Neglected Schefflera in need of some help (prune/repot/etc)
I've been on this forum for a while (mainly in the compost and lawn subforums), but I recently aquired a bonsai from my mother. She had been given this at least 5 years ago so I'm going to guess at the age being between 6-10 years (don't know how long they normally are grown for before selling). It is a Schefflera, and I'm positive that's the only reason it's still alive.
It has spent it's entire life since in our family in the same pot, I don't believe it's ever been pruned, and it really hasn't grown that much. The good news is it seems to be very healthy. My mother watered it with a weak miracle grow solution every week (or 3!), but it's main reason for lack of growth was it getting very little indirect sunlight (house is shaded and it wasn't completely in the window).
So because of this IMO the shape of the tree is pretty nice, just that 1 or 2 of the branches are probably much longer than they should be. Since taking ownership, it's been kept at my work an we have VERY good lighting. The lights just got upgraded and now it's almost like daylight. The lights stay on probably ~13-15 hours per day (except for the weekends). So I'm expected a much greater growth rate.
I'll post a couple pictures when I get home from work (have to download them from the camera).
What I really need to know is:
1. As a first course of action should I repot or hack off the large limbs (once it is decided which ones should be cut)? (this will affect the timing for the rest of my questions)
2. I'm a beginner and so would like the easiest course of action in regards to final style (I like the hanging root look (bantam?) and the root-over-rock) but really do not want to kill the Schefflera.
3. From my little research it is usually never recommended to keep downward-direction leaves. I have quite a few that are going straight towards the ground. Can I clip these off first?
I know these questions are difficult to answer without seeing the pictures (which I'll post up this afternoon), but hopefully even without them I can get some advice on my first course of action.