Ficus bargaincarpa

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Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Ryan on Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:11 pm

Hi all,


I visited a local nursery today in search of another Ficus. Each time I had went to that nursery I noticed a particular Ficus micro. 'Golden Gate' that they had set off to the side. Once they had bought it (I think from Meehan's), they defoliated it. And every time I went to the nursery I saw it looking poor and sad. Today I mentioned to a good friend that works there that the Ficus still wasn't looking good, and I 'bet' her I could save it. So, she told me I could have it for $5. $5! It used to be on sale for $240! I was in shock. So of course I took it and once I got home I bare rooted it and repotted it, fed it some Bio-Gold, then watered well and placed it in the shade. Right now my only goal is to bring it back.

Before:







During repot, rootball:



After:



Sign of life:


Dead (maybe) branches:


On sale!

Ryan
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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Ryan on Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:00 pm

Bad news. I just went out and scratched the trunk and couldn't find any green underneath. I don't understand though. How could it look somewhat decent up top, but yet be brown underneath the trunk??


Ryan
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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:06 pm

Plants that die from root rot seem to die from the bottom up.

It might not be dead, keep good care of it for a few weeks and see.

But don't overwater.

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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Ryan on Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:10 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:Plants that die from root rot seem to die from the bottom up.

It might not be dead, keep good care of it for a few weeks and see.

But don't overwater.

Well then this guy is probably a goner. I just went out and scratched the trunk and couldn't find any green underneath. I don't understand though. It is still kind of pushing new leaves??

Ryan
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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:47 pm

Ryan,

If it's NOT dead....

I think you planted it too deep. Maybe not for a healthy tree, but I wouldn't have done that to a tree that's struggling. Correcting root problems like this is easy on a healthy ficus. You can fill that gap with sphagnum and it will take care of itself quickly when the tree is growing vigoously. Hopefully you can get it back to that point. I'm with Billy, don't give up yet. I can't tell if its problems are from overwatering or underwatering, kinda looks the same at this point.

R

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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:57 pm

A scenario. The owner of the nursery gets some inquires about Bonsai, so he/she decides to try stocking some. They buy the plant from a vendor, it is already overpriced. He marks it up to $240, no one buys it, it gets watered by the nursery's automatic system, which is OK at first, but as the tree grows more roots and the soil breaks down the soil doesn't drain and the automatic system is giving too much water, even on a Ficus root rot starts and no one at the nursery knows what to do.

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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  EdMerc on Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:33 pm

I agree with Billy's assessment. It's a nice ficus, but I would honestly not expect to pay over $40 for it. And that's if it where healthy.

Of course, $5 is very good, even if it doesn't make it. The pot is worth more than that.

Give it time. Good luck with it.
Ed

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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Ryan on Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:02 pm

Thanks Russell, I hope I didn't bury it too deep.

Billy, I do believe you are spot on with that scenario.

Ed, I think they got the tree from Meehans, actually I'm 100% sure they did. There are tags on it that say Meehans. This nursery just overprices all of their bonsai materials which is why I usually don't buy anything bonsai related from them.


Ryan
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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:38 pm

I will bet the pot is white on the inside and has two small (dime size) drainage holes. Another reason it suffered from root rot.

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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Ryan on Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:46 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:I will bet the pot is white on the inside and has two small (dime size) drainage holes. Another reason it suffered from root rot.

Actually, the pot is brown on the inside and the drainage holes are quarter size, which is still probably too small.


Ryan
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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:58 pm

The holes are too small and/or too few for that size pot. But, the soil remaining in the pot pot looks like it might have once been good Bonsai soil. Had some of the Turface based soil washed out and the nursery replaced it with a heavier soil?

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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Ryan on Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:12 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:The holes are too small and/or too few for that size pot. But, the soil remaining in the pot pot looks like it might have once been good Bonsai soil. Had some of the Turface based soil washed out and the nursery replaced it with a heavier soil?

That's the thing. Believe it or not, the soil was real bonsai soil. They use soil that Meehans ships in to them. I assume this tree came in the pot and all from Meehans.

I walked past it and brushed it and a few more leaves fell off. Although, after looking over the other leaves, they appear to be attached and not hanging on too loosely.

Ryan
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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:06 pm

Generally dropping leaves are a better sign than dead leaves that hang onto the plant.

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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Ryan on Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:13 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:Generally dropping leaves are a better sign than dead leaves that hang onto the plant.

Very true Billy. But these are green leaves. No matter, I do still have SOME hope for this guy, seeing as there are still areas that are pushing leaves from branches. Hopefully the fertilizer I gave it will help push it along.

Ryan
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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:35 pm

Be careful of too much fertilizer, the tree can't handle it.

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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Ryan on Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:35 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:Be careful of too much fertilizer, the tree can't handle it.

Thanks Billy. I won't water it for a while, so it won't get fertilizer until I water it again.


I don't understand it. I scratch the branches and they are brown. Yet when I cut off some dead looking branches I find green underneath. How does that work??

Ryan
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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:44 pm

Just repot and put it aside, water when it is DRY -- quite dry -- figs hate wet feet. Some fertilizer (label strength) will be fine.

Russel may have ht the nail on the head. Trees can suffocate from being planted too deeply (though it's less likely in coarse bonsai soil).

Do not fiddle with it any more. It will or it won't and there's nothing more you can do.

_________________
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 bargaincarpa

Post  Ryan on Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:25 pm

I guess this guy just doesn't want to live. It has caught some sort of fungal infection and appears to be almost gone. Only a few leaves remain now. Nursery killed it, I didn't Wink

Ryan
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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Ryan on Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:56 pm

Here are some shots of that fungal attack. Anyone have any clue what it is or how it forms? There are 2 leaves left on the tree, I think it may be done.




It's a black fuzzy mold like substance.

Ryan
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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:04 pm

Hard to tell from your photos, but it doesn't look like it would be a problem.

Remember you are putting it aside and not worrying about it, except to water it only when dry.

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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Ryan on Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:11 am

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:Hard to tell from your photos, but it doesn't look like it would be a problem.

Remember you are putting it aside and not worrying about it, except to water it only when dry.

Maybe these will help:






It is officially dead. No more leaves, no more green.

Ryan
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Re: Ficus bargaincarpa

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:55 am

sorry

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