ginsing ficus

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ginsing ficus

Post  moyogijohn on Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:06 pm

I know not a real bonsai tree but my wife bought one at sams club for me... I am getting black spots on the leaves then they turn yellow .. after that they pull off easy.. what to do to stop this problem ??? thanks in advance john

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Shopping Maul Bonsai

Post  Geoline on Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:37 pm

This has been a recurring topic on the IBC for over 20 years.

Someone gets an interesting Asian style planting at a shopping center and wonder why its dying.

PROBLEMS

  1. These centers don't really employ horticulture experts to manage the plants.
  2. Plants often fall victim to drought and low light issues.
  3. The pretend bonsai have glued surface rocks to keep the contents from spilling out during shipment.

SOLUTION
You are going to need to replant that poor tree in a larger pot with a well draining soil mix and bring it out in the sun light to help it recover and build strength. Feed and water the ficus regularly, but don't over water or under water. Since the ficus will be recovering in a large, non bonsai pot, you can use a well draining organic soil mix with horticulture perlite until you can locate bonsai soil. You can rinse off the unsightly perlite particles when the tree is healthy enough to repot in more aesthetically pleasing bonsai grade soil and bonsai pot. It may take about 2-4 months for the ficus to fully recover before it is strong enough to replant in a smaller bonsai pot.

Good luck and welcome to the bonsai adventure,
Geoline


Last edited by Geoline on Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:49 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : minor grammar edit)

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Re: ginsing ficus

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:51 pm

a friend of mine also rcvd a gingsing ficus from sams club...

it was also unwell and when he brought it over i found that it was rotting from the inside out  Crying or Very sad 
didnt last long after that.

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Re: ginsing ficus

Post  Geoline on Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:45 pm

beer city snake wrote:a friend of mine also rcvd a gingsing ficus from sams club...

it was also unwell and when he brought it over i found that it was rotting from the inside out  Crying or Very sad 
didnt last long after that.

Yup, those glued rocks lock in whatever water can get through which defeats the purpose of bonsai soil porosity. The lack of air circulation along with prolonged damp soil encourages opportunistic Phytophthora mod to rot away the poor tree from the inside out.

In this case, I wait for the trees to become mostly dead at the local Sams Club so I can score the pot dirt cheap.

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Re: ginsing ficus

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:02 pm

Geoline wrote:
In this case, I wait for the trees to become mostly dead at the local Sams Club so I can score the pot dirt cheap.

Right on !
more bargains !!!

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link to ARBOR ARTS COLLECTIVE BLOG

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ginsing ficus

Post  moyogijohn on Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:32 pm

Thank you,Geoline beer city snake,, for your responce.. When the plant got home all the rocks were removed first thing,, repotted into good soil in a large pot.. it is outside with my other trees.. the leaves still get the black spots,,turn yellow..go figure !!! thanks john

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Re: ginsing ficus

Post  kevin stoeveken on Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:57 am

you might wanna scoot it away from your other trees a bit...

just in case its got some of this:  alien 


or this  pig 


or worse yet:  affraid 

kevin

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Ginseng (sic) Ficus

Post  bonsaisr on Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:29 pm

Don't waste your time or bonsai supplies on it.
Iris

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Re: ginsing ficus

Post  Neli on Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:18 am

I got one...and know its reputation...but being a big headed woman...I decided to make something from it.
http://nelibonsai.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/723/

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Re: ginsing ficus

Post  Geoline on Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:27 am

Neli wrote:I got one...and know its reputation...but being a big headed woman...I decided to make something from it.
http://nelibonsai.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/723/

I think Iris just meant that the glued rock bonsai should be avoided; and, I agree with her. It's a waste of money to acquire full priced glued rock "bonsai" because it is likely too weak and suffering from root rot which is hard to treat. Otherwise, there's nothing wrong with developing ginseng ficus (I think they are Ficus microcarpa/retusa). It's just time consuming and likely a waste of resources to buy a diseased plant.

However, this type of ficus is otherwise hard to kill unless you leave it out in freezing temperatures or glue rocks to the top of the soil. As mentioned earlier in this thread, once opportunistic Phytophthora mold sets in, it is hard for most species to recover. This type of ficus is also one of the many strangler fig species and is one of the few flora that has a fighting chance to overcome Phytophthora mold. Strangler figs start life as a parasite in tropical rainforests. The way strangler figs grow in tropical rain forests is that a seed will get planted on a tree branch through the droppings of a bird or other fruit eating critter. The seed will germinate and grow on that branch as a parasite and send long roots to the ground. Once those roots hit rich soil, the tree will grow fast and strong and quickly outgrow it's host. The host becomes weak and succumbs to opportunistic Phytophthora. The Phytophtora is not strong enough to invade and destroy another healthy parasite, even if that parasite is firmly attached to the dying tree.

You can skip this story if you want Wink 
When I lost the ability to move three of years ago, I had about 2 dozen of these started from seed in little seed starter trays that were sitting near a window. These guys grew to about 20 inches long and developed fat trunk bellies before I fell ill. My son remembered to water those ficus at least once a month. By the time I was well enough to move around this year, half of those ficus seedlings survived and look very weak with a mild case of scale. The ficus clinged to life in very little soil or water and no nutrients for 3 years! The survivors are now outside and happily thriving. I think the survivor seedlings languished in parasitic mode while I was incapacitated for those 3 years years. Once the survivors were outside and planted in nutrient rich soil, they recovered quickly and behaved like strangler ficus in the wild when their roots first kiss sweet earth.

The glued rock ficus, on the other hand, may be too infected and weak to overcome Phytophthora. These poor ficus can't go into parasitic mode like mine did because there was no root aeration.

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Re: ginsing ficus

Post  Neli on Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:12 pm

Glad you are OK now...I hope to make something nice from my ginseng despite all odds. Trying to develop aerial roots on it now, and if that does not happen is going to be chopped back where the ground layer was initially. In spring (september) It is going in the ground, to make a real monster fig from it.

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Re: ginsing ficus

Post  Andrew Legg on Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:40 pm

Uhm, so, is opportunistic Phytophthora mold the source of those little black spots and yellowing leaves on ficus? I have it on one or two of mine, and thought it may be an insect, but I can't see an insect. Looks like it's a blighter!

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Re: ginsing ficus

Post  Neli on Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:21 pm

Andrew keep them on full sun and you will have less problems. I get them in the shade also.

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Re: ginsing ficus

Post  Andrew Legg on Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:24 pm

I thought it may be temperature related Neli as it seems to be worse in winter. I'll see if I can take a photo of mine and post it here . . . . . it may be a different problem.

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Re: ginsing ficus

Post  Neli on Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:28 pm

I have some very strange problems on some of mine also...but I ignore them...They are figs.

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ginsing ficus

Post  moyogijohn on Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:43 pm

Tha,nks Neli,, Geoline,,Andrew,, for your information.. I have to keep this one around, my wife bought it ! anyway i will watch it close,,keep it in good sun till winter . right now it is doing ok..thanks take care john

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Rain forest mueder scene

Post  Geoline on Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:34 pm

Neli wrote:Glad you are OK now...I hope to make something nice from my ginseng despite all odds. Trying to develop aerial roots on it now,  and if that does not happen is going to be chopped back where the ground layer was initially. In spring (september) It is going in the ground, to make a real monster fig from it.

Am a little foggy head today, but listening to some heavy metal to and drinking some kona coffee to defog.

You want to create an environment to trick these strangler figs into parasitic mode. In parasitic mode, a fig's initial root system works more as an anchor on the tree branch it's seed germinated on. The fig takes minimal nutrients from it's host tree. Meanwhile, the fig, in parasitic form, extends branches and develops aerial roots to find soil.

The idea here is to give developing fig trees bare minimal water like my son did. This tricks the tree into developing aerial root buds.  You coax the aerial buds to a humid soil source, which again, my son inadvertently did with his haphazard watering. Sapplings in the back that did not get enough water, sent out aerial roots to invade the trays of sapplings that got too much water. At the end of three years, I had a somewhat hilarious arid rainforest murder scene of the more voracious figs invading the territory of the more pampered figs and strangling them.

Figs are also damn easy to start from seed and will grow tall enough in one growing season to fuse to a bonsai elder fig specimen. It's not as hilarious as the accidental arid rainforest murder scene, but safer for the elder fig specimen.


Last edited by Geoline on Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:01 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : mild grammer correction. dang dyslexia!)

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Re: ginsing ficus

Post  Geoline on Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:00 pm

Andrew Legg wrote:Uhm, so, is opportunistic Phytophthora mold the source of those little black spots and yellowing leaves on ficus?  I have it on one or two of mine, and thought it may be an insect, but I can't see an insect.  Looks like it's a blighter!

A photo of the leaves will help pinpoint the fungus. Could be Cercospora.

Phytophthora attacks the root zone and weakens the ficus faster making the rest of the ficus more susceptible to other pathogens.

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Re: ginsing ficus

Post  Neli on Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:14 am

Very interesting info. I shall keep it in mind, since I am trying to develop aerial roots on some figs. On this one I am not too sure if I should consider them aerial. I wounded the trunk (which is actually a root) And covered it with soil and bandaged it with plastic...sort of ground layer. Did you see the link to my fig I posted above?

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Re: ginsing ficus

Post  brett2013 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:49 am

Geoline wrote:
Neli wrote:Glad you are OK now...I hope to make something nice from my ginseng despite all odds. Trying to develop aerial roots on it now,  and if that does not happen is going to be chopped back where the ground layer was initially. In spring (september) It is going in the ground, to make a real monster fig from it.

Am a little foggy head today, but listening to some heavy metal to and drinking some kona coffee to defog.

You want to create an environment to trick these strangler figs into parasitic mode. In parasitic mode, a fig's initial root system works more as an anchor on the tree branch it's seed germinated on. The fig takes minimal nutrients from it's host tree. Meanwhile, the fig, in parasitic form, extends branches and develops aerial roots to find soil.

The idea here is to give developing fig trees bare minimal water like my son did. This tricks the tree into developing aerial root buds.  You coax the aerial buds to a humid soil source, which again, my son inadvertently did with his haphazard watering. Sapplings in the back that did not get enough water, sent out aerial roots to invade the trays of sapplings that got too much water. At the end of three years, I had a somewhat hilarious arid rainforest murder scene of the more voracious figs invading the territory of the more pampered figs and strangling them.

Figs are also damn easy to start from seed and will grow tall enough in one growing season to fuse to a bonsai elder fig specimen. It's not as hilarious as the accidental arid rainforest murder scene, but safer for the elder fig specimen.

Thanks for the info ! I always wondered how to get some aerial root buds Smile

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Re: ginsing ficus

Post  brett2013 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:55 am

moyogijohn wrote:I know not a real bonsai tree but my wife bought one at sams club for me...  I am getting black spots on the leaves then they turn yellow .. after that they pull off easy..  what to do to stop this problem ???  thanks in advance   john

Same thing happened to mine, one of my very first "bonsai", ginseng ficus. Didn't last long as I threw it away later (still ok, but with the leaves as you mentioned) when I needed the space for other bonsai.

Since you've repotted already, I probably would totally defoliate it, and see if the new leaves will be healthier ...

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ginsing ficus

Post  moyogijohn on Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:28 pm

Thank you all for your comments and info. I keep checking close on the leaves and have sprayed it 2 times.. maybe it will be ok in a while i hope.. thanks and take care john

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Re: ginsing ficus

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