Lumpy Ficus Roots on Bonsai

Joe1980(5)May 7, 2012

I posted this in the house plants as well, but I figured I'd toss it in here to get the bonsai opinions. I have a typical variegated ficus benjamina that I got last year, due to it's curvey trunk. I intended to make this tree into a bonsai. It is all of 10" tall and wide, in a 5" pot. The trunk is only about 3/8" thick. Anyways, with the intention of a repot this spring, I scratched away the gritty mix to assess the roots, and found that every last root goes down, only to form a bulb like formation. They look like tubers, and aren't easy on the eyes. What in the world do I do with them, or is this tree scrapped as a bonsai? Thanks much.


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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

Wow, I came here with the same question about the same issue! I have a variegated ficus in a standard pot (that should have been cleaned up some years ago, but I'm doing it now). I want to keep the plant smaller through branch and root pruning; not quite bonsai, but similar. It also has four trunks that I want to bind together so they'll fuse, the largest about 1" dia.

So I took it out of the pot and just under the soil are these *huge* bulbous roots all the way to the edge of the pot. I'm not sure whether to take the bulbous parts entirely off, halfway off, or leave 'em.

I defoliated and pruned yesterday (I discovered the EVIL scale) and right now it's a bundle of twigs in a bucket of water.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 2:07PM
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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

Joe, after googling my best google, it seems the answer is 'that's what Ficus do, just leave them'. So I will.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:35AM
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Yeah, I gathered that too by a few google attempts. But, I guess my question is more of a what to do thing, because I don't think they look good at all, and will make for an ugly bonsai tree. I wonder if others have just cut them off, a couple each year, carve them down to normal looking roots, do nothing, or somthing else.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 10:35AM
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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

I dunno, once it gets big, the roots might look more proportional. Hopefully.

I taped my four trunks together, so in a year or two it should be one nice fat tree. (fingers crossed)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 12:26PM
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