[Dingus] ficus nerifoli

LittleDingus

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Two-left-thumb disease led to the loss of some of the pictures I took for this one :(

So...to begin...imagine a standard ficus nerifoli purchased from the local nursery in a 3" plastic pot that had been potted out into a larger community pot and grown on with 4 similar nerifoli for about a year. The other 3 trees had been moved on to various ROR projects leaving the runt all alone. This is that runt :D

I was hoping to pot it into this pot:

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But this pot was a hair too narrow for the big bulby roots and I didn't want to hack them off. Instead, I opted for this slightly larger pot:

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Which it fit in almost perfectly...only needed to nibble some off the bottom to let the tree sit at the height I wanted.

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...and then I chopped it.

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I left the trunk a little long. My hope is that bud on the left near the top sprouts a branch. If so, I'll nibble the trunk down to it once it's established. Otherwise, we'll see where it decides to bud and go from there :) Mostly this was the last nerifoli I have that wasn't planned for a specific project and I wanted to put something in this pot :D

I stuck the top into a spare pot with some DE and set it out on the deck for now. If it roots, I might pot it in something reasonable and give it away...

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It should root fine. It might drop all it's leaves first...we'll see.
 
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I left the trunk a little long. My hope is that bud on the left near the top sprouts a branch. If so, I'll nibble the trunk down to it once it's established. Otherwise, we'll see where it decides to bud and go from there

Looks like fun. These salicaria (note the most recently accepted latin name) are so much fun, it is easy to get overwhelmed with them.

I think that you will be happy you left a little more height on this one. Sumos are fun and all, but I have come to feel that a taller, more graceful tree with defined branching is a pleasant look for this species. If you wind up with a final height close to what it was before, but with more movement and taper, it should be a great tree. Just my two bits...
 

LittleDingus

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Looks like fun. These salicaria (note the most recently accepted latin name) are so much fun, it is easy to get overwhelmed with them.

I think that you will be happy you left a little more height on this one. Sumos are fun and all, but I have come to feel that a taller, more graceful tree with defined branching is a pleasant look for this species. If you wind up with a final height close to what it was before, but with more movement and taper, it should be a great tree. Just my two bits...

Doh! I knew salicaria is the preferred name too..thanks for the correction!

I chopped a little higher than I wanted hoping I'd be able to nibble back to whichever buds I want and hopefully get some better healing. Or at least be able to hide some scarring ;) I don't care for sumo myself.

These guys are fun to play with! I've got a couple over geodes that I'm excited are starting to grow this year :D. They don't accumulate as fast as my schefflera though :( I have one "good" scheflara that I got 4 giant cuttings off last fall alone! I may need to invest some time in one of them and try for a much larger tree some day.
 

LittleDingus

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After a wet month ending with a week of daily rains, we're finally heading into so sun! Of course that means heat and humidity in these here parts...suck for me, but ideal for ficus! We've got new buds...let's see what they can do!

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...and, as predicted, the top that I shoved into a spare pot did drop all its leaves.

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With all the rains, I was worried and pulled it out of the media. Good thing too, the bottom 1/2" or so was rotted :( Sorry, I didn't have my phone on me...but I did have a pair of shears nearby :) I trimmed off the rot and shoved it back in the pot.

There is some new green!

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It still has a rough road ahead...but fingers crossed!
 

Redwood Ryan

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Just a side note, nerifolia is the old, incorrect name. It's salicaria now :)
 

LittleDingus

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Welp, the base looks like a potato!

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Starting to see a few actual leaves here-n-there though :) I should have been rubbing out unwanted buds but I just left them. I don't care for the plump root look so I'm thinking I might just let this hunk grow wild and see what goofiness I get after a few years! Worst case, it's a mother tree for a future set of new trunks :D I will likely keep it in this pot for a few years now. I'm out of room for tropicals so it's fine by me if this one stays small for a few years...preferable even...

The top is leafing out nicely too!

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I shoved it into a pot for now as well. It was starting a few tiny roots. Same deal...I have several other larger salicaria projects I'm working on and I'm out of room for tropicals. Plus, I thought it might be interesting to see how the two pieces develop in tandem :)

Here are the two pieces together:

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They are now in roughly the same volume of soil. Let's see what happens :D
 

LittleDingus

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These guys are so fun :D

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Each bud site is a cluster of half a dozen plus new stems.

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I wanted to get a picture in the thread before they start elongating...

I'm not a big fan of potatoes but I think I'm just going to continue to let this guy do what it wants to do! I have a larger one on a rock (geode) that will need some branch work by spring so I shouldn't be hurting for cuttings any time soon :D

The top hasn't filled in as much as I would have liked.

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What's there is looking healthy, but it's got to get enough energy in the next month or two to power through winter. Once inside, it'll get less than half the photons it gets while outside :(
 

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