Type Of Rock For Multilevel Cliff Planting

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Chumono
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I have some nice ficus retusa cuttings (3). Healthy and established. I want to play around with a 3 level cliff planting.
Other than a hand made imitation, what type of rock would you guys/gals use? I’m thinking of a lava or basalt rock with a few holes. Maybe open up the holes with a drill bit or dremel and feed the roots down to a shallow oval or circle base.
 

Shibui

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Be careful threading ficus roots through holes in rock. The rock may feel hard but growing roots exert huge pressure and more than likely to break the rock apart in years to come. If the rock doesn't break the roots will become strangled by the holes in rock and will eventually cut off circulation and probably kill the trees.
Confine roots to pockets of soil (requires extra good watering skills due to small quantity of soil but many ficus are tough enough to cope) OR allow roots to run down the outer surface of the rock to the pot below. Ficus are known for growing on cliffs, rocks, ancient buildings and other trees so roots running down a rock should look natural.

Remember large rocks are very heavy. Even medium sized rocks can weigh a lot when combined with a couple of trees, pot and some soil. Simulated polystyrene and other light weight alternative 'rock' means you'll still be able to move your bonsai when you want to show, repot, etc.
 

sorce

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Ought google fig on a cliff.

Looks like a dog walking down the cliff at the bottom.
Capture+_2022-05-01-05-55-50.png

There are good model railroad videos about modeling cliffs.

Sorce
 

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Was pondering muck and running the roots on the surface of the rock because of the pressure the roots will exert on the holes of a porous rock. I don’t usually see moss here in southern ca. I may not have that as an option to keep things in place.
 

Shibui

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A good smear of much will usually stay in place for a year with careful watering. and even dead moss provides some protection from erosion.
You may not even need muck and moss for a ficus. As the photo shows they are more than capable of growing roots through air. You'll need to provide regular misting and/or high humidity. Maybe sit the rock in a tray of water so water can wick up the rock. Those factors may be enough to keep the roots growing until they reach soil but if any tree will do that a ficus will.
 

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