Ask a Question forum→Ficus Ginseng Bonsai Tree reshaping project

Views: 181, Replies: 5 » Jump to the end
Kelowna, British Columbia CAN
beaunenadia
May 21, 2020 1:01 AM CST
Hey all,

N, inexperienced gardener here. I have a cute ficus ginseng tree that I've had for about a year, and I'd like to prune it to be a slightly different shape.

As you can see, the tree is showing growth in a sort of "firework pattern." I'd like to prune it to show wide and rounded growth, see the other picture!

Any advice here? The new growth tends to go up, not out, but I've heard that's a light issue so I've given it a south facing window with tons of sun.

-N

Thanks in advance!
Thumb of 2020-05-21/beaunenadia/9d1165


Thumb of 2020-05-21/beaunenadia/78bb2f


Thumb of 2020-05-21/beaunenadia/d14fb7

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 21, 2020 8:59 AM CST
The plant you are modeling was grown for a very long time under very different greenhouse conditions that you can't duplicate.

Each bonsai is unique and its overall size and shape of yours are for you to determine. In that sense it is an art form that requires a personal vision. There is no right or wrong vision.

Any stem can be pruned back to any length, thereby altering is size and shape. The most important thing to understand is that new growth will emerge subsequently on any pruned stem, starting just below where you make the pruning cut and grow out toward the light source from there. If you are proactive, you will prune back farther than you want in anticipation of the new growth.

When you prune a stem, make the cut just above a leaf node so you avoid leaving a bare stub.

If you are new to pruning a bonsai. experiment a bit by doing some minor pruning initially and then watching to see how it grows in. Once you understand its growth tendency you will have a guide for future pruning. Once any stem has reached the desired length, new growth on that stem can simply be pinched out to keep the stem from growing longer.

Shaping a bonsai is something that is done regularly and in small doses. It takes time, patience, and attention to detail. I hope that is not more than you bargained for.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
May 21, 2020 7:36 PM CST
Its good you are taking a pro-active approach before your tree grows too out of hand. If you choose to cut just above leaf nodes facing in the right direction (facing out away from the trunk), the new branch will go in that direction. Cut every branch back to the first leaf node from the trunk going in the right direction. When those branches grow out a couple nodes, cut again. You only need one leaf node from the trunk to encourage growth. If you cut below the first node, the plant will branch from the trunk and will become more bushy. This is a long endless process but can be done without too much effort.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Kelowna, British Columbia CAN
beaunenadia
May 21, 2020 11:45 PM CST
Thanks for the tips! Obviously the tree will be around for a while, so my pruning journey is going to be very long term as well.

I'll start by cutting at nodes that will show new outward growth rather than upwards...

There are a few branches on the tree that have no growth at all... should I consider these "dead" and prune them? Or leave them as is
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
May 22, 2020 12:12 AM CST
Are they adding anything to the tree? Its important to have a vision of where you are going.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Kelowna, British Columbia CAN
beaunenadia
Jun 8, 2020 1:47 AM CST
I think they do add something to the tree as they are thicker than lots of other branches. So far my reshaping project is going well, new window with lots of light is producing tons of new smaller leaves which are super aesthetically pleasing!

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by Baja_Costero and is called "Heart of darkness"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.