The potato ficus Help!

StPaddy

Mame
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So my wife has had this ficus forever. I mean since we were married. 20 years. She never repotted it. Ever. Or fed it. I try to stay away from telling her things about her plants but this year I bought my own ficus and was applying some bio gold to it and it is doing great and she asks what I’m doing. So I being the nice husband that I am explain a few things about ficus and how a pot needs food more than the soil you dump in from time to time for the plant to thrive. She asks and I give her a bunch of bio gold and she presses them in the soil. Fast foward a couple months and her plant is looking better than ever. She asks me to repot it and for my area this is ficus repot season so I obliged and this is what I found. A sack of potato roots. She has admired my bonsai garden (a meager six plants) and asked if she could put it in a smaller pot. I said I don’t know how to deal with these roots…I will ask on the forum so here I am! Thanks for any help. I put it right back in the same pot by the way an hour ago, pruned maybe 20 per cent of the top, and a little off the bottom…about the same. BEC63CC2-3057-455F-97BC-9C3A68BAB7E1.jpeg
 

Firstflush

Chumono
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I have a variegated F. Benjamina in my yard. It’s a multi-trunk like yours but 20’x15’.
Shaped like a giant mushroom shaped hobbit tree, cartoonish and fun.
 

Forsoothe!

Imperial Masterpiece
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You can cut out the potatoes. You can reduce the anchor roots, too, in favor of keeping as much/many hairy feeder roots as possible that do all the work. The anchor roots anchor the tree, the potatoes store resources for lean times, of which there are none in your care. Enjoy! Take the lady shopping at your favorite place or online for the pot of her choice. Don't scrimp.
 

canoeguide

Chumono
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I'd never recommend this where a wife's long-time plant is involved, but I'd personally not be too scared to take a saw to everything that's more than an inch below the bottom of the trunk. As in, saw it all flat off completely, and then maybe go back in and cut out the potatoes. Then I'd pot it up, keep it in bright indirect or morning sun, keep it well watered, and ideally the temperature would stay above 60F at night for a few weeks, and the humidity as high as possible. In conditions like that, I don't think you can really kill a ficus.

Anyway, you don't have to be that drastic, but the aftercare conditions above are still helpful! LA is probably plenty warm and the right season, as you noted. Good luck!
 

SWfloirda

Shohin
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Here in the Florida heat and humidity you could reduce that rootball by 70-80% and it wouldn’t skip a beat.
 

StPaddy

Mame
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I'd never recommend this where a wife's long-time plant is involved, but I'd personally not be too scared to take a saw to everything that's more than an inch below the bottom of the trunk. As in, saw it all flat off completely, and then maybe go back in and cut out the potatoes. Then I'd pot it up, keep it in bright indirect or morning sun, keep it well watered, and ideally the temperature would stay above 60F at night for a few weeks, and the humidity as high as possible. In conditions like that, I don't think you can really kill a ficus.

Anyway, you don't have to be that drastic, but the aftercare conditions above are still helpful! LA is probably plenty warm and the right season, as you noted. Good luck!
Well it came out the other side ok…didn’t do the saw thing (I’m a coward it’s her favorite) but the repotted plant is doing well. Didn’t skip a beat!
 

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