Bonsai Beginner-Ficus Reginald

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Bonsai Beginner-Ficus Reginald

Post  hoboman on Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:55 pm

Hi
I am an absolute beginner to bonsai. I live in South Africa but unfortunately I am nowhere near any SA bonsai clubs. At a local store I have found a ficus reginald. I haven't bought it yet because I would like to know if I can make it into a bonsai.
The plant is about 18cm high. (it is not a bonsai)
I would like to make it into a bonsai. Is this possible?
Would you suggest I buy a bonsai first before making/ planting one?

Thanks

hoboman
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Re: Bonsai Beginner-Ficus Reginald

Post  RKatzin on Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:44 pm

Hi Hoboman, just happen to be sitting here and must say, what a rare opportunity to assisst you at this point. Very intelligent, seeking advice before you spank down your silver. I salute you. You're on the right track here, I'm not your expert on ficus, just a guy with a little more experience and I recommend that you learn all you can about the tree as far as it's likes and dislikes and determine if you are able to provide the needs of the tree. Take time to read up on basic bonsai techniques and get a book if you can. Don't drop a wad of dough on a practice tree. Get a cheapie and do all your learning on it and when you're confident you can keep the tree alive go get it. I saw a post the other day, a newb had bought a $1000 Ficus bonsai and was wanting to know how to keep it alive. Personally, I would not sell you a $100 tree unless you could demonstrate that you are capable of keepng the tree in good standard. That's just me and I get real personal with my trees. Laughing Hoboman, it's not rocket science, but there's basics, light, watering, feeding, root pruning and top pruning, pots, potting, and wiring. applied to each species accordingly. Seeing as it's not a bonsai yet, I'd get it and hold on to it while you learn about bonsai. Lesson numero uno, have patience, with your trees and with yourself and you'll start out on the right foot. Welcome to the most addictive habit you'll ever pick up, just ask Will Laughing

RKatzin
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Re: Bonsai Beginner-Ficus Reginald

Post  hoboman on Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:56 pm

Thanks for the help!

This is what the tree looks like (the one I want to purchase is much smaller;15-18cm)



Do you think it would make it as a bonsai?

I have been reading about bonsai for awhile now (since January) so I think it is time to get get one.

hoboman
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Re: Bonsai Beginner-Ficus Reginald

Post  RKatzin on Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:28 pm

Nice looking tree and healthy enough no doubt. The biggest obsticle to overcome will be the root mass. You'll find the roots are the size and shape of the pot, totally potbound and hard as rock. The key to bonsai potting is to reduce the mass of the large roots while maintaining sufficient feeder roots, little white ones, to keep the tree alive. Ficus seem to do well when potbound, but the size and shape of the roots must be refashioned to fit a bonsai pot.

RKatzin
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Re: Bonsai Beginner-Ficus Reginald

Post  hoboman on Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:56 pm

OK
When would be the best time to start making it into a bonsai?
Right now we just about entering winter in here in Mpumalanga South Africa.

hoboman
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Re: Bonsai Beginner-Ficus Reginald

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