Are you looking for a terrific bonsai plant with minimal care compared to your other bonsai plants?
Not to worry, my bonsai plant lovers, because you are in the right place!
Ficus microcarpa bonsai is one of the admired species which gives a unique shade tolerance and a striking appearance to your home. These types of plants are small and do not require any complicated procedure to develop. Also, they are easy to plant and bring a bright look to your house.
If you are planning to bring a ficus microcarpa plant to your home but you don’t know how to grow and care for this bonsai plant at your home; don’t worry, in this article, I will guide you through all you need to know about growing such a terrific plant. So, without further delay, let’s proceed with the first question, why is the ficus microcarpa bonsai plant important and how to grow and care for it?
About Ficus Microcarpa Bonsai Tree
Ficus microcarpa trees are a member of the fig family, Moraceae. It is native to China and other tropical regions. However, do not get ficus bonsai confused with Ficus retusa. They both belong to different families.
Ficus Microcarpa bonsai has several names, including “Curtain Fig”, “Gajumaru”, “Malayan Banyan”, and “Chinese Banyan”. It is also considered to be grown as a shade tree due to its dense foliage. These types of trees are commonly grown in various Southeast Asian countries. Also, this bonsai has many benefits and is also used in traditional medicines.
How To Grow A Ficus Microcarpa Bonsai?
If you are planning to grow ficus bonsai at your home, then there are two methods to do this. First by seed, and the second by propagation. The correct time to plant a cutting is during mid-summer and planting the seeds is during the spring season. Both these methods are easy to grow. So, it is up to you how you want to grow the plant. Also, you have to provide the bonsai with all its requirements and needs.
Some of the steps that you must follow to grow a ficus microcarpa bonsai are given below:
Step 1: The first step is to choose a perfect cutting of the tree that you would like to convert into a bonsai. Also, you have to choose a healthy seed to grow a bonsai. Furthermore, please ensure that there is no damage to the seeds or the cutting before planting them because if not checked properly then later, it will create problems.
Step 2: The second step is to plant the cutting or the seed, whichever method you choose, in the potting soil thoroughly. The soil should be dug up at least 1 to 2 inches to plant them. Also, the potting soil mixture used should be perfectly mixed up to provide all the nutrients required by the plant during its growth.
Step 3: Once the seed or the cutting is planted, water it continuously. Water the plant every day, and also check if you feel the water has dried up because ficus bonsai needs a moist environment. In a few weeks, small shoots will start growing from the soil.
Step 4: The next step is that you can start with the pruning and wiring process of the bonsai which is after the plant has grown into the desired height. Also, you can wrap the wire completely around the trunk and the branches as they will be flexible in their growing stage making it easier to bend them. Following this step will help you to give the bonsai a shape to your liking.
Step 5: The last step is repotting the plant. Every 1 to 3 years, you should repot the ficus microcarpa bonsai to ensure healthy and good growth. It also helps in removing unwanted roots and changing the soil with the required nutrients. Also, make sure that you have to provide indirect sunlight and proper care for the healthy development of the bonsai.
Now you know how to grow a ficus microcarpa bonsai plant in your home, so it is time to know how to care for such a bonsai in your home. Let’s find out!
How To Care For Ficus Microcarpa Bonsai?
Every bonsai needs care and attention to grow healthily. They need to be maintained and looked after to be in the miniature versions of the trees. Ficus bonsai is very simple to grow. They do not need much attention compared to the other bonsai. This plant can grow all around the year if the correct conditions are used.
Given below are some pointers that you can take into consideration while planting Ficus Microcarpa Bonsai:
1. Watering the plant properly
Ficus Microcarpa bonsai have waxy, thick leaves that do not require much water. They only need moderate watering and can easily survive low humidity. But just because they can live in minimum water availability does not mean you should neglect to water the plants.
Ideally, you should water the plant every once a day or when the soil dries up. And the best way to check is by keeping your finger in the soil to know if it’s moist or not. Their water requirement depends on the seasons and environment. Like in summers, this plant requires more water compared to the winters. You can water the plant once a time for 3 to 4 days in the summer.
In winter, a great way to water the plant is to avoid chlorine ventilation. To avoid chlorine ventilation, take a jug of water and leave it for some time. Let the temperature of the water rise to a certain level. This helps in preventing any thermal shock to the plant.
2. Checking the temperature of the plant
Ficus bonsai being an indoor tree, does not endure frosty conditions. The temperature needed to grow ficus microcarpa bonsai is 18 to 20 degrees Celsius. They can be placed outside during summers or when the temperature is above the required one. This plant needs a moist and warm location to grow in. But always remember that the temperature around the plant should be relatively constant.
3. Giving proper sunlight to the plant
Another important factor in taking care of ficus microcarpa bonsai is sunlight. They grow well with a lot of sunlight, but too much sunlight can also turn out to be harmful to them. Indirect sunlight will be the best condition for the plant to grow in. Also, Ficus need a warm temperature around them.
4. Properly fertilizing the plant
Any plant, including bonsai trees, needs fertilizer. They may not get the necessary nutrients to grow properly from the soil. Regular soil may not have natural minerals like potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus, which fertilizers do. Therefore, it is vital to fertilize the bonsai as given in the instruction manual.
Ficus microcarpa bonsai should be fertilized for two weeks in the summer and four weeks in the winter. While doing this, you also have to check on the growth of the bonsai and its consistency. You can use organic fertilizer pellets or liquid fertilizers.
5. Pruning and wiring of the plant
It is very important to do pruning to maintain the small shape and structure of the plant. Also, it is the act of removing any unwanted branches or growth and checking in on the bonsai. Pruning and wiring both help in giving the bonsai the desired shape that you wish.
You should prune two leaves after 6 to 8 leaves have grown back. This helps in reducing the leaf size as ficus bonsai usually has a board and big leaves. This process is also known as defoliation. Pruning is required only when there is a lot of growth of leaves. Do not remove leaves if there is slow leaf development.
Once the pruning is completed you can wire the branches and the trunk. This helps in bending the plant to give it a suitable shape. You can use techniques like approach grafting, plucking the weak branches, and many others for your bonsai. But be careful while doing this as wiring creates cuts into the bark which leads to diseases and insects.
6. Propagation and grafting of the plant
The propagation can be done at any time of the year. But the highest success of planting a fresh cutting bonsai is during the mid-summer season. And the seeds can be planted during the spring season. Ficus bonsai can be grown from branches, roots, or trunks and pressure.
Also, you can tie many young plants together and fuse them as a single big trunk. This plant can also be easily grafted and placed into different positions by using aerial roots. Grafting young plants, branches, or aerial roots across wounds might hasten healing to close the large wounds. If you hire an experienced or professional worker, he or she will receive unlimited creative freedom by growing ficus microcarpa bonsai. This increases its demand as a bonsai plant.
7. Repotting of the plant
Repotting is very essential for all bonsai to grow fully developed. It helps the plant in providing the required nutrients and growth. Ficus microcarpa bonsai should be repotted after every 1 to 3 years. The best time to do this is during the mid-spring season as it is considered to be the growing period of the bonsai.
Furthermore, repotting is also needed for the soil to be replenished. It ensures that there is no nutrient depletion in the ground. Another thing that can be done during repotting is cutting down the unwanted roots. This helps in controlling the growth of the plant.
8. Insects and diseases occurring to the plant
This bonsai species is very resistant to insects, but it still depends on the surrounding area you are living in. Lack of sunlight and dry air results in the weakening of the plant, further causing leaf drops. To avoid leaf drops, keep the environment warm and moist, and regularly water the plant. The leaves will then start regrowing in 3 to 4 weeks.
Such conditions also affect the ficus microcarpa bonsai. It causes them to be easily attacked by spider mites and scale insects.
The best way to remove spider mites is by keeping the plant and surrounding moist or another way is by spraying calcium-free water on the leaves. Scales of this tree are little brown or black bumps are there on the branches. The bump protects the insects and makes it difficult to remove sometimes. So insecticides should be used to remove the scales and other protective measures can be taken to avoid any pests and diseases.
Q1. Where to buy Ficus Microcarpa Bonsai?
Ans. Ficus microcarpa bonsai can be found in any nursery or gardening store. But try to buy the bonsai from a specialized trader that sells plants that are not poorly grafted. This will ensure the healthy growth of the plant.
Q2. How often should you water the ficus microcarpa bonsai?
Ans. The ficus microcarpa bonsai should be watered almost every day. You should provide the plant with ample water as it needs the soil to be always moist. Also, water the plant when you feel the soil has dried up. But be careful that you do not overwater the bonsai which can create problems for the plant’s growth.
Q3. How many hours of sunlight does a ficus bonsai need?
Ans. Ficus bonsai needs a lot of indirect sunlight. A daily 5 to 6 hours of light is needed for this plant. Lack of light will weaken the foliage growth and cause other problems too. Ficus bonsai needs a warm environment around it for better growth and development.
Q4. How long do ficus microcarpa bonsai live?
Ans. A bonsai usually lives for more than a hundred years, and the same goes for ficus microcarpa bonsai. They can easily live over a hundred years or even centuries if they are properly maintained and taken care of.
Q5. Which is the best place to put a ficus microcarpa bonsai?
Ans. The best place to place a ficus microcarpa bonsai is the south-facing side which receives comparatively more sunlight than is necessary for the bonsai. If they are placed from a window, it will slow the growth rate of the plant and decrease the intensity of the light.
Q6. What to do if the ficus bonsai lost leaves?
Ans. Usually, ficus bonsai needs a lot of sunlight even during winters. But in winters, the bonsai does not receive the required regular amount of light. Lack of light turns the leaves yellow and makes them weak and fall from the branches. To avoid this from happening, find the area with the most sunlight and put the plant there. You can also try artificial light but be careful with it as an excess of this light can cause harm to the growing ficus bonsai.
Q7. When to repot a ficus microcarpa bonsai?
Ans. You can repot a ficus microcarpa bonsai after every 1 to 3 years. It is necessary to repot to increase and speed up the growth of the bonsai. Repotting also helps in checking on the growing roots and the soil, which has to be changed to provide the plant with the correct amount of nutrients for its development.
From my personal experience as a bonsai gardener, it is very healthy to have ficus bonsai in your house. Growing them does not involve any complicated procedures or steps. You can simply grow it like the other bonsai trees. The only thing you have to look after is to provide the bonsai with a warm and moist environment for brilliant development.
Also, this plant absorbs all negative energy surrounding the house or office providing a joyful and pleasant atmosphere to live in.
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