Houseplants forum: Ficus Bonsai Plant needs HELP!!!!!!

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Rosserica2010
Jul 24, 2016 11:24 AM CST
Hello everyone! My name is Erica and I am new to gardening. So I started out with a ficus bonsai plant. I was told those were good for beginners. I live in the desert and I was told that these plants do well outside in the sun since there tropical so I put the plant outside and when I went to go check on it, it had dark spots and the leaves were falling off so now I just keep it inside. Can anyone give me any tips on how to save my plant 😭😭
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Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Jul 24, 2016 12:17 PM CST
I do not think Ficus are desert plants. Maybe outside in the shade would work. Also, IMO, bonsai are not beginner plants. Very hard to do well. Gene
[Last edited by gasrocks - Jul 24, 2016 12:18 PM (+)]
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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Jul 24, 2016 12:34 PM CST
Gene is right, Bonsai can be a very difficult art form, definitely not beginner plants.
Having said that though, it looks like what you have is Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
They can be extremely temperamental, and though "they"say partial to full sun, I find that mine does much better in shade. In fact, mine is in the house in low light, doing beautifully as a full size plant. What part of the country are you in?
Was this plant , when purchased, indoors?
Possibly the shock of going from low light to immediate full sun. Best too always move plants at a very gradual pace over days/weeks.

Click on the link I added, and you can learn a bit more about them.
Good luck!
[Last edited by terrafirma - Jul 24, 2016 1:11 PM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Jul 24, 2016 1:06 PM CST
Yes, the Ficus benjamina is a tropical plant and doesn't do well in dry climates. They will tolerate heat as long as there is adequate watering. I would never have one getting direct sun between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM during the spring and summer months.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Jul 24, 2016 1:11 PM CST
I agree

Rosserica2010
Jul 24, 2016 1:14 PM CST
Oh okay. I live in California. I know its very dry right now and extremely hot. Would it be best to just leave it in the house and just spray it with water?
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Jul 24, 2016 1:50 PM CST
I don't grow Bonsai of any kind, so I was only referencing the humidity/water needs of this ficus. If Bonsai have the same moisture needs as a typical houseplant, I would simply take the plant outside when watering is needed, and spray it with a hose. I use what's known as a "Gentle-Rain" hose-end attachment, and that's pretty much what I use on all my tropical plants.

Perhaps someone here will grow Bonsai, and give you better information. I don't know whether there is a forum or specific threads that deal in Bonsai.
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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Jul 24, 2016 1:54 PM CST
Is that the pot that it came in? It doesn't appear to be a Bonsai pot.

If it were me, I think I'd just treat it as a regular houseplant, until I learned the art of Bonsai.
Name: Lindsey
Ohio (Zone 6a)
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ljones26
Jul 24, 2016 2:09 PM CST
How often do you water? My bonsai sits on my Western windowsill, so it gets a good amount of sun but not too much heat. I used to have it on my book shelf near the window, but that wasn't enough light so the leaves changed color and dropped.

Rosserica2010
Jul 24, 2016 2:11 PM CST
ljones26 said:How often do you water? My bonsai sits on my Western windowsill, so it gets a good amount of sun but not too much heat. I used to have it on my book shelf near the window, but that wasn't enough light so the leaves changed color and dropped.

I only water it when the top of the soil starts to feel dry and I will mist it throughout the day

Rosserica2010
Jul 24, 2016 2:13 PM CST
terrafirma said:Is that the pot that it came in? It doesn't appear to be a Bonsai pot.

If it were me, I think I'd just treat it as a regular houseplant, until I learned the art of Bonsai.


No its not the same pot. When i got it, I notice the roots where coming out of the other pot so I just repotted it myself. Is there a specific pot for them?
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Jul 24, 2016 2:19 PM CST
Click on the link... Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
and you will see one member posted a picture of one in a Bonsai pot.

It will also give you info about what this plant needs...
I think I'd cut back on the water. Allow it to dry slightly between waterings.
Name: Lindsey
Ohio (Zone 6a)
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ljones26
Jul 24, 2016 2:21 PM CST
I only water mine once, sometimes twice, a week! Does your pot drain, and is it good draining soil?

Rosserica2010
Jul 24, 2016 2:30 PM CST
ljones26 said:I only water mine once, sometimes twice, a week! Does your pot drain, and is it good draining soil?


Yes it drains drains very well
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jul 24, 2016 3:06 PM CST
Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig) are popular landscape plants in some parts of Florida; grown as single specimen trees or planted and sheared as hedges. They will grow in full sun and part shade as well as full shade and they love our high humidity; they are extremely drought tolerant too.

Years ago I grew five or six potted Ficus benjamina's in our screened pool enclosure but they got so tall they'd bend at the top of the screen and it was a chore to keep them pruned so I finally gave them to a neighbor who planted them in her yard. About 9 years ago I bought the one pictured below (labeled "Ficus Bonsai") with the idea that I would keep both the branches and roots pruned to keep the Bonsai look .... I should have known that with my short attention span and as fast as Ficus grow here in the south, that it would never happen. Rolling on the floor laughing This is a photo from 2008 or 2009 of the one I bought from Walmart labeled as "Bonsai", probably because of the size of the tree and it's appearance. I don't know of any nurseries that actually take the time to train Bonsai trees to keep them in the miniature form by consistent root pruning, branch pruning and wiring the branches for preferred shape.
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jul 24, 2016 3:11 PM CST
I forgot to say: For some reason the benjamina's are temperamental figs. They seem to pout when their location is changed ... sometimes even by a foot!! I'd move mine from one side of the pool area to a few feet away and they'd drop every single leaf, going completely bare! Other than the mess of leaves to sweep up and bare looking trees in the middle of summer, no problem; they always regrow new leaves.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Jul 24, 2016 4:40 PM CST
Yep, because they can grow so leggy and have such a propensity for leaf-drop, I refuse to grow them. The Banana Leaf Ficus and even the Fiddle Leaf Ficus are more to my liking.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jul 24, 2016 5:27 PM CST
I love both the Fiddle-leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) and the Banana-leaf Ficus (Ficus maclellandii 'Alii')

I no longer have a Fiddle Leaf Ficus but I do have two large Banana Leaf; one that I've had in a pot for a few years, with roots trailing out the drainage hole (it desperately needs to go in the ground) and when we moved into our new house a couple of months ago I found one growing in the backyard! I don't see the Banana Leaf Ficus for sale very often but the Fiddles are a dime a dozen here in Florida.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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drdawg
Jul 24, 2016 7:31 PM CST
I sell them both, Lin and believe me, fiddles are anything but a dime a dozen in most parts of the USA (I don't quite know why). I sell every single one I can obtain via air-layering and do so quickly. You are so lucky to be able to grow these plants outdoors year 'round.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
[Last edited by drdawg - Jul 25, 2016 5:44 AM (+)]
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Rosserica2010
Jul 24, 2016 9:21 PM CST
Aw man. I move my plant often, so I am just going to keep it right were it is. I truly want to get the hang of gardening and being able to deal with any type of plant, so i can start my own little ecosystem

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