Ficus Pumila

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Ficus Pumila

Post  jake4bonsai on Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:49 pm

Hello everyone, it's been quite a while since i've been on here. I been chatting on that fairly new Facebook page Bonsai Talk. Anyway, does anyone here grow ficus pumila as bonsai and do you have any for sale? Any variety would be great. I think they make great small bonsai yet they are rarely seen. I don't get it! I can find starter plants in quite a few places but nothing that has been trained or even started as bonsai. I bought several of the oak leaf variety from Dallas Bonsai but they are kind of a mess where the vines have rooted into the soil many times and there really isn't a trunk or at least not really much to start with. They only thing I know to do with them it's use them for accent plants or take cuttings and root them. Any comments on this species would be great, it would also be nice to see pictures of some pumila bonsai, and it would be even better if someone has something substantial to sell.

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  Bruce Winter on Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:56 pm

I took a picture of mine before cutting it back. I don't post images here but I'll put it up on BT now.

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  JimLewis on Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:39 am

Why not post it here?  Some other folks might be interested, too.  After all, that why we're here.  Not to be sent somewhere else.

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:57 am

Bruce Winter wrote:I took a picture of mine before cutting it back. I don't post images here but I'll put it up on BT now.

i'm with jim...

thats just farkin' weird scratch









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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  Bruce Winter on Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:19 am

Weird? I call it lazy. It's a lot more complicated to put up an image here. Never bothered to learn. And you aren't being sent, you are given the option.

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  Bruce Winter on Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:51 am

I'm in touch with Fiona. So far, my system won't work re: uploading images.

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  Bruce Winter on Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:20 am

beer city snake wrote:
Bruce Winter wrote:I took a picture of mine before cutting it back. I don't post images here but I'll put it up on BT now.

i'm with jim...

thats just farkin' weird scratch
Careful Kev, you know me by another name. Wink









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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  M. Frary on Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:32 pm

What's BT? I could never post pictures here. This forum you can't post pictures from a phone unless you buy some kind of app. If you have a computer you ought to be able to put pictures on here.

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  JimLewis on Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:38 pm

Which brings up the question. . . . why do you look at us thru your phone? The beauty (of bonsai) is in the details, and you just can't see those details on a phone screen, no matter how up-to-date it is or the pixels you can claim. And then there the matter of using that phone as a camera capable of showing those details.

Anyway, I hope you don't walk into a lightpost while you're peering at the IBC in your phones.

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  coh on Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:32 pm

M. Frary wrote:  What's BT? I could never post pictures here. This forum you can't post pictures from a phone unless you buy some kind of app. If you have a computer you ought to be able to put pictures on here.

BT = Bonsai Talk group on facebook. Basically a "poor man's forum" on facebook, it doesn't have all of the features of a forum (formatting especially) but does have all the conveniences of facebook. Many of the same people you see on the forums, you also see there.

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  Leo Schordje on Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:12 pm

I for one have not made friends with facebook, but I do have a FB page, only way to keep track of nephews and nieces.  They "live" there.

Ficus pumila was the original question.

This is an interesting ficus. In the wild, it is a creeping vine, putting out roots along all stems rooting to ground, tree bark and rock. Slowly climbs. When the vine reaches an area with full sun, suddenly it can change to mature foliage and a more tree like habit. Mature foliage is much coarser. In cultivation, I for one have never seen mature growth. I have only seen a rare photo or two of mature foliage. In many ways this is a strangler fig, in that it can grow entirely as an epiphyte, if it is in an area of sufficient rainfall & humidity.

As bonsai, it is very difficult to get it to form a trunk. Stems less than 6 feet long will be very thin. I believe somewhere in the distant past I did see a photo of one with a trunk in a bonsai pot, but I could not find the image.

They are pretty easy to find propagating material if you shop the house plant section of your local big box store, usually sold as hanging baskets of a bunch of cuttings. If you want to try to create a tree, you will have to start your own from cuttings. Use wire to keep it upright, and once you have a decent amount of roots, slowly adapt the plant to a full sun location. Grow out and clip back. You might get lucky and get some caliper in less than a decade.

Over the years I have tried to work with this, but have always lost this one. They are intolerant of drying out, especially when small, and I have never gotten them past the 2 year mark, because in my set up, they end up with the orchids, which are allowed to dry out a bit. I forget about the F. pumila, and it dries out too hard. So if you take it on, remember to stay on top of watering. Especially as you transition to brighter light.

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  Bruce Winter on Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:43 pm

Pssst Leo...it's on my FB page. You can take a quick look and get the hell out before any damage is done.

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Ficus Pumila

Post  jake4bonsai on Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:58 pm

Thanks for the info Leo! I have tried to root pumila a couple times and have been so far unsuccessful, but I think they need high humidity to root plus decent air flow also because if the humidity is high but the air flow is low they mold fast. I want to get them to root so I can put them in a fairly large pot and let them grow up a wall or trellis and I think that's the way to get them to thicken faster. Bougainvillea is done the same way in cold climates to get thicker trunks since they can't be put in the ground. Looks like this is my only hope. I have several oak leaf pumila but everytime I get some they have rooted into the pot creating a tangled mess and everytime I try to bare root and repot to fix the mess they die! Most stubborn damn ficus I ever seen but one of the neatest too.


Last edited by jake4bonsai on Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:02 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Miss spelling)

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  M. Frary on Mon Dec 15, 2014 2:58 am

JimLewis wrote:Which brings up the question. . . . why do you look at us thru your phone?  The beauty (of bonsai) is in the details, and you just can't see those details on a phone screen, no matter how up-to-date it is or the pixels you can claim.  And then there the matter of using that phone as a camera capable of showing those details.  

Anyway, I hope you don't walk into a lightpost while you're peering at the IBC in your phones.
Because it's the only computer I own. And I wouldn't walk into light posts looking at the phone. I only look at it when I'm driving. Lol.

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  Bruce Winter on Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:52 am



This is for Jake who has a bad case of  Ficus pumila fever. A cutting was struck about 60 years ago (not by me) and this is the result before a badly needed clean-up.

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  Bruce Winter on Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:32 am



I wanted to wait 'till the new red leaves filled in to hide the space on the right where a branch graft failed but I'm on a run here finally able to post pictures thanks to Jim and Fiona. Haven't been able to do this since the original mighty IBC went down. Limited to only one image per post but I'm not complaining. It's really kind of messy but vines are like that.

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:50 pm

Wow Bruce - that is the best pumila I have ever seen as bonsai. Excellent. I love the way the roots flow over the stone. Very nice, and clearly shows its 60+ years of growing. I definitely have to give this species another try or two. I think it was your pictures from a decade ago that I was vaguely remembering. Thanks for sharing.

Jake, It might be best to wait and do the all your rooting of cuttings, repotting and other root work for your hot and steamy Ohio summers. It might help to avoid messing with the roots until your night temperatures are above 70 F (20 C) at night and hotter during the day.

The 2014 summer was a bust for me and my ficus because my "cooler by the Lake" location combined with an unusually cool summer my Ficus never really got growing this year. I did not even do a single pruning in 2014. Not enough growth. If we get a warm spring in 2015 I hope my trees will explode with growth after a year "off".

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  coh on Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:17 pm

Nice little tree!

I also did not experience a very good growing season for tropicals. In fact, a couple of my plants are growing more now, indoors under lights, than they did all summer outside.

Chris

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Ficus Pumila

Post  jake4bonsai on Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:22 pm

How thick is the trunk on that tree?

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  Bruce Winter on Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:27 pm

jake4bonsai wrote:How thick is the trunk on that tree?

4" at soil level. 16" high and the pot is 18" wide. Not what I think of as "little."

I've tried to encourage thick surface roots at the base by cutting windows and daubing with hormone but it only seems to make fine roots.

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  JimLewis on Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:11 pm

I've tried to encourage thick surface roots at the base by cutting windows and daubing with hormone but it only seems to make fine roots.

And you thought it would make fat roots from the beginning? Fine roots grow into thick roots -- with the passage of TIME! You know how it works: Babies turn into children who turn into adults . . . but it takes a few years.

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  Bruce Winter on Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:31 am

I should have said just surface roots. The only roots this thing makes are fine thread- like roots.

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  JimLewis on Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:38 pm

Which, in time, will turn into large roots.

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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: Ficus Pumila

Post  Bruce Winter on Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:33 am

Nope, not on this one. I've had it for 20 years and all the roots are like threads.

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Re: Ficus Pumila

Post  M. Frary on Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:49 am

Lots of time?

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Re: Ficus Pumila

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