My Weeping Fig/Ficus Benjamina


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Largo, FL
I bought this tree as a braided tree with 4 trunks coiled together.
Well I took them apart a few months ago and now the have grown in top soil, pine bark, and builders sand.
I am not sure if any of you have heard of someone doing this but I thought it didn't look very 'Bonsai'ish to me.
They now have grown separately and just look like a tall tree.
Any suggestions on styles?

I will add pictures after class.


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Central Florida
I'm no expert and don't have specimen benjamina to post, but I can offer a little help.

First, like all the Ficus I have, benjamina grow like crazy when it's hot here in Florida. This species isn't always the best at backbudding predictability, holding shape for wiring, etc. But when healthy they'll put out tons of leaves and trunks will thicken quickly. They're very forgiving. Hack them up, bare-root them, stick all the pieces in some dirt, and you'll have a bunch of benjaminas soon.

Without having a picture of yours, I'll add some basic advice which applies to most species, certainly this one. If you want a big trunk, put it in the ground, or at least a big pot. You can work on the top some, but the more leaves up there, the bigger the trunk will get, assuming it has enough roots. So you could just let it grow nuts for a while to bulk up. At some point down the road, you could remove the whole top, and use the new shoots (which will come if it's healthy) to create the foliage from scratch for your nice trunk.

You could also practice pruning, defoliating, etc with one of them since you have a few. I have a few plants that won't ever amount to much, but they've been fun to clip & pinch while I save for nicer stock. Others may suggest not bothering with hopeless causes, but I've found it useful. It helps reinforce advice & techniques and lets me make some beginner mistakes on 'disposable' stock.
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