always good to see your work, it's inspiring.
I have found that Ficus in general on my side like to grow in either 3 mm to 5 mm builder's gravel [ silica base ] and just compost, or Lecca [ the expanded clay pebbles - at 12 mm to 15 mm to 8 mm [ I hand rolled the 8 size ] and compost.
The sizes are kept as close as possible to each measurement - for example - all at 8 mm or all at 12 mm........
Using by volume, 70 to 80 % inorganic and 30 to 20 % compost.
After the second or third watering it looks like you are growing them in stone. I also fertilise with a 20 - 20 - 20 Blaucorn, but sparingly as I find the growth turns very coarse, due to the faster growth.
I just took off another section of a home grown Natasha [ something like 36 cm trunk - large pot grown , since the early 90's ]
Since I shifted to this growing medium/s I have had no problems.
I am also using shallow pots, say 2.5 cm deep.
Here is a shot of a test tree, old image, I am working on the second branch and branchlets on the first.
Will show you a new image, but it will be a while as I am going back to my original way of imaging, a photograph, and I will then digitise for use on-line. I used to keep a photo album and I miss filling it with memories. The digital just is not doing it for me.
This a local ficus p. and the trunk is 5 cm, height 26 cm. I hope by next year it will be around 8 cm [ year six ] and into branchlets on the entire tree. Something about 38 cm tall.
I have several of these pots with [ as a joke ] an informal upright, a leaning and a broom style. I am training myself to make the Ficus p. sit up and beg.
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"We grow our Bonsai for Beauty, not for produce or lumber."