Identifying 2 new Bonsai and white spots on leaves

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Identifying 2 new Bonsai and white spots on leaves

Post  shy on Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:39 am

I've recently bought my first 2 Bonsai a few days ago and to my disappointment the store was not able to help me identify or even how to take care of them. I certainly take responsibility in not doing my homework research before purchasing and I'm now trying to make a right first start and have been forwarded to this wonderful site.

I've taken pictures of both trees and have narrowed down to a few possible identification as the place where these Bonsai are from only carry 10 varieties...let me know if you think my guess would be right...

Tree # 1
My Guess: Green Island Ficus

The only thing that I'm questioning is, the pictures that I found on the internet, the leaves are slightly different then the specimen I have...the ones on the internet the tips are very round as for mine the tips have a small indentation similar to a clover leaf. The pictures that I saw also seem to show veins in the leaves but mine doesn't have any.





Tree # 2
My Guess: Ficus Ginseng

I'm a little concerned about some white spots on the leaves of this tree...I'm not sure if its a sign of disease/pest or is it normal...I hope the close ups will be clear enough to identify. I'm also concerned about the size of the container as the roots seem tight against the sides...then again I'm a little green with Bonsai I know a bit more when it comes to my other hobby "salt water aquariums/corals/fish so any tips or links to read would be greatly appreciated...Thanks for having such a helpful forum.




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Re: Identifying 2 new Bonsai and white spots on leaves

Post  jon hultgren on Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:04 am

Well your second tree is definitely a ficus, however your first tree is not. It is a succulent of some kind, possibly a jade.

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Identifying 2 new Bonsai

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:27 am

The plant on the left is dwarf jade or elephant bush, Portulacaria afra. Treat it like a cactus.
The plant on the right is Chinese banyan, Ficus microcarpa. Get these outdoors as soon as temperatures go above 45 F, starting in shade, gradually into full sun. You can get a wealth of information by Googling on the names with bonsai.
The white dots are called hydathodes. They are glands on the leaves. They belong there.
Iris


Last edited by bonsaisr on Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:28 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Additional information)

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Re: Identifying 2 new Bonsai and white spots on leaves

Post  shy on Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:55 am

Thank you for the information, I will certainly look up the names. Looking at the tag that came with both Bonsai they're from

www.costafarms.com


They say on their site that they only have 10 varieties and the names are listed on their website...maybe the ones I bought were not yet added to their list?

Thanks for the tips.

shy
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Re: Identifying 2 new Bonsai and white spots on leaves

Post  jon hultgren on Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:24 am

The company you linked to is probably the last place i would buy a tree from. The pictures of the trees they have listed are malsai. Malsai typically have terrible soil and very little styling done. I would recommend taking off the moss from your trees to see what kind of soil yours are potted in. My guess is a soil with lots of clay and organic material that stays very soggy. If they do you should do some research and get a good free draining soil mix to repot these into.

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Re: Identifying 2 new Bonsai and white spots on leaves

Post  shy on Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:16 am

Would you have examples of the type of soil you would use...I'll see if I can find some in my area or by looking up a specific brand specs I could find the equivalent or as close as possible...I will take a look at the soil that they're currently potted in but I must warn you I'm pretty green in that area as well hehe! I know that there were some white balls in the soil that burst with liquid inside when squeezed, I assumed this would be fertilizer or something to keep the moisture in the soil?? When you mention soil that drains properly, would it be similar to African Violet potting mix or something that would hold a little more moisture? As for the possible Jade that I have would this need more of a cactus soil?...

I was under the impression that I must not let the soil dry out when it comes to most Bonsai...are there some exceptions and would the Jade fall in this exception?

Sorry for all the questions...I think I'm just a little excited at the thought of finally identifying my critters and doing the right thing to give them the best chance...

I think green thumbs may skip a generation as my mother is much better then I am when it comes to growing plants and trees.

I guess practice and research will be the key in my case hehe!

Thanks again for your help, I will certainly keep reading especially now that I have a better idea of what I have.

Carole

shy
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Re: Identifying 2 new Bonsai and white spots on leaves

Post  JimLewis on Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:41 pm


I was under the impression that I must not let the soil dry out when it comes to most Bonsai...are there some exceptions and would the Jade fall in this exception?

The succulent -- Portulacaria afra -- will die (rot) if kept in perpetually damp soil. Let the soil dry out between watering. As Iris said, treat it like a cactus.

The Ficus also doesn't like wet feet, but don't let the soil get completely dry between waterings.

I suspect up where you live "bonsai" soil will be hard to come by. It should be granular (1/8 inch grains), with a little organic soil mixed in -- 80% - 20% -- is about right. Gravel (chicken grit, if it is of granite) is probably easiest to find.

I suggest you get a basic bonsai book and use it for reference. If you can find one of the Sunset Publishing Co. books -- any edition but the first -- that would be a good start. It seems to be out of print, but you can find it on www.abebooks.com.

_________________
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: Identifying 2 new Bonsai and white spots on leaves

Post  shy on Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:44 pm

Thanks Jim,

My husband and I own a salt water aquarium business and order from various US locations on a monthly basis we have them ship to a US warehouse where we pick-up ourselves and we do our own brokerage...I might look into the regulations on this type of soil... I know that to import live ocean sand the sand has to be collected at a certain depth in the water to insure any cross contaminants that could be a risk to the Canadian soils and waters but this is a whole new ball game...

Do you know of any US companies that I could contact that may have this type of soil?

I may even look up local suppliers to see if they could make special orders if its too complicated to bring it in myself. I imagine if they sell the trees they should be able to provide the soil it needs...the only thing they've told me they don't know about bonsai care and they've provided me with a phone number of a man whose' been growing bonsai for over 30yrs...even he told me the ingredients that he uses in his home made mixes are becoming scarce so he cannot supply either.

The Canadian Government has made drastic changes in their rules and regulations when it comes to importation and its also affecting many animal foods... every Canadian fish stores are now struggling to get food for the animals...it is a very serious crisis. It has also broken many business relationships in the importation as many US businesses don't want to deal with Canadians anymore as our government is imposing too many restrictions. I don't blame the US companies for feeling that way as we the importers feel the same way. I believe this may be the reason for the supply problems with this soil but I will look into it as soon as I find what type of soil I need.

Thanks,

Carole

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Re: Identifying 2 new Bonsai and white spots on leaves

Post  shy on Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:00 pm

I've just thought of the granular consistency you've mentionned...we do have access to freshwater gravel that can come in very fine grains and probably the size you've mentionned but I will look up this type of gravel to see if its ok for mixing. There is also cactus potting soils that are granular that our local stores have, I will also read up to see if it could work to mix....but first I'll need to educate myself on the needs of bonsai and what can harm them in terms of mineral contents ect.

Thanks again Jim,

Carole

shy
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Re: Identifying 2 new Bonsai and white spots on leaves

Post  shy on Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:05 pm

Iris and Jon thanks again for your wisdom in helping me to identify and help in basic care...hopefully in a few months or yrs I'll have my turn at helping someone.

shy
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Re: Identifying 2 new Bonsai and white spots on leaves

Post  Joe Hatfield on Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:24 pm

Aquatic plant soil is something you might be able to find very easily. It what you use to pot up plants for out door ponds.

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Re: Identifying 2 new Bonsai and white spots on leaves

Post  JimLewis on Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:55 pm

Schultz makes an aquatic plant soil that works well for bonsai. But some of your distributors may also handle "Turface", which is a high-fired baked clay. Most of us USAians use it for bonsai. You want Turface MVP. You can Google Turface and find out where dealers are.

_________________
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: Identifying 2 new Bonsai and white spots on leaves

Post  shy on Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:39 pm

Thanks for the heads up Joe and Jim,

I know we certainly have Schultz and I'll look into the other brand you've mentionned...now that I know what to look for I'm sure to find an equivalent...have either one of you ever used the same mix for a Jade or should I find something that would drain humidity even more?

I feel like a recorder for saying this over and over but thank you so much for all your help it is very appreciated.

Carole

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Re: Identifying 2 new Bonsai and white spots on leaves

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