinching.. can u please help me understand how to pinch.. the technique and reason behind pinching.. I really want to learn..

Thanks

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Re: Ficus Benjamina

Post  Cockroach on Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:00 am

I am not a big fan of F. Benjamina but your tree is a beautiful example of how patience and the correct training can result in a lovely tree.

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Re: Ficus Benjamina

Post  Guest on Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:46 am

I like your tree...How tall is it?

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Ficus Benjamina

Post  Tom Simonyi on Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:24 pm

Very nicely done.... Thanks for sharing.

Best regards,
Tom

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Re: Ficus Benjamina

Post  Twisted Trees on Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:25 pm

aris30 wrote:This is so lovely tree.. I am new to Bonsai world.. you have used term pinching.. can u please help me understand how to pinch.. the technique and reason behind pinching.. I really want to learn..

Thanks
It's just a way of trimming the new growth in order to maintain shape or direct the development of the tree.

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Re: Ficus Benjamina

Post  Twisted Trees on Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:26 pm

Yvonne Graubaek wrote:I like your tree...How tall is it?

Kind regards Yvonne
It's about 14"-16" tall.

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Re: Ficus Benjamina

Post  Twisted Trees on Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:29 pm

Cockroach wrote:I am not a big fan of F. Benjamina but your tree is a beautiful example of how patience and the correct training can result in a lovely tree.
Thank you. Benjamina does seem to be the red-headed stepchild of the bonsai world. It doesn't show up well in the photo but there are some very impressive roots on this tree and it's one of the trees I've been training the longest which makes it special to me.

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Re: Ficus Benjamina

Post  Twisted Trees on Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:34 pm

I used Photoshop to merge the before and after pics. i thought it was kinda cool to see the structure merged with the foliage.


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Re: Ficus Benjamina

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