Bonsai Beginner - Ficus Religiosa

Osant

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Dear everyone,

My name is Antoine, 28 and coming from Saint-Louis not in US, but in France. A nice big town of 20 000 citizens and there are many bonsai addicts.. That's why I'm here :D

I've started having an interest in bonsai / plants a year ago.
First, I planted Baobabs (they are sleeping at the moment) and then I've decided to plant some Ficus Religiosa (Mainly due to my interest in Buddhism philosophy).

If you're telling me to start with, this is maybe a bit too difficult, I would agree. But now they are here and they need your help :)

I planted these ficus religiosa 6 months ago in a bonsai substrate (maybe my first mistake) and some clay balls at the botom of the pot.
It's winter time here, we don't have so many sun (I've added artificial light to them: https://www.amazon.com/Relassy-Upgraded-Gooseneck-Replaceable-Professional/dp/B07C68YJGR), the temperature is approximately at 68°F

I have the feeling, they are not happy.. they are loosing their color, the leaves are watching down..

Can I have your feedback, feeling, thoughts, ideas.. on that project?

Sorry in advance if my english is not perfect, I'm still learning :)

Regards,
Antoine :)
 

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Carol 83

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Welcome Antoine. I am very close to St. Louis, but MO, USA. The only thing I grow from seed are herbs in the winter, out of boredom. So I'll let the expert seed growers chime in. Looks like he soil might be a little too wet, maybe. Get yourself a couple of trees, so you don't have to wait for years for your seeds to develop into anything, so you don't lose interest in the hobby.
 

Osant

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Hey Carol :)

Thanks a lot for your feedback. Actually, I got one for Christmas.. ^^
Actually, this part is very interesting for me, watching them growing into "something" :D
 

Cajunrider

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Welcome Antoine. I am very close to St. Louis, but MO, USA. The only thing I grow from seed are herbs in the winter, out of boredom. So I'll let the expert seed growers chime in. Looks like he soil might be a little too wet, maybe. Get yourself a couple of trees, so you don't have to wait for years for your seeds to develop into anything, so you don't lose interest in the hobby.
I agree. The soil looks too wet and the leaf color indicates over watering. Ficus religiosa can tolerate wet soil but only when they are older. I grew up with them all around me. Every year seedlings pop up every where but most seedlings die during the rainy season. Only those in well draining spots survive and grow. I think in this case a little bit of water control can bring it back to health.
 
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Osant

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I agree. The soil looks too wet and the leaf color indicates over watering. Ficus religiosa can tolerate wet soil but only when they are older. I grew up with them all around me. Every year seedlings pop up every where but most seedlings die during the rainy season. Only those in well draining spots survive and grow. I think in this case a little bit of water control can bring it back to health.
Thanks for your comment :). I will control the water more carefully from now ^^
 
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I agree. The soil looks too wet and the leaf color indicates over watering. Ficus religiosa can tolerate wet soil but only when they are older. I grew up with them all around me. Every year seedlings pop up every where but most seedlings die during the rainy season. Only those in well draining spots survive and grow. I think in this case a little bit of water control can bring it back to health.
Are you sure they have fertile seeds. I thought they need to have a special wasp to pollinate them. My have fruits but I don't see any seed in them.
 

Cajunrider

Omono
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Are you sure they have fertile seeds. I thought they need to have a special wasp to pollinate them. My have fruits but I don't see any seed in them.
That was back in Asia. Plenty of fertile seeds where I was.
 

Lou T

Mame
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I humidity dome would serve them well. I use a clear plastic bag or a soda bottle usually.
 

amcoffeegirl

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Thanks for your comment, yeah I believe you're right.
I bought these ones, belived it should be enough.. Could you advise me some?
I don’t know what is available in your area.
I use something like this.
Be sure to get one with a good reflector and 6500k temp.
I am sure there are some good LED lights out there. I just don’t know that the one you have is the best choice.
 

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Osant

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Hey everyone :)

I’m coming back to you to post some progress.

Three weeks ago, I have decided to repot two of them.
And apparently, they loved it. So the three others has been repotted las week.

Now, I have noticed root are escaping from the pot.
Do you think these pots are too small?

Warmly,
Antoine :)
 

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Nanuk

Shohin
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Hey everyone :)

I’m coming back to you to post some progress.

Three weeks ago, I have decided to repot two of them.
And apparently, they loved it. So the three others has been repotted las week.

Now, I have noticed root are escaping from the pot.
Do you think these pots are too small?

Warmly,
Antoine :)

They do seem to be doing much better.
I don't know about the size of your pots, I don't have much experience growing from seeds.
 

Orion_metalhead

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I wouldnt worry about pot size at this point. I like smaller pots when growing seedlings becausr the amount of water you give them in the pot is a better ratio to the amount of roots. It is also easy to repot tropicals like ficus any time of year when growing them indoors so when you start to see a lot of roots shooting out bottom of pot, you can either root prune for nebari development or slip pot to bigger pot to help bulk up the trunk at that time.

They look likr they are doing better. Did you adjust watering? I usually water my seedlings once I notice the top layer of soil has dried out. I was using a regulat seed starting mix like Miracle Seed starting soil. But now that i switched to Napa 8822 for my older plants, i use a mix of 1 to 1 8822 and seed starter mix underneath and a top dressing of the sifted fine grain material to top the seedlings. This mix seems to retain enough water to not dry out but also drains enough to allow air for the roots.

I just planted a tray of seedlings (apple, I believe) in a cigar box today. I get these cigar boxes free from local store. SAome images below:

20190316_150255.jpg
Bottom layer of 50% 8822 and 50% Seed Starter mix

20190316_150642.jpg
Covered that with the sifted fines of 8822

20190316_150934.jpg
Planted seeds. These I used paper towel method to germinate. They all had a radicle or the start of one at this point.

20190316_151553.jpg
Covered with the sifted fines again.

20190316_152035.jpg
Watered and marked in tray. I left room for other seedlings in the tray. I have a lot of other seeds Im messing with this year.

I also covered the box with a plastic liner to help maintain humidy.
 

Osant

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I wouldnt worry about pot size at this point. I like smaller pots when growing seedlings becausr the amount of water you give them in the pot is a better ratio to the amount of roots. It is also easy to repot tropicals like ficus any time of year when growing them indoors so when you start to see a lot of roots shooting out bottom of pot, you can either root prune for nebari development or slip pot to bigger pot to help bulk up the trunk at that time.

They look likr they are doing better. Did you adjust watering? I usually water my seedlings once I notice the top layer of soil has dried out. I was using a regulat seed starting mix like Miracle Seed starting soil. But now that i switched to Napa 8822 for my older plants, i use a mix of 1 to 1 8822 and seed starter mix underneath and a top dressing of the sifted fine grain material to top the seedlings. This mix seems to retain enough water to not dry out but also drains enough to allow air for the roots.

I just planted a tray of seedlings (apple, I believe) in a cigar box today. I get these cigar boxes free from local store. SAome images below:

View attachment 232350
Bottom layer of 50% 8822 and 50% Seed Starter mix

View attachment 232346
Covered that with the sifted fines of 8822

View attachment 232348
Planted seeds. These I used paper towel method to germinate. They all had a radicle or the start of one at this point.

View attachment 232347
Covered with the sifted fines again.

View attachment 232349
Watered and marked in tray. I left room for other seedlings in the tray. I have a lot of other seeds Im messing with this year.

I also covered the box with a plastic liner to help maintain humidy.
Hey Orion,

Thanks a lot for your reply. Haha this is genius, hope your apple trees will like that boxe and maybe having some cigar taste in your futur fruits :D :D

Actually, I didn't change some much water but the soil, I'm wandering if the previous soil was maybe missing some nutrients... I'll be back at home in the week, let's see how they will be ^^

And thanks a lot for your reply :) :)
Regards,
Antoine :)
 

Orion_metalhead

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You dont want soil that retains a lot of water for more than 3-4 days at most when dealing with seedlings that have little intake of water. Nutrients probably not that important at moment. Im having some issues with specimens at moment likely due to soil retaining too much water, especially for indoor growing conditions.
 

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