Ficus Virens question

spunog

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Hi.

I started a ficus virens from seed this January. It has grown at a remarkable pace and is already about 2.5 feet in height. I have noticed now that some of the small roots are starting to grow up from the soil and are sitting on top of the soil. I know this species is called the curtain fig because of its aerial roots but this is not like that. Theses roots are resting on the soil rather than hanging down from way up the trunk.

Does this mean the plant is not deep enough in the soil?

Also I would like to air layer the top off and create a second tree rather than just keep pinching the leader. What is the best time of the year to try to air layer a ficus virens ?

Also how thick does the trunk need to be in order to do an air layering of the top ?

Thanks
 

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as far as the roots... I wouldn't worry about them, they will scatter across the surface of the soil, that is one of the ficus best features, besides the arial roots of course. Your tree looks healthy, the roots you speak of are a good sign. Next spring I would see about putting it into a wider, shallower pot... no deeper than 6" and about a couple of feet wide.

As far as layering the top... I have to say that personally I would just let your new tree grow for a couple of years at least, if not more. Let it grow as tall and as wide as it wants to. By doing this it will help thicken the trunk drastically. The more you prune the less it will allow the trunk to grow.
When you have a trunk as thick as your arm, then I would start air-layering and cutting it down to form a bonsai... I know this sucks to hear, but trust me you will be happy that you did.

Now you also need to take into consideration the height of what you would like your bonsai to be in relation to your leaf size. The leaves can be reduced down, but you are still looking at a rather large tree. Somewhere in the 2 foot height at least if not bigger. Check out this link and scoll through the various images, will give you some ideas.
http://www.flowerpictures.net/bonsai/pages/ficus_virens-8.htm
 

treebeard55

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Growing nicely and as Stacy said, looks very healthy, except for being rather lanky. Stronger light would do it good, if you can possibly supply it.

As S.A.M. said, those surface-running roots are fairly normal on a healthy Ficus in a sufficiently humid environment. Just enjoy them!

Repotting and air-layering are best done, for tropicals, in warm/hot weather. I agree with Stacy: repot next spring, late in spring; then let it run for a couple of years; then decide on an airlayer.
 

spunog

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Great Thanks for the replies. I am in Ireland where its not as hot as other areas of the world. This tree is in a conservatory along with a host of citrus trees Ive grown where its pretty hot during the summer months. Do you think this ficus will die in a non heated conservatory during the winter? It can be -5 celcius here. I suppose I could always bring it inside the house proper, but even in the middle of the night inside the house it can be pretty cold.

Thanks a lot.

Spunog
 

treebeard55

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Yes, I know Ireland doesn't get as hot as many parts of the USA. You probably don't need to worry about your Ficus ever getting overheated.

I'm not real familiar with F. virens. I would check out its native range, which will give you a good idea of its cold tolerance. A great many figs cannot take freezing temperatures for more than an hour or two.
 

jose

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Great Thanks for the replies. I am in Ireland where its not as hot as other areas of the world. This tree is in a conservatory along with a host of citrus trees Ive grown where its pretty hot during the summer months. Do you think this ficus will die in a non heated conservatory during the winter? It can be -5 celcius here. I suppose I could always bring it inside the house proper, but even in the middle of the night inside the house it can be pretty cold.

Thanks a lot.

Spunog

Hi I know this one : ) most ficus I have seen die on cold temp on what degree exactly I don't know that one
 

spunog

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well its kinda cold in the conservatory in winter but not so cold that water would freeze in there :) Its still indoors pretty much. I might buy one of those reptile pet heat mats and put it under the pot.
 
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ficus, start to get upset when the temps for the most part drop below 50 F...
From experience... I really wouldn't let them get anywhere near 32 F (freezing). Trust me, you will either loose the plant, or severly set it's growth back a couple of years.
 

edprocoat

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A light bulb works real good too, I usually keep Ficus enclosed in a crude wood frame covered with clear plastic and a 40 watt light bulb inside for heat. In the enclosed plastic area its stays warm and humid as the water does not evaporate away it clings to the plastic and the rains down on the plant. Ficus generally die in the cold so protect it.

ed
 

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