Hi, new and a question.

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Hi, new and a question.

Post  RicardoK on Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:30 pm

Hi everybody. This is the first non-bit torrent website I've signed up for in ages :-) I bought a bonsai the other day (at least they said it was a bonsai) - a "Ficus Microcarpa, I believe. It's very pretty and new leaves are budding every day but some of the older leaves are developing darkish stains. I removed some rusty wiring this afternoon and watered/sprayed it whilst listening to Chopin - all very Zen but I haven't the first clue what I'm doing. I'd really like my Bonsai to do well and perhaps acquire some more....
Here's a photo:

http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/2148/pict0018z.jpg

Greetings from the Canary Islands.

RicardoK
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Re: Hi, new and a question.

Post  JimLewis on Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:32 pm

I'm no help with Ficus bonsai, but perhaps this site can help a bit: http://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Ficus.html

_________________
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: Hi, new and a question.

Post  waway on Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:53 am

As for my little experience, ficus loves sun (even full sun) but watered frequently and can withstand torture or severe pruning (leaves and roots). Mine is watered 2x a day taking 6-8hrs of sun.

Warren

waway
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Re: Hi, new and a question.

Post  RicardoK on Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:18 pm

waway wrote:As for my little experience, ficus loves sun (even full sun) but watered frequently and can withstand torture or severe pruning (leaves and roots). Mine is watered 2x a day taking 6-8hrs of sun.

Warren

Thanks Warren,

Some say let it almost dry out, others say keep it moist..... Trial and error, I guess - I can give it all the sun it wants and could easily water it twice a day if necessary (tap or distilled water???). Also, I'm going to be away for a few days soon and wonder how best to leave it....

Cheers,

R

RicardoK
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Re: Hi, new and a question.

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:38 pm

RicardoK wrote:[ I can give it all the sun it wants and could easily water it twice a day if necessary (tap or distilled water???). R

All my Ficus stayed out all summer. From where they sat they received 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight, from dawn until around 2 pm. (They started out outside in an area that got no direct sunlight and I moved them into the sun over a week or two.)

As for water, I use either tap water or collected rain water. It is my understanding (which could be wrong) that distilled water has problems with a total lack of anything besides water (no trace elements, no impurities), in addition, there may be problems with ionization of the water. This may have a reverse osmotic effect on the plant and soil mix that could result in the water pulling essential elements from the tree and mix to the water.

I will try and find the information regarding this to make sure I'm not "all wet".

Jay

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Re: Hi, new and a question.

Post  RicardoK on Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:45 pm

Thanks Jay, just don't get too technical on me please. We don't drink the tap water where I live but I take your point re. distilled/mineral water having no nutrients. I've got a better chance of finding gold-dust than collecting rainwater most of the year here Wink

ATB,

R

RicardoK
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Re: Hi, new and a question.

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:49 pm

RicardoK wrote:Thanks Jay, just don't get too technical on me please. We don't drink the tap water where I live but I take your point re. distilled/mineral water having no nutrients. I've got a better chance of finding gold-dust than collecting rainwater most of the year here Wink

ATB,

R

Being too technical has never been a malady of mine and you may find others who swear by using distilled water. I don't, based on what I've learned over the years, but, it wouldn't be the first time I learned wrong and I tend to learn the old fashioned American Way. (The school of hard knocks!)

The other concern with distilled water is it costs more to buy and/or to produce. With all the other activities going on, I wouldn't have the time to build and/or run a still to distill water.

In going back and quickly checking, I have found a slew of site promoting the use of distilled water to water plants, one wich states it may damage "some" plants and a few that state that extended periods of drinking distilled water will kill you. So the jury is still out! (It does work great in an electric iron!)



Jay

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Re: Hi, new and a question.

Post  waway on Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:02 pm

[/quote]

Thanks Warren,

Some say let it almost dry out, others say keep it moist..... Trial and error, I guess - I can give it all the sun it wants and could easily water it twice a day if necessary (tap or distilled water???). Also, I'm going to be away for a few days soon and wonder how best to leave it....

Cheers,

R[/quote]

For me its best to use tap water especially if its from a deep well, which is what I'm using here. As they are from underground it contain minor trace elements that is beneficial to our plants. But if tap water is chlorinated for me would do away with it, or dechlorinate it (in my aquatic pets hobby - we dechlorinate water by placing it in pails or barrels then aerate it with the strongest airpump that we have). Chlorine may have some undesirable effects on the plants and I would definitely do away with it just to be safe. In my situation, one problem we have with our treated water is that it doesn't have consistency with its chlorine concentration and this would affect the acidity of the water. And I believe that unstable ph is not good for the plants (i think some specie can withstand ph swings).

If your ficus is placed in full sun then it will dry out rather fast so frequent watering is needed. If your ficus is used to be placed on a shaded area then I suggest you slowly expose it not abruptly for this will shock your tree.

You've got to love ficuses as most of this specie are very fast growers and very hardy.

Good luck on your ficus.

Warren

waway
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Re: Hi, new and a question.

Post  bhellige47 on Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:46 pm

Since Ficus was my first tree, here is what I know:
They like a good soaking, but do not keep moist throughout. Wait until the soil/medium is dry to about an inch before watering. They can stand drought.

They are not picky when it comes to soil acidity, since you're a beginner as I am, the tap water sounds fine. If you can get the stats of the chlorine swings to make sure they are not in large percentages, you can probably use tap water without worry. Again figs are forgiving and tough suckers. I had a fight with spider mites for three months and the plant regained its vigor a month after they were exterminated.

They can stand very harsh prunings, and bounce back with rapid new growth. They fatten very nicely and are great for shohin.

For more information try here:
http://www.bonsaihunk.us/ficusforum/FicusForum.html

bhellige47
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Re: Hi, new and a question.

Post  RicardoK on Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:24 pm

Thanks bhellige47 - my confidence is growing by the minute Very Happy

RicardoK
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Re: Hi, new and a question.

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