[Neli] ficus benjamina Natasha

To create the best possible Shohin sized bonsai from raw, untrained stock over a period of 18 months.

[Neli] ficus benjamina Natasha

Postby Neli » March 21st, 2013, 3:00 am

• Species name ficus benjamina Natasha
• Original height of stock 30cm
• Where you obtained it from: Bought it in SA last month
• Cost of stock: R40
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I plan to reduce it to less than 10cm trunk height from present.I brought it without any soil...so it was in bad condition...so I was not sure if it will survive, and two friends wanted cuttings...so I took 4 cuttings from the top just in case it dies. Not for purposes of styling. That is where the biggest cuttings were.
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Last edited by Neli on March 21st, 2013, 3:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Neli] ficus benjamina Natasha

Postby Neli » June 4th, 2013, 9:39 pm

This my first official update....It has not moved even a bit...It is just the same...When at list gets some leaves I shall post a picture. It is winter here now.
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Re: [Neli] ficus benjamina Natasha

Postby Neli » June 17th, 2013, 6:32 pm

As all the other figs it is not growing...It is just too cold now, and none of the figs are growing. I wanted to trunk chop it up to the lowest branch, but one of the two leaves it had on that branch has fallen off and the other one does not look too good. It has a large brown spot. Being a ficus benjamina variety...I believe in leaving some leaf bellow the chop.One of the little branches I chopped, and left without leaf has died back...so dont want to take any chances with it, since it is the only plant I have and I brought it from abroad.
I dont think it is the right variety to use for a competition, since I have now found out it is the slowest growing variety of benjamina, but I hope to learn something in the process, and that is important to me.
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Last edited by Neli on June 17th, 2013, 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I ask lots of questions that sound like suggestions. Please remember I am a inquisitive newbie trying to figure out why You made a particular decision, in order to learn.
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Re: [Neli] ficus benjamina Natasha

Postby Neli » September 28th, 2013, 3:16 am

I dont think it has added more than 5 leaves. I am going to chop it, and see if it will back bud.
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I ask lots of questions that sound like suggestions. Please remember I am a inquisitive newbie trying to figure out why You made a particular decision, in order to learn.
I started a blog:http://nelibonsai.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/how-to-select-material-from-a-nursery/
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Re: [Neli] ficus benjamina Natasha

Postby Neli » December 15th, 2013, 2:06 am

DSC08409 (450x550).jpg
This ficus just does not want to grow. I trunk chopped it and at least got some shoots.
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I ask lots of questions that sound like suggestions. Please remember I am a inquisitive newbie trying to figure out why You made a particular decision, in order to learn.
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Re: [Neli] ficus benjamina Natasha

Postby Neli » March 9th, 2014, 12:01 am

This ficus does not grow....probably it does not like the soil it was in or it is just a slow grower. It was planted in coarse sand and mulched with manure...
When I removed it from the soil it had no roots almost. Very puzzling.
Made some kind of raspberry chicken from it but I am not happy with the stone arrangement and will redo it later.
Pot is DIY cement pot with PVA paint mixed it it.
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Re: [Neli] ficus benjamina Natasha

Postby xtolord » March 17th, 2014, 3:12 pm

That's not uncommon even here.
I've got some ficus that grow like crazy and others that just seem not to want to grow, even in same soil mix and with same feeding regime and same sunny location.
I usually defoliate those that do not want to grow.
I don't get as much growth as for the other ficus, but it does force the plant to backbud and produce smaller leaves.
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Re: [Neli] ficus benjamina Natasha

Postby Neli » March 17th, 2014, 9:37 pm

Thanks Xavier, This one is a benjamina so I would not dare defoliate it...had bad experience with that.
I ask lots of questions that sound like suggestions. Please remember I am a inquisitive newbie trying to figure out why You made a particular decision, in order to learn.
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Re: [Neli] ficus benjamina Natasha

Postby Neli » June 5th, 2014, 6:35 pm

This one is turning out cute I think. :( :lost: It was not growing at all, so it has surprised me.
Image
Image
Image
I ask lots of questions that sound like suggestions. Please remember I am a inquisitive newbie trying to figure out why You made a particular decision, in order to learn.
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Re: [Neli] ficus benjamina Natasha

Postby xtolord » June 5th, 2014, 7:02 pm

I get that with my benjamina too...
When I'm expecting something out of them they seem to stagnate, then I just forget them in a corner for 6 months and they decide to grow wild.

Anyway this one is turning out nice.
What's the green and white stuff you are using in the composition?

Did you try to defoliate it??
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Re: [Neli] ficus benjamina Natasha

Postby Neli » June 5th, 2014, 8:01 pm

Thanks Xavier...
The white stuff are stones...but I dont like them so I shall change them while repotting (I will have to repot it now)
The only greed (dead looking stuff ) I can thing of is the moss that is looking pitiful.
I would never dare defoliate FB...I tried on one...a trunk chop (died) Defoliation here = dead branches.
Last edited by Neli on June 5th, 2014, 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I ask lots of questions that sound like suggestions. Please remember I am a inquisitive newbie trying to figure out why You made a particular decision, in order to learn.
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Re: [Neli] ficus benjamina Natasha

Postby Neli » September 10th, 2014, 12:54 am

Final submission. This is the slowest growing ficus I know...plus you can not defoliate or trunk/branch chop without leaving leaves at the end...so I had to develop a system for trimming it.
I had to wait for a long time to reduce the trunk...by slowly reducing it in order to get back budding, and chop it back to a small branch.
Ramification was developed by cut back, to 2 leaves. Wiring was employed plus clip and grow.
Pot is home made cement slab. I dont like the stones...Eventually they will be replaced.
09 09 2014 102 (550x441).jpg
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I ask lots of questions that sound like suggestions. Please remember I am a inquisitive newbie trying to figure out why You made a particular decision, in order to learn.
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Re: [Neli] ficus benjamina Natasha

Postby Neli » September 27th, 2014, 2:19 am

Comments:
Ficus benjamina Natasha is a very slow growing fig. The first year there was almost no growth. Eventually I managed to get a low shoot to which to trunk chop it. FB, needs to be cut like juniper. Leaves need to be left at the end of the branch or he branch dies.
The tray is a DIY cement tray. The stones are carved by me, but I dont like them...For the next repot I shall carve better ones...
Only wiring was used so far and a trunk chop.
I like the shape of the tree. Now it is a matter of developing better branch structure and elongating a bit the first righ branch.
I ask lots of questions that sound like suggestions. Please remember I am a inquisitive newbie trying to figure out why You made a particular decision, in order to learn.
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Re: [Neli] ficus benjamina Natasha

Postby Tambrand » September 27th, 2014, 9:47 pm

Hiya G.M,

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.
Baba K.
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Re: [Neli] ficus benjamina Natasha

Postby Neli » September 27th, 2014, 10:10 pm

Baba K I have one of this but it is in a huge pot fattening and it is not very fast about it...Are you sure it will fatten so much in a small pot like that.
My medium is 100% inorganic...and I fertilize every week at half strength...
And note and stay away...I am the chop chop girl....I would have chopped it long ago... :lol:
I ask lots of questions that sound like suggestions. Please remember I am a inquisitive newbie trying to figure out why You made a particular decision, in order to learn.
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