Thinking of buying a ficus

dtreesj

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Are ficus as easy as they say? I recently had a juniper die (probably, at least part of it is dead) but I want to buy something else now. Not sure how I killed the juniper exactly, but I have 12 other trees that I've kept alive for over a year, so I think it was just a fluke. At the same time I don't want to waste more money if I'll end up murdering another tree.
 

HorseloverFat

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That IS the reality of tree/plant ownership, though... mortal expectations. ;)

But to answer your ACTUAL inquiry... yes.. ficus ARE as awesome as you’ve heard...

I was a “non-believer”, also... I was wrong... SO wrong. 🤣

Just remember.. stereotypes AND hype are both based in reality...

There’s a REASON so many of us LOVE ficus.

🤓

...jump on the fig-train.
 

amcoffeegirl

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They are not too difficult if you can provide proper watering and lots of light. They don’t like cold temps. Overwinter under supplemental lights if you don’t have a good spot with a large south facing window.
Adams art and bonsai blog has been a great resource for me. Also https://www.bonsaihunk.us/
He is an indoor grower only. 777AE6C1-EA0E-4048-87AA-71387CC80412.jpeg
this is an older picture but you get the idea. They are addicting.
 

penumbra

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Yeah, I have a south facing huge window wall and grow lights on top of that, I also have a heat mat if I need it.
You are ready to go. Now you need to decide what kind of ficus. Burt Dayvii 'nana' is probably my favorite but you actual selection will have its own set of variables. Good luck.
 

JackHammer

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I really like my ficus trees, I think I have 5 and then 5 or 6 cuttings that are growing really well. I do think they are very easy to grow. I have one with white leaves that I like a lot.

It's ok if you accidently killed your juniper, that stuff happens. Saying that it is the plants fault is where I might disagree with you. 🙄
 

dtreesj

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I really like my ficus trees, I think I have 5 and then 5 or 6 cuttings that are growing really well. I do think they are very easy to grow. I have one with white leaves that I like a lot.

It's ok if you accidently killed your juniper, that stuff happens. Saying that it is the plants fault is where I might disagree with you. 🙄
It's not the plants fault, but I barely had it for two weeks, so there may have been something about the plant that helped me kill it. I suspect that it had very few roots and all of them were on the surface of the soil.
 

JackHammer

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It's not the plants fault, but I barely had it for two weeks, so there may have been something about the plant that helped me kill it. I suspect that it had very few roots and all of them were on the surface of the soil.
Yeah... that might not be something you would have had total control over. I got you fren. :)
 

Paradox

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Yes ficus are not too bad.
I would recommend a willow leaf ficus.

I have a couple of willow leaf and a tiger bark and I find the willow leaf to be the easiest and most accommodating of the two.

I'll second the supplemental lighting in the winter.
I keep mine under bright full spectrum bulbs and they grow for me most of the winter
 

Shibui

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There are ficus and there are other Ficus. Each species has slightly different capacity. Some are totally bomb proof and some take more care to keep them healthy.

Down here we use a native species - Ficus rubiginosa. It has to be the most resilient species I have ever worked with. They tolerate dry periods, wet, total root pruning, complete defoliation and hard pruning. It's even cold tolerant down to around freezing. i routinely repot, defoliate and prune the top in the same session and they just grow back even quicker.
Ginseng ficus aka Buddah's belly fig - Ficus microcarpa is readily available in most places as mass produced mallsai. I don't like the swollen roots but some people obviously think that's OK. Those are also very resilient but I have seen some dying from too much water or not enough water.
Ficus benjamina - weeping fig is another readily available fig that's sold as interior decor plant. Nowhere near as hardy as the previous 2 and sometimes unpredictable if pruned to bare wood or root pruned too hard and not quite as cold tolerant as the others.
Willow leaf fig has attractive small leaves but more cold sensitive so keep temps higher to keep that one happy. Has a rep for being temperamental and dropping leaves if it is moved to a new location or not totally happy.
Fruiting fig - Ficus carica is sometimes disregarded but is still a member of the same family but is naturally deciduous and tolerates much colder temps than any other. Very hardy to dry and pruning. Large leaves tend to put off most bonsai growers.
Ficus pumila - creeping fig is also cold hardy down to below freezing. Seems less tolerant of root pruning than most others but has nice small juvenile leaves for many years and while pruned regularly.

There are lots of choices and provided you can keep them warm through winter with plenty of light ficus are generally very hardy and great for bonsai.
 

HorseloverFat

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I'll probably end up with a microcarpa because it's easy to find. You can get them without the ginseng graft.
Microcarpas are great...

My PERSONAL favorite is Burt Daavi right now... but Pumila is proving to be a HEAP of enjoyment as well..
 

Cadillactaste

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My favorite bark.. is of a mature tigerbark. This is an image of mine up close.
20210713_081138.jpg
Jason Schley had some decent stock with some starting to show that wrinkling. I have heard so many say willow leaf sulk in winter. I just added one and have not went through winter to find out. But my tigerbark doesn't sulk in the least. I've also a too-little...which also never sulked in winter indoors. I must say...so curious about the willow leaf. Their new foliage has a redish tiny to it though and are darling.

Allowing good air flow is also key...and a humidifier.
 

HorseloverFat

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My favorite bark.. is of a mature tigerbark. This is an image of mine up close.
View attachment 386327
Jason Schley had some decent stock with some starting to show that wrinkling. I have heard so many say willow leaf sulk in winter. I just added one and have not went through winter to find out. But my tigerbark doesn't sulk in the least. I've also a too-little...which also never sulked in winter indoors. I must say...so curious about the willow leaf. Their new foliage has a redish tiny to it though and are darling.

Allowing good air flow is also key...and a humidifier.
Listen to THIS Lady!!

She, through light interfacing, Helped me gain the indoor results that I was looking for..

Ficus stuff, specifically!
 

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