Creeping fig vine

StPaddy

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A friend was pulling twenty years of creeping fig vine wall coverage and I was helping out. Here is the base of it all. Is it worth digging up to make into a plant? He said we could leave it awhile and see if some growth pops out if I want it. Maybe should have left some leave on it but it was an afterthought…here is a pic of what we found and some of the leaves…it’s maybe 18” tallish.F3CFC556-3472-4BA0-8B2A-CB40A1B81276.jpegD317E7C5-C5F7-41B7-B670-8013CE505035.jpeg
 

Forsoothe!

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Looks like you have several individuals. Dig them up and separate them and sell them.
 

StPaddy

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I added my location I’m in Los Angeles. I am in the dark here folks. I just liked the twisty roots and thought it might make a cool plant. These are worth something? It was a wall coverage for a long time and was crazy nuts to pull out. There is another plant also I will take some better pics and post them tomorrow. I have no idea how to approach digging and planting them. Much less selling them. I don’t know how to package and ship a plant etc…do you wait for a season where there strong and can handle that ?
Anyhow thanks for the replies.
 

Shibui

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Ficus generally tolerate pruning and transplant when they are active so late spring and summer have been the best times for most.
I assume this is Ficus pumila. They are not as robust as some of the other species and I've had some failures at transplant. It is hard to judge the real size of the trunks with nothing for scale but most ficus will transplant at any size. There's no real need to dig and retain lots of roots but be warned the pot you'll need will probably be around twice the size you estimate.
I have not found them particularly suitable for bonsai. Juvenile leaves are great because they are really small but the growth pattern is frustrating and needs lots of corrective pruning to get a good shape.

Good luck with the transplant. My fingers are crossed for you.
 

Michael P

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Definitely dig it! The hardest part of creating bonsai with this species is getting enough trunk thickness. It looks like you already have that. The mature foliage in the photo is much larger than the juvenile foliage which will replace it.
 

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If you have a gardening friend that has a digging fork that works best. If using a spade (or a fork) loosen the earth beginning about 18" out and feel for roots, that is resistance when pushing the tool into the earth. The tool will go into the earth at some rate and stop when it comes to a root it can't cut easily. The fork has less surface and therefore less to stop on a root, often just deflecting past. Stepping on the shovel with both feet and moving it back and forth sideways may slice through, or you may have to remove enough earth to get a cutting tool to the root. When the tool is all the way down, wiggle it back and forth and sideways breaking/softening up the soil. If you're lucky the plant will move, too, telling you that it is not fixed by many roots in many directions. Do that all the way around the plant, hopefully loosening it a little from each direction. Eventually you should be able to pull the tool down to force the plant to rise up and be free. There will be substantial roots going in several directions that have to be chopped off with the shovel or a loping shear or cutters of some kind. If the soil is hard packed, or clay, or both, it will take longer and more effort, but eventually you'll have a rootball that you wash the dirt off with a garden hose to have just the roots. Since you have more than one individual (I speculate) you have the opportunity of pulling them apart, carefully. Keep the tiny rootlets that do all the feeding wet, and reduce the heavy anchor roots to suit potting up. Some of the big roots will go out a long way from the plants. Chop at some distance from the trunk that you know will not be useful in potting up.

@Shibui is the only one with experience with these, so you can photo the whole masterpiece after washing, put it into a garbage bag wet, seal it tight, keep it damp in a dark or at least cool place, and get final instructions.
 

StPaddy

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If you have a gardening friend that has a digging fork that works best. If using a spade (or a fork) loosen the earth beginning about 18" out and feel for roots, that is resistance when pushing the tool into the earth. The tool will go into the earth at some rate and stop when it comes to a root it can't cut easily. The fork has less surface and therefore less to stop on a root, often just deflecting past. Stepping on the shovel with both feet and moving it back and forth sideways may slice through, or you may have to remove enough earth to get a cutting tool to the root. When the tool is all the way down, wiggle it back and forth and sideways breaking/softening up the soil. If you're lucky the plant will move, too, telling you that it is not fixed by many roots in many directions. Do that all the way around the plant, hopefully loosening it a little from each direction. Eventually you should be able to pull the tool down to force the plant to rise up and be free. There will be substantial roots going in several directions that have to be chopped off with the shovel or a loping shear or cutters of some kind. If the soil is hard packed, or clay, or both, it will take longer and more effort, but eventually you'll have a rootball that you wash the dirt off with a garden hose to have just the roots. Since you have more than one individual (I speculate) you have the opportunity of pulling them apart, carefully. Keep the tiny rootlets that do all the feeding wet, and reduce the heavy anchor roots to suit potting up. Some of the big roots will go out a long way from the plants. Chop at some distance from the trunk that you know will not be useful in potting up.

@Shibui is the only one with experience with these, so you can photo the whole masterpiece after washing, put it into a garbage bag wet, seal it tight, keep it damp in a dark or at least cool place, and get final instructions.
Thanks for the help folks. Here is a pic of what I got. I haven’t gotten to the other plant yet as I still have to clear it to get there. The wall was long and the stuff grew wild, and was never pruned. There are three of these monstrous plants! Ha I never thought this was a find…kind of excited. Should I put it in bonsa soil? What pot size? I don’t think this is more than one plant. It still has the original stake and there is no way to separate it I think…4AD79335-AA90-457D-89BE-B85BEE71A6DF.jpeg
 

StPaddy

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When I cut it back I just thought it looked kinda cool and tried to save the cool parts.
 

Forsoothe!

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You can't know until it's out of the ground, but it's more likely to need a nursery pot for the first time out.
 

Colorado

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I grow ficus in various ratios of akadama and pumice. Usually about 70% akadama and 30% pumice.

If you don’t have akadama, you could use pine or fir bark or something else as a substitute. I’d go heavier on the pumice if you do that.

I have found ficus to be pretty adaptable to various soils, though. Good luck!
 

Michael P

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No need for a bonsai pot yet. Just get it into a box or nursery pot big enough to accommodate whatever roots you can get. As the form evolves you can choose a pot that compliments it.

I've grown several of these, both as landscape plants and penjing. When you get it home and potted, keep it in the shade with moist (not wet) soil and plenty of humidity on the top of the plant. A plastic bag over the top down to the soil or rim of the pot will work.

Don't worry, they are easy. And the trunks are great, are the other two this good?
 

StPaddy

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No need for a bonsai pot yet. Just get it into a box or nursery pot big enough to accommodate whatever roots you can get. As the form evolves you can choose a pot that compliments it.

I've grown several of these, both as landscape plants and penjing. When you get it home and potted, keep it in the shade with moist (not wet) soil and plenty of humidity on the top of the plant. A plastic bag over the top down to the soil or rim of the pot will work.

Don't worry, they are easy. And the trunks are great, are the other two this good?
Thanks again folks no the other two aren’t as striking. They were planted closer to the wall. Must make a difference? Ok so a box then. Deep like ten inches? Akadama I have and some premix soil from house if bonsai where I buy it. I Appreciate the help really!DFA7E4AB-A330-4E83-9AC3-A64CC46D50FF.jpeg0563406E-E8EF-4DF5-91D4-53960952B67B.jpeg
 

StPaddy

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I can let them grow here a few weeks until they leaf out again if that’s better. No rush to dig. It’s my neighbor and he don’t care a bit.
 

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