What is the Best Care You Can Provide for Ficus Benjamina Bonsai?
Helpful Tips on How to Care for a Ficus Benjamina Bonsai
Indoor plants are one of the nicest decorations at home that could just perfectly blend with your interiors. Well, of course, not all types of plants or flowers are appropriate as a home decor.
Some plants do grow twice the size when you first bought it. It can just keep on growing until it gets awkwardly big for your home. So if you need a plant decoration for your apartment, office or room, the best choice would be compact and moderate plants. Bonsai, perhaps.
If you end up with a choice of getting yourself a Bonsai but you are a beginner at it, Ficus Benjamina would be the excellent option. I know how difficult it is to choose the best one among the overwhelming list of Bonsai plants. But, trust me, taking good care of a Ficus Benjamina won’t be much of a problem at all.
What is a Ficus Benjamina Bonsai?
Ficus Benjamina, also known as weeping fig, is one of the most popular kind of Bonsai plants. It usually grows on tropical regions and often kept as an indoor plant. Their strong-pillar trunks are developed due to the aerial roots that most Ficus bonsai trees can produce. These aerial roots grow vertically from the branches right down to the soil. However, growing aerial roots is not like any usual planting process. It requires 100% humidity which can be done with a glass cover or fish tank. Construction with transparent sheets will also do.
The aerial root growth definitely sums up the whole process. That is why the Ficus Benjamina Bonsai incredibly resemble a miniature tree which becomes quite appealing for most homeowners.
In natural conditions, a Ficus Benjamina can grow up to 30 meteres or 98-feet tall along with drooping branchlets and glossy leaves. The leaves are described with special pointed tips. They can be of different sizes which can grow from 6 to 13 centimeters or 1 to 20 inches. The trunks commonly have smooth grey bark.
The Ficus Benjamina is truly a beautiful decorative plant that you can place by the door or window sills. However, if you are suffering from asthma or you are sensitive from the common allergies, it is best to avoid this plant.
As they are commonly placed indoors, Ficus Benjamina can be the ultimate source of allergens. It actually ranks third as one of the sources of allergy after dusts and pets. It also contains latex which can be harmful for latex allergy sufferers. So, if you are one of the latex allergy patients, do not take this plant inside your house. Too much exposure with this plant can risk your health. It can cause anaphylactic shock.
Suffice the Care Needs of Your Bonsai
If you are clear from any of these common allergies and you are allowed to take a Ficus Benjamina Bonsai at home, how can you maintain its healthy growth? Take a look at these helpful care tips.
- Position – This is an indoor plant which cannot endure colder temperatures but only up to 15 degrees Celsius or 59 Fahrenheit. But if the temperature goes above that, you should place your Bonsai under a full sun, either inside or outside the house. These plants love humidity, though they can still endure lower humidity because of their waxy and thick leaves. But then, the best condition would be of 100% humidity for the Bonsai to develop aerial roots.
- Watering - Water your Bonsai regularly to keep it moist. Soft water with a room temperature would be ideal to use. Daily misting or spraying is also recommended to keep the humidity, but do not drown your plant. If you do so, harmful fungal issues might occur. In winter, it may require more water if it is in a warmer condition. If it is in a cooler place, you do not need to apply more water. Just keep it slightly moist as possible.
- Fertilizing – You can use organic, mineral and liquid fertilizers. It is advisable to apply some fertilizer twice a month during spring and summer. During winter and fall, you can fertilize the tree monthly.
- Pruning – If you want to keep the tree in its perfect compact shape, pruning is essential. If you notice that leaves are getting abundant, perhaps 6 to 8 leaves, prune back to 2 leaves. To reduce the leaf size, you can also consider applying defoliation once a year.
- Repotting – Repotting a ficus should be done once every two years. You should be careful when you do this process. If the pot is congested with fibrous roots, take out the 30% of the root length. The roots that circle the pot should be cut down. Loam, clay, sand or a basic soil mixture is recommended for the soil.
- Wiring – Wiring is necessary to reshape branches. Thin to medium strong branches are easy to wire, but you have to be extra careful when you do this. If thinner or medium strong branches are wired for too long, it might acquire wire marks, or worse, might damage the bark. On the other hand, strong branches are not as easy as the softer ones. They need guy-wires to shape them perfectly.
- Propagation – Propagation or reproduction is safe to do any time of the year. However, the best season for growing would be mid-summer and air-layering in spring or between April and May.
- Check the Leaves – The leaves can also indicate if your tree is not healthy. If they are yellow, old and too little, the tree lacks of nutrients or fertilizers. Too much water may have also caused this condition so it would be best to stop watering for the meantime. Overexposure from the sunlight can also cause dry and yellow leaves. You can neutralize this with a light shade. If you notice some brown spots on the edges, the room temperature might be too high, the air is dry or it is overfed. The leaves should always be green, strong and tough.
You can also refer to the video below for further guidelines.
If you are planning to get a Ficus Benjamina Bonsai for your home, proper care and maintenance should be applied. You should be aware how this plant actually grows in order to provide the care it needs. The guidelines and helpful tips mentioned above are some of the steps you should follow.
I hope this article helps you as much as it did to me. If you have any other questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to share them in the comment box below!