A Little More Then Groceries

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A Little More Then Groceries

Post  MikeG on Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:33 pm

I just returned from our local bargain grocery store chain we have here in Toronto with a little surprise. Just in front of one of the check out lanes were about ten little trees in bonsai pots. So I picked this little guy up (11 inch from rim of pot) for only $9.99. The funniest part is that I took the day off work because it's my b'day. A nice little present to myself. The winter is really starting to wear on me and this is just what I needed.

As far as mass produced mallsai go, I think it's not too bad. All the others had the typical wire scars, bulging at the bends and inverse taper. This one just popped out at me.
My question is, the sticker says it's a ficus and that's all. Can anyone tell me what kind or if it is a ficus at all? After a search on the web I'm pretty sure it is but I'd like to know what kind. The leaves also look a lot like Gardenia, but thats just from comparing them to the only book on indoor species I have.

Thank you, Mike.

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Re: A Little More Then Groceries

Post  Ryan on Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:39 pm

Hi Mike,

Happy birthday!

That is a Ficus microcarpa 'Golden Gate'. If it were mine I woul remove the moss from the soil, it keeps the soil too wet. Also, in the spring you should repot into something more free draining. Good luck,

Ryan

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Re: A Little More Then Groceries

Post  MikeG on Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:01 pm

Thanks Ryan

I will remove the moss and repot. The pot's not too bad. Big drainage holes and even tie wire holes. But the soil is terrible. As far as I can tell it's 100% peat moss. The tree looks healthy and vigorous but I'm not sure if I should wait until spring to repot it. I don't have a lot of experience with tropicals. Would it be safe to repot now? I'd only be changing the growing medium, not much root pruning unless it really needs it.

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Re: A Little More Then Groceries

Post  Neil Jaeger on Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:02 pm

I know what you mean about the winter blues. I have a few little trees inside also. You almost need atleast one when you have to look at snow for 6 months. I think its a nice little tree. Good luck and happy birthday.

Neil

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Re: A Little More Then Groceries

Post  Ryan on Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:18 pm

mgallex wrote:Thanks Ryan

I will remove the moss and repot. The pot's not too bad. Big drainage holes and even tie wire holes. But the soil is terrible. As far as I can tell it's 100% peat moss. The tree looks healthy and vigorous but I'm not sure if I should wait until spring to repot it. I don't have a lot of experience with tropicals. Would it be safe to repot now? I'd only be changing the growing medium, not much root pruning unless it really needs it.

I think it really depends on what kind of conditions the tree is growing in. If you are able to keep it humid and warm I would suggest you repot it, but if not I would be a little more cautious about whether or not you could repot it. For example, I repot my tropicals year round, but that is because I grow them in fish tanks with lights above. Will you keep it where it is in the picture?

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Re: A Little More Then Groceries

Post  MikeG on Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:42 pm

Warmth and light arent an issue. I have 6 flourescent grow tubes and a 400w metal halide. Humidity is the enemy. Even with a humidifier, it's only 30% RH around the plants. But I do happen to have a vacant aquarium (RIP my little lizard friend). Great way to put it to good use.

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Re: A Little More Then Groceries

Post  Ryan on Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:52 pm

mgallex wrote: Warmth and light arent an issue. I have 6 flourescent grow tubes and a 400w metal halide. Humidity is the enemy. Even with a humidifier, it's only 30% RH around the plants. But I do happen to have a vacant aquarium (RIP my little lizard friend). Great way to put it to good use.

Aquariums have worked great for me so far. I've done major work on my ficus and they've all bounced back greatly. Inside the tank I have an ultrasonic humidifier (which you really don't need), and there is plastic wrap covering the top. Here is a picture of that tank:



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Re: A Little More Then Groceries

Post  GrumpyOldMan on Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:17 pm

This is a Zelkova I bought in Asda (Wal Mart) last year for £7.00 (about $10). It was the last one they had but I think I would have chosen it anyway. I'm quite fond of it but it does need pruning and the compost needs replacing this year for something more appropriate. It was sold as an indoor Bonsai but I kept it outside, taking it into the garage when the snow was bad and the temperature very low so I hope it has surveived well.

Ian.


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Re: A Little More Then Groceries

Post  JimLewis on Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:39 pm

It probably is a Chinese elm. Purveyors of mallsai tend to call elms "zelkova" to get around any importation restrictions associated with Dutch elm disease (even though Chinese elms are relatively immune to DED).

Have you repotted yet? Someday, you will want to get rid of that fat root that appears to wrap around one side of the base. How soon you can do that depends on what the rest of the roots look like.

_________________
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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Better than Groceries

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:21 pm

mgallex wrote: I just returned from our local bargain grocery store chain we have here in Toronto with a little surprise.
Thank you, Mike.
It is unfortunate that the producers of mallsai grow them with those horrendous pretzel bends, which are actually in bad taste. Consider air-layering it just above the second bend, which has that one branch growing out of it.
You can always tell a Ficus because they all bleed white latex sap.
Iris

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Re: A Little More Then Groceries

Post  Ryan on Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:42 pm

bonsaisr wrote:
mgallex wrote: I just returned from our local bargain grocery store chain we have here in Toronto with a little surprise.
Thank you, Mike.
It is unfortunate that the producers of mallsai grow them with those horrendous pretzel bends, which are actually in bad taste. Consider air-layering it just above the second bend, which has that one branch growing out of it.
You can always tell a Ficus because they all bleed white latex sap.
Iris

Not sure if this is where you meant Iris, but this is where I would suggest air layering:



That way you could get a neat looking mame out of it.

Ryan
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Re: A Little More Then Groceries

Post  MikeG on Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:11 pm

That's exactly what I was thinking of doing. I've got it in a nice humid tank now and on the weekend I'll be getting it out of that terrible soil. After that, when I'm sure it's healthy and growing vigorously, I'll attempt an air layer right where you suggest. Probably in the spring.

Thanks, Mike

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Re: A Little More Then Groceries

Post  MikeG on Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:35 pm

An update on this mallsai

  Funny that I was so excited about this S shaped cutting at the time. But it's been a great learning experience. My first air layer. The first pics are of the results of the air layer and stock soon after I realized it was going to live. And the last pics are of both today. Still a long way to go, but gotta learn somehow.








Mike

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Re: A Little More Then Groceries

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