Can you help a complete Newbie with a small Ginseng Ficus?

SeaBucket

Seedling
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Location
Chandler, Arizona
USDA Zone
10a
Please Halp! I'm brand new to Bonsai. I bought a small ginseng ficus and then two leaves fell off. The leaves looked healthy and not yellow, but I was worried that it was losing leaves. I read that the Ginseng Ficus bonsai would do better if rather than watering whenever it looked dry (about 1 time every 3 days), I just misted it every day. I've been misting, and now it has 3 yellow leaves! I want to save my little ficus! The leaves are starting to feel really thin now too.

I live in Chandler, Arizona and it is humid and very hot outdoors right now (summer). I keep my bonsai indoors on a window sill so it gets sunlight during the day. I let it sit outside at night twice a week because I heard it needs to "breathe." It sounds like b.s. to me, but I want my bonsai to live.
Does it really need to go out to air out?
Should I buy a humidifier for it?
When I mist it, should I mist the leaves, the soil, or the exposed big roots?
I bought some liquid bonsai fertilizer. Any tips on first use?

Thank you all for your expertise!
 

Attachments

  • 20140708_205402.jpg
    20140708_205402.jpg
    182 KB · Views: 26

carp

Chumono
Messages
826
Reaction score
1,028
Location
Palm Bay, FL
USDA Zone
9b
Your tree will do best outdoors, well watered and never allowed to dry totally.
As far as making bonsai out of these; well...not every tree is equal.
These are grafted Ficus Microcarpa and specifically grown on huge farms in China for this look to be sold on WalMart's shelves.
Beyond allowing it to grow for years and years into something suitable, it is what it is.

EDIT:
If you want it to live, you're best off putting it outdoors and watering it daily (if not twice daily in your climate).
This is a tropical tree; it loves sunlight, heat and humidity.
 

SeaBucket

Seedling
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Location
Chandler, Arizona
USDA Zone
10a
It is usually 107 degrees outside during the day. It's a little humid, but can a little ficus bonsai really stand up to that? Everywhere else I have read has suggested keeping it indoors. Can I get some more opinions from others on this?

Should it be in the sun or a spot where it shades over a little? This bonsai was supposed to be me dipping my toes into the hobby. I didn't want to buy a fancy bonsai without any experience

:confused:
 

pitchpine

Mame
Messages
155
Reaction score
115
Location
Metro Boston
USDA Zone
6a
I concur with Carp's advice---I've had one of these guys for a few years now, and the only reason it's doing well is its summer vacations outside in the sun. I've managed to keep it alive indoors through a few New England winters by keeping it under strong fluorescent lights, but it needs the summer outside to regain strength and actually grow.

Misting definitely won't cut it, you'll want to soak the soil thoroughly and then wait till it feels dry an inch or so below the surface. That may mean watering twice a day, once a day, once every few days, or one a week depending on the temperature, sunlight, and whether your ficus is actively growing.

If it were me, in Arizona, I'd start out putting it somewhere it gets direct sun only for a few hours, preferably in the morning. Do you have a place outside you could do that? Then once it starts regaining some strength and putting out new leaves, move it to more sun.

Good luck! What you've got may not be classical bonsai material, but if you can keep it alive and enjoy watching it develop, that's the first step. :)

Laura

It is usually 107 degrees outside during the day. It's a little humid, but can a little ficus bonsai really stand up to that? Everywhere else I have read has suggested keeping it indoors. Can I get some more opinions from others on this?

Should it be in the sun or a spot where it shades over a little? This bonsai was supposed to be me dipping my toes into the hobby. I didn't want to buy a fancy bonsai without any experience

:confused:
 
Last edited:

Similar threads

Top Bottom