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sucess of my three orphan tiawan fig Bonsai

Posted by bonsaiprice 32174 (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 28, 13 at 10:01

I'd reached a point where I realized I needed advise if my orphans were going to survive so I turned to the forum. Moochinka was kind enough to give me the information that I needed and a week later the little guys seem to be holding their own.
Following that good advice I first took them out of all that lava rock, small pebbles, sand and bark. After removing them from that enviroment I cleaned out each pot, reinstalled a narrower mesh grid over the drain holes, threaded new anchor wire ( Ace Hardware, 50' of 18 guage aluminum for less than $3.00) and mixed up a soil of 3 parts Miracle Grow potting mix and 1 part Miracle Grow perlite.
After situating each plant in the pot over a mound of soil under and around the roots, I secured the plant with anchor wire. With a throw away chop stick I worked the soil in and around the roots and expanded the reach of the roots in the pot. I finished of each repotting with a moderate watering (the perlite, it seems, takes the water to the roots) and let nature take its course.
I surfaced each repotting with Akasha natural course stone I got from Lowes. (4lb for $4.50)
Two of the repottings have significant seven stone arrangements.
Next step will be waiting for significant root, limb and leaf growth before I begin to train them. Thank you for the good advice. bonsaiprice


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: sucess of my three orphan tiawan fig Bonsai

Hi - just a tip for future - ficus like to be in relatively small spaces (pots) so take it easy on that and root expansion.... but this one looks good, and you seem to have some aerial roots which are sought after. Humidity is important!


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RE: sucess of my three orphan tiawan fig Bonsai

The progress photos are of my 3 orphan Tiawan Fig Ficus Bonsai. I've been sucessful at carefully trimming back the two smaller one just once and I'm happy with their progress. I do have a question relative to my knowledge of what I'm doing.The repotting proved sucessful and at the beginning of the year I began training the larger, as its long limbs were shooting straight up. I'm trying for thicker limbs in time and smaller leaves but I honestly don't know how I'll achieve that. Right now all growth is in thinner longer limbs and larger leaves towards the window light source as you can see. Can I correct this by selectively cutting back, trimming or other means. I don't want to kill the little guy, He looks like he'll make a great Bonsai in time. thanks for any advice and response bonsaiprice


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RE: sucess of my three orphan tiawan fig Bonsai

Hi - FIrst of all, you almost can't give it too much light for many hours every day (as long as it doesn't act fried of course... where do you live?). Second, you need to chose a small number of branches (right down to one or another uneven number) and concentrate on developing those, cutting off others to do so energy-wise. Once the keeper(s) are established - takes years, not months - they should begin to put out their own new branches and over time you'll work on those too in the same way, but the trunk relative to the new smaller branches will then look larger and older. It's hard to cut most of what's there now, so you have to decide if you want a bonsai (eventually) or lots of foliage on a 'houseplant'. Nothing wrong with either, but the choice has to be made. And of course adequate light will help keep branches from reaching for more.


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RE: sucess of my three orphan tiawan fig Bonsai

mooochinka, Thank you for all the valuable advise that has brought me to this level. I do intend to have the patience and aquire the knowledge to let these 3 orphans become beautiful Bonsai in time. Their only light is a shaded sun light source thru my northern facing apt. window in Ormond Beach Fl. The indoor temperature near the window never drops below 70 degrees. Today I rotated all 3 of them 180 degrees to at least change their growth pattern. I think they're estabilished enough that they won't get cranky over this. My concern is that I truely don't know which branches to cut back w/o doing damage to the tree so any input would be greatly appreciated. I think the close up of the tree showing the double and tripple branch configuration begining at the trunk might help in evaluation of the proper cut back thank you, bonsaiprice


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RE: sucess of my three orphan tiawan fig Bonsai

Hi - why are you using shaded light for ficus? Don't - give them all you've got!

Chose branches in an alternating pattern as evenly as possible around the trunk (never possible to do it well, but worth trying unless your planned design really doesn't want any in one or two directions for some reason). I personally might keep only 1-2 'leader' branches for now, possibly leaving a 3rd near the bottom to grow unpruned til you're happy with trunk development (it helps fatten lower down then gets chopped when you like the whole design otherwise... it becomes a 'sacrifice' branch). It cut a lot of those straggly things, but then they wouldn't all be so straggly if they had enough sun. Alternating and uneven #'s are the classic bonsai 'rules', though rules are broken all the time of course :-).


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RE: sucess of my three orphan tiawan fig Bonsai

PS - I wouldn't even try to find a final design at this point - wait (after pruning as above) to make major choices once there's been more light on things for a year or two and you can see what branches look strong and which don't, what the tree 'wants' to become.


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RE: sucess of my three orphan tiawan fig Bonsai

moochinka, thank you for the helpfull information. As far as the "shaded sun light". Because my portion of the complex I live in runs east and west and is four stories high, the winter Florida sun only fully enters my north facing window, unshaded by the building in the mid afternoon. this will improve in the spring. All of your instructions are appreciated and will be put to good use. I hope I'll have sucess with this little guy. Thanks, bonsaiprice


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