Help with Identification for Care instructions

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Help with Identification for Care instructions

Post  zoz on Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:09 pm


I am a beginner in caring for Bonsai and got this plant from a friend. He knows nothing about it, but through the research I have done thus far, it appears that the pot is a poor choice, and perhaps drainage.

I have been unable to find out what type of bonsai it is. The leave are quite a bit spread apart.

Any suggestions, so that I can care for it properly. He told me that he was told that it is about 16 years old. Does that seem probable?

Thanks for any help,


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Help with Identification for Care

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:54 am

It appears to be a Ficus benjamina, and yes, it could very well be around 16 years old. To be sure, does it bleed white sticky sap (latex) when it is cut or broken?
If you are in the New York City area, there are several bonsai clubs you can join to get hands-on advice.
We need to see a couple of views from the side to help you with styling. Basically, the branches should be shortened & the upper branches should be shorter than the lower ones.
To make a bonsai out of it, you need to put it in a large shallow pot with coarse bonsai soil. Let the soil get pretty dry before you water it.
The leaves are sparse because it hasn't received enough light. If you have a yard or a balcony, put it outdoors, in the shade for now & gradually into almost full sun. Don't worry if it gets a little sunburned. Leave it outdoors until the night temperatures go almost to 40 F.
For the winter, the best location is right under a fluorescent lamp 18 hours a day. If not, the sunniest window in the house, & as cool as possible.
Feed with regular houseplant fertilizer. Follow instructions. If you have to keep it on a windowsill for the winter, feed monthly.

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