"Ginseng" Ficus

remist17

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I took some cuttings off this ficus I had. Will the cuttings develope the same huge root?

How can I encourage branch growth once the cuttings have taken root?
 

Mike423

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I dont know how you want them to look but if you root and grow them normally, then no they wont get the large tumorous features at the base.
 

remist17

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Thats GREAT !!!!

I really do not like the look of the "Ginseng" Ficus with the huge root. But my daughter bought it for me for fathers day.... could not really take it back!

Is there a way to encourge the branches on ficus? right now they are jsut long sticks with leaves.
 

remist17

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So I guess I wait to see if a branch comes out and pinch back the new growth on top.
 

plant_dr

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Pinch the top first and it will encourage side branching.
 

FrankP999

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Also, shallow pots are better for ficus. If you plant in a deep pot, it might develop the tuber like root again. Shallow and wide encourages a flat nebari base.
 

remist17

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great thanks !
As soon as the clippings take root I will out them in smalle containers./
 

remist17

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I picked up some of the miracle grow shake slow release is this ok? Should I give it something else?
 

rockm

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Slow release, especially at this time of year, is not a great way to fertilize. The osmotic coating on the pellets relies on temperature to release the fertilizer. With temperatures declining as we enter autumn, your tree probably isn't going to get much "food." Also, even tropicals has inactive growth periods, especially inside in the winter.

For now, plain old water soluable Miracle Grow is just fine...until you bring the plant inside for the winter.
 

rockm

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I have "outside" trees and I don't fertlize at all in winter.

Just so you know where I'm coming from, I gave up on "indoor" trees 15 years ago in frustration. "Indoor" trees were always too bland in character for me and required too much fuss to keep them happy inside.

When I had ficus, natal and sweet plum and a few other "indoor" species, I didn't fertilize much when I brought them inside in October--I ALWAYS kept them outside in full Va. sun from late April to around mid-October. They needed that period to build up enough reserves to get through winters inside. I fertilized very little while they were inside in the winter.

Stimulating new growth inside it really the last thing you want to do. New growth inside is always too long and weak for bonsai purposes...there is never enough light (barring extensive, expensive and specialized lighting systems) inside and humidity is desert-like. Any plant inside limps along in those conditions....
 

treebeard55

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Rock is right to say that plants "limp along" indoors during winter, unless you are willing and able to set up a system that provides adequate light and humidity. For some people, that's not worth it; for others, it is. I grew up on the equator, where there is green outside all year round. Keeping tropicals literally makes me easier to live with in winter. (Ask my wife and daughter!)

My own basement setup cost me less than $200, and lets me keep a nice little collection of tropicals. I can keep the humidity high enough that Ficus and Schefflera start throwing aerial roots, and the light level is good enough, as long as I remember to change out the fluorescent bulbs on a timely basis. (If I don't, I start seeing enlarged leaves and elongated internodes.)

The best way to tell you more about my "Bonsai Crate" is with this link: http://bonsaivaultforum.freeforums.org/the-bonsai-crate-t805.html. (Yes, shhh, it's to another forum; but Nut has been gracious about it before!) The sort of setup I have may not be practical for you; but hopefully you will at least get some ideas and principles from my project.

And, getting back to your original question: I fertilize my tropicals during the winter, but at about half the rate I use in summer. That's because fluorescents, even when changed out properly, can't match the power of sunlight. With less light energy, the trees can't make use of the same amount of nutrients.

Another site you will find very helpful, I think, is Jerry Meislik's. Dr. Meislik has been growing tropicals for decades, first in MI and now in Montana. Check him out at www.bonsaihunk.us. (Yes, his username is tongue-in-cheek.)
 

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