51045104 - Ficus retusa - Indian Laurel Fig - Banyan Fig - Bonsai Care Guide from Ma-Ke Bonsai
Ficus retusa L.
Indian Laurel Fig;Banyan Fig
Description: The Retusa has medium to dark green leaves which alternate up the stem and which are more oval than the Benjamina. Grey to reddish bark dotted with small horizontal flecks, similar to tiger-like markings. Heavy butteresed trunk with lots of arial roots.
Styles: Formal upright, Informal Upright, Slanting, Cascade, Semi-cascade, Broom, Rock-over-root, Clasped-to-rock, Twin-trunk, Clump, Sinuous, Straight Line, Group planting, Saikei
Location: Indoor
Position: Light position but out of direct sunlight
Watering: Water well. Keep soil moist. Loves to be sprayed and misted. If grown in green house above 20c with a misting will give of lots of aerial shoots.
Feeding: Bi-weekly during summer season. Monthly in winter. In warmer climates feed bi-weekly throughout the year.
Leaf and Branch Pruning: Pruning encourages new shoot growth and is best carried out during the warmer growing seasons. To maintain shape cut back to the last two leafs on shoots that have grown 5-6 leafs.
Re-potting & Growing Medium: Young trees repot every year in early summer when night temperatures do not below double figures. This is a sensitive Ficus when it come to root pruning, do not remove more than 20% of the root ball. Do not bare root if can be avoided. Use Loam, Clay and Sand in equal amounts. Do not attempt to wire or prune extensively for three months after transplanting. Sudden changes of temperature may cause all the leaves to drop.
Wiring: Wiring can be done at any time of the year. Ficus branches are soft so wiring should not be allowed to remain on then for more then a few months at a time - to avoid wire marks.
Notes: As Bonsai Retusa are very easily prone to shedding their leafs and becoming leggy. A few simple steps will ensure you have a healthy and thriving plant. Keep out of dry and drafty locations, they tend to shed their leaves in positions like this. Mantain a high humidity in and around the plant, use a humidity tray. If it become leggy it usually means that they have the necessary growing heat but not enough light, use a grow lamp to bost light or move to a more well lit place.
Photo credits:
1). Mark D'Cruz, http://www.makebonsai.com

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