ficus nerifolia - Newbie

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Jerrymik
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ficus nerifolia - Newbie

Post by Jerrymik »

Hey guys
I’ve recently purchased a ficus nerifolia, I’m very new to this.
I was just wondering if I could get some tips and advice.
My bonsai is outside, it has a north west aspect, located in NSW.
My questions are
1. How often should I water it (I’ve heard everyday and also every 2-3 days) I’ve also heard of submerging the pot in water for 5 minutes and allowing to drain.
2. How often and when should I fertilise ?
3. Any tips on how to wire/style my bonsai and when it should be done ?
4. The green moss on the base of my bonsai, I’ve heard it’s good as it keeps moisture, just wanted to see if that is too much.
5. Also some of my leaves have turned slightly yellow ( the guy I bought it off said it may happen and that the ficus sometimes lose there leaves then re grow)


Photos are attached, thanks guys :)
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robb63
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Re: ficus nerifolia - Newbie

Post by robb63 »

Hi Jerry
Watering every 2 to 3 days is OK at this time of year but go to daily water when it warms up.
If you brush the pebbles aside you'll see the soil surface and be able to better judge when its dry.
Its good for soil to dry a bit between watering but too dry means more water is needed
Yellow leaves on your tree look normal for winter time and the tree appears to be healthy
Fertilizer can be given anytime to ficus, even mid winter in Sydney. As long as the soil is draining well.
Wire can be put on anytime but generally its done after the first defoliation, say late September/October.
Its easier to see the shape you want and easier to apply wire without the leaves
Your gravel filled water tray is a good move and will be needed when the hot days come back
If you search the old Nerifolia posts here [search window] I'm sure you can good examples.
Cheers
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Re: ficus nerifolia - Newbie

Post by shibui »

Ficus need to be frost free but as long as it is warm at your place it can stay outside. If temps drop below about 10C I would advise taking it inside until warmer weather.
Some ficus are prone to dropping leaves when they are moved to a new location or when it gets a bit too cold for them. Hopefully that's what is happening to yours. They usually grow new leaves after conditions settle down.
Watering should not be by calendar but by need. Feel the soil to see if it is getting dry, Some people keep a wooden skewer or chopstick in the soil and pull that out to check for internal moisture level. Water when the soil is starting to get dry. Sometimes that can be daily, sometimes weekly depending on the time of year, location and potting mix it is in. As the weather warms up you will need to water more often. I water mine twice a day in summer but hardly at all in winter. Fortunately ficus are tolerant of dry so you have a lot more leeway while learning with this one.
Soaking the pot occasionally is a good idea to make sure the whole root ball gets properly watered. Light sprinkles only wet the outsides and the tree can gradually get drier and drier. Learn to water effectively which means making sure water penetrates right through to the middle of the pot.
Figs love fertiliser. Not much demand now in cooler weather so once a month should be OK but every 2 weeks in the growing season will keep it really healthy. Fortunately figs can survive for long periods without much fert so if you forget it won't matter too much.
The moss looks good and won't be any problem.
Wiring and styling is about shaping the tree. You need to decide what shape you want and where the branches should be. If the shape is good there is no need for wire. Just trim new shoots to keep it in shape.
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juan73870
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Re: ficus nerifolia - Newbie

Post by juan73870 »

Lovely strong thick trunk on your little ficus, looks great!
Nerifolia are prone to having tantrums and yellow/dropping leaves whenever they go through even a slight change of position or regular habits. When they are healthy and strong (as yours seems to look), then they will almost always bounce back in time, so don't stress too much. Just find a spot where you'll keep it (nice and sunny) and keep it there, ie. don't move it around the yard regularly. Also make sure it's feet aren't constantly soggy and all should be good. :tu:
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