Ficus retusa is highly valued for its great strength and adaptability. It is a tree with bright and robust leaves, with very beautiful trunks. In addition, the emission of aerial roots give it a special character. Through these aerial roots, in nature, the Ficus extend their branches and occupy a huge area of land.
Here we have the different points where you have to pay maximum attention:
Although we commonly call it indoor bonsai, like all trees, the Ficus is outdoor. Only you have to protect it from frost, since it is a bonsai of tropical origin. Inside the house it always has to be right next to a window. Ficus also need high humidity in the environment. Therefore, as in our houses the environment is dry and the light is scarce, the Ficus live better in full sun. If you want your Ficus to live many years, as soon as you can, take it outside, as if it were a geranium.
Irrigation of Ficus retusa
Ficus retusa is a species with a lot of resistance to drought, but they have to be watered when the substrate is partially dry. If we touch the soil and it is not wet, we have to water. It is not very demanding in terms of water quality, they can be watered without problems with tap water, but if we dampen the leaves with very calcareous water we will stain them a bit. It is preferable that we let the soil dry a little to always be wet, since excessive moisture could cause the roots to rot.
Ficus respond very well to pruning as long as they are healthy and well cared for. Adding a slight previous fertiliser is of good help. The best time to prune the Ficus is towards the end of spring. We can prune until mid summer, so that the Ficus have the necessary time to grow again.
It serves to achieve a more abundant branching and with smaller leaves. Thus we get a second sprouting. It is done in summer, when the first sprouting of spring has reached maturity.
The defoliate tires the Ficus a bit, so we will only do it once every two or three years. Although we can cultivate them perfectly without defoliation.
The thin branches of these bonsai have great flexibility. That facilitates their modeling, but the thick branches are a lot more rigid and it is difficult to bend them without breaking them. The optimal time to wire is after pruning, when we see its branching better.
Ficus retusa is a species of rapid growth, hence it is necessary to fertilise it regularly, especially in spring, summer and autumn, so that it does not lack any nutrients. From spring to autumn every 2 weeks and in winter every month. The quantity and mode depend on the recommendations of the product manufacturer.
Most common pests of Ficus retusa
- Red Spider: they are tiny mites. These mites bite the leaves, in which innumerable small yellow dots appear. The best treatment is a good acaricide.
- Thrips: To see them well we need a magnifying glass, they are usually 2 mm in this species. The chopped leaves fold, and thus serve as a refuge for the larvae. To eliminate them, we have to remove the affected leaves and deal with a systemic insecticide.
- Mealybugs: Cottony mealybugs give off an important amount of molasses that fall on the leaves of the Ficus retusa that end up blackening when fermented. It is very easy to see the cottony mealybugs for their large white cotton-like filaments.
About the Author
In Mistral Bonsai we are a communication team, technicians and masters committed from the first day to disseminating the wonderful art of bonsai. A world that offers many things to share. We believe that a bonsai is a tree with a soul, unique and unrepeatable. Another of our most essential pillars is, how could it be otherwise, our close commitment to the preservation of the environment and nature.
Bonsai pests and diseases (5)
Corporative Mistral Bonsai (6)
Cuidados del bonsái (3)
Dead wood (1)
Japanese culture (5)
The bonsai (13)