Ask a Question forum: Need help with basics of taking care of Ginseng Bonsai!

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Canada (Zone 8b)
Feb 11, 2019 12:57 PM CST
Thumb of 2019-02-11/Amesketches/be5cd8

Hi there! So yesterday I bought this Ginseng bonsai tree (bit of an impulse buy i would say haha) and i'm having trouble trying to find information on how to properly care for it. I have a few questions on how to care for this bonsai, as it is so cute and I want it to grow larger!

How often should I water this bonsai? The tag says "water moderately and do not allow to dry out completely". I have a bit of a bad sense when it comes to knowing when to water my plants and how much. Should I water it a little bit daily or deeply every couple of days? I usually touch the soil to know when to water my plants.

I put my bonsai beside a window that generally gets an average amount of sunlight. Is this alright?

Also, the clay pot that came with the bonsai unfortunately doesn't have any drainage holes which is disappointing, so i'm going to be keeping the bonsai in its plastic pot for the time being since it of course has the holes.

I hope somebody can answer my questions! really excited to start caring for my little tree.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
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Feb 12, 2019 6:45 AM CST
It might be a type of Ficus.
Yes, do keep it in that plastic. It's a great system, keeping the plastic inside the ceramic.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
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Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Feb 12, 2019 9:51 AM CST
It is a Ficus ginseng. It was grown as a bonsai. That means it is intended to be kept small or mainaturized and similar to its present size and shape. That requires regular pruning. There are many other Ficus species that will grow into much larger trees. I'm not sure just how much larger you want it to get.

Ficus species do best very close to a sunny window and fare poorly in low light or more than several feet from a sunny window. It is better off in front of the window rather than off to the side.

I agree with Sally about keeping it in its plastic pot. As soon as the surface of the soil feels dry add enough water until a bit trickles through the drain holes. That will be once or twice a week.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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Feb 12, 2019 12:51 PM CST
Water only when it gets dry. Yes, just use that ceramic container as a cache pot, never allow it to sit in water.
This plant likes bright light, it keeps its leaves year round.

Over here, since we got much drier and hotter conditions, I bring it out when our weather starts stabilizing at least 50F temps overnight during Spring. Then I position it in part sun area. It does not like our hot sun, easily gets leaf burn, so it is just in a filtered, shaded area during the long dry season, and gets watered frequently when outdoors here, since our humidity is terribly low and we get zero rainfall here for over 6 months. I start hiding it indoors in late Fall when our outdoor temps starts dipping below 50F.

If you intend to also bring it outdoors later on, I would suggest you improve your media as well in Spring, add some more pumice or perlite to it, to keep it much more well draining. That way even if it rains often it is okay. But you will have to remove that cache pot of course if it rains too much, or empty it quickly from excess water.
[Last edited by tarev - Feb 12, 2019 12:51 PM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Feb 12, 2019 1:11 PM CST
Given your location in Canada, I suggest you keep your Ginseng inside in a sunny location year-round.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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