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Weeping Fig Tree

Ficus benjamina

An evergreen tree with lustrous dark green oval leaves that form a thick, dense canopy that is has a spread broader then it is taller. A favourite garden species in many tropical parts of the world it is also an ideal houseplant in temperate and colder regions of the world too. Indoors it is often grown as a specimen tree where its glossy, crown with its weeping branches spectacular adventitious areal roots make this a magnificent tree.

Ficus benjamina, Forest, Mrs Kale Collection
Ficus benjamina, Forest, Mrs Kale Collection

Styles: The characteristics that make it a cherished house pant, make them spectacular bonsai. As bonsai, they can be cultivated as a medium or large-sized bonsai. While the Benjamina can be grown in almost any style, they are most popular in their grouped forms as forest bonsai or landscape Penjing.

Position: In tropical regions, it is grown outdoors and requires a full sun aspect. In temperate parts of the world, it is grown indoors as it does not like temperatures below 6°C. In colder climates, it needs a heated conservatory or greenhouse where day temperatures are maintained at over 15°C temperature and night temperatures above 6°C.

Watering: Ficus like moist soil but hate a waterlogged soil. Water in the morning when it is needed the most and the bonsai will use the surplus water before the night. Feeding: Use a low potency balanced organic feed. Using inorganic high potent fertilisers may increase growth rates, but it will also lead to larger leaves and coarser branching.

Repotting: These fast-growing trees love to be repotted every year. It is best to ensure that nighttime temperatures are well above 10°C to ensure a stress-free repotting. The Ficus can deal with a variety of methods of root pruning but to be on the safe side, do not bare root and do not reduce the root ball by more than a fifth especially if growing them as indoor bonsai in colder parts of the world. Use a rich well-draining soil, one part well-mulched bark, one part pumice, and 1 part

Akadama will provide a good mix of air and nutrients.

Pruning: This is a continuously growing species so need to be frequently pruned. Let the growth extend to about 6 or 7 nodes and then pruning back to leave 3 active notes. The Benjamina respond well to pruning and ramifies thoroughly which in turn leads to reduced leaf sizes.

Wiring: While the Ficus branches can be wired at any time of the year, remember they are continuously growing species so will need constant vigilance to ensure that the bonsai wire does not scar the branches.

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