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Fycus Lyrata single trunk to Multi trunk????

Posted by ficuslover So Califonria (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 23, 11 at 18:06

I am an avid Ficus Lyrata lover. I have taken many that are ill, black leaves (mold) and have nursed them back to help. I fertilize and give a little growth hormone and my plants are thriving. What I have attempted to do, with out any luck is grow my lyrata's into multi trunks. I have taken short, healthy, stocky trees, removed lower leaves and cut about 1/4" above a node flat across and at angles. No multi trunks just a surge of new leaf growth just below the point of cutting or lower on the trunk at nodes. I recently bought 3 healthy plants each about 3 or 4' tall. I removed all lower leaves cut the top at a flat angle (indoor plant) have been giving it food and hormones and it is doing the same thing, as the lower bushy plants. How do you force a multi trunk? I want my lyrats to grow into tall trees with a super bushy top (requires multi trunks) and a tall clean trunk to fill my large ceiling super bright room. Please tell me the magic? I've asked nursery's (they told me there not the grower) but they believe that is what the grower is doing. I took all the trees off their stakes and put 3 stakes in and wrapped the circumfrance of the stakes to train the plants to grow strong on their own???? Don't know if that is correct but I could really use some help in making my single trunk into a multi. Please help :)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Fycus Lyrata single trunk to Multi trunk????

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 23, 11 at 18:47

First, don't remove the lower leaves because the leaf axils are where your new branches, eventually trunks, are going to emerge. Timing is important and so is the level of reserve energy the plant has. Select a plant that is growing robustly that has 3 branches or healthy leaves growing near the soil line & lop it off close to the soil line. any existing branches can be trained to the vertical, as can any new branches that appear in existing leaf axils or from latent buds immediately above old leaf bundle scars.

These are examples of plants that once had (relatively) large single trunks/stems. They were 'chopped' (an actual term commonly used to describe the practice as it applies to bonsai - a 'trunk chop'). You can see that they responded by producing multiple stems/branches from or near the point where they were truncated.

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Al


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RE: Fycus Lyrata single trunk to Multi trunk????

Do I cut it off above the 3 healthy branches or leaves? The closest my leaves are about 7 " from the lowest to the soil??? Do I lop it off above the 3rd leaf? Thanks so much. This is totally different from what I was told, so on 3 of my plants they are stripped of leaves but they are growing back quickly. HOpefully before they go through a slow stage this winter.


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RE: Fycus Lyrata single trunk to Multi trunk????

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 23, 11 at 21:35

How about a picture so we can see what we're dealing with? You can email if you're unsure of how to embed an image.

Al


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RE: Fycus Lyrata single trunk to Multi trunk????

I just recently obtained a dying ficus lyrata and I was wondering if I posted up pics of my plant, someone can help guide me to nursing it back to health.


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RE: Fycus Lyrata single trunk to Multi trunk????

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 11, 12 at 21:04

No guarantees, but I should be able to share some things that would change the plant's course if it's not already past the point of no return. You might start here (see below):

Al

Here is a link that might be useful: More info


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RE: Fycus Lyrata single trunk to Multi trunk????

This is what the ficus lyrata that was donated to me looks like. I have more pictures but I'm unsure how to upload multiple pictures. I'm about to repot it in a few days.


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RE: Fycus Lyrata single trunk to Multi trunk????

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 23, 12 at 11:42

What I can see doesn't look too encouraging, but that doesn't mean it can't be fixed. Please try to get a better picture of the entire plant so I have some sense of its state of vitality.

Al


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RE: Fycus Lyrata single trunk to Multi trunk????

The whole tree is in a very sad poor condition. I just wanted to try and save it.


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RE: Fycus Lyrata single trunk to Multi trunk????

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 24, 12 at 11:23

OK - a high probability that your plant is suffering from either a high level of salts in the soil, over-watering, or both. I see you have a scheff, too. Both of these plants would benefit significantly from a fast-draining, well-aerated soil. Hopefully, you read the link I provided a little upthread. I'm going to provide another link that Will help you better understand the function of soil
and how soil choice can impact your growing experience.

Here is what I would do, step by step, to rejuvenate the plant. I won't go into a lot of detail because much of this is covered in the first thread about Ficus in containers that I linked to upthread, but if you have questions, just ask. I'm going to make some assumptions based on my experience and the odds, one being the plant needs repotting.

1) Flush the soil thoroughly and repeatedly to rid the soil of accumulating salts. When it stops draining, depot the plant and set it on newspapers to dry down (several hours to overnight)

2) Saw the bottom 1/3 of the roots off; then use a utility knife to cut deep vertical slits in the root mass at 3-4" intervals. Tease a little of the soil away from the perimeter of the remaining root mass, then return the plant to the same pot after adding some soil to the bottom, then fill in around the sides. Use a soil similar to what you have but add lots of perlite in the soil in the bottom 3-4". This will reduce the amt of water held in the PWT zone, which will be very helpful.

3) Move the plant outdoors into open shade and eventually into dappled sunlight or early/late sun if possible. Be careful to do this gradually - a sunburn will probably kill the plant.

4) The first time the plant needs watering after flushing the soil, fertilize with a soluble fertilizer with a 3:1:2 NKP RATIO. 'Ratio' is different and much more important than NPK %s. I prefer Foliage-Pro 9-3-6, but any of the 24-8-16 all-purpose fertilizers are ok, as is MG's 12-4-8 liquid in the yellow jug.

5) Let your tree grow wild (unpruned) until this time next year. At that time, your tree will have recovered to the point you should be ready to do a full repot and change to a high quality soil.

I think these steps are about as gentle as you can be and still be proactive in turning your tree around.

There IS one other thing that will work even better if it works for you. That is, remove the tree from it's pot and put it in a 5 gallon bucket or nursery can with large (1") drain holes through which the roots can run into native soil. All you need to do then is keep it watered and fertilized. This will REALLY get your tree recharged.

Al


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RE: Fycus Lyrata single trunk to Multi trunk????

Oh ok that makes sense!! A couple years back someone gave me a dying over watered aloe plant. It suffered from root rot. I took the aloe out of the soil and kept it out in the air for a few weeks and the roots healed over!!

Anyway, I didn't know you could do that with other plants.


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RE: Fycus Lyrata single trunk to Multi trunk????

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 25, 12 at 14:26

You can't. All you're trying to do is remove the EXCESS water by putting it on the newspaper after flushing. Water that would normally stay in the soil & not drain will soak into the newspaper & dry up. Damp = good; soggy = bad.

Al


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