Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => General Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: DorianJF on November 17, 2014, 05:01 AM

Title: Ficus - Bulbs?
Post by: DorianJF on November 17, 2014, 05:01 AM

I was given a ficus pot plant where there were many seedlings wrapped with raffia so that they could mould together.  I left this for quite a while and actually forgot about it.  When I checked it again, the raffia had rotted off and the seedlings had not moulded together.

I decided to push these through a hole in a tile so that the base could thicken up and wrap it with raffia again to try to get the seedlings to mould / fuse together.  Upon washing off the soil, I found that the roots were more like bulbs.  I have never seen this before.

Does anybody know more about this and if this is normal?
Title: Re: Ficus - Bulbs?
Post by: Sorce on November 17, 2014, 05:07 AM
I've had them before.

Ugly, but normal.

I think its more likely To happen if over watered in dirt.

I believe its to get them through the dry season.

Title: Re: Ficus - Bulbs?
Post by: DorianJF on November 17, 2014, 05:16 AM

Thanks for the Feedback Sorce.

Well that is another one tried with the tile method.

Hoping that this one works too.
Title: Re: Ficus - Bulbs?
Post by: DorianJF on November 17, 2014, 08:43 AM
Oh yes.  If anyone is interested to see what I did, please feel free to look at the whole album on my Bonsai page.

All feedback is welcomed -  ;) (
Title: Re: Ficus - Bulbs?
Post by: Leo in NE Illinois on November 18, 2014, 12:07 PM
Many species of Ficus are considered to be pachycauls. They often form tuberous looking swellings of the stem (a pachycaul) I forget which layer of tissue expands, which distinguishes pachycauls from tubers and other structures. The swelling is for water storage. Specimens with well developed swellings can survive long droughts by dropping leaves and existing on the stored water. Perfectly normal. Definitely problematic for creating bonsai.

Your growing through the tile will likely cause it to form roots above the tile, which in time the lower portion with the swellings can be removed. The tubers won't reform quickly, and with regular repotting and root pruning you should be able to keep the pachycauls from reforming below ground. Eventually the pachycaul may reform somewhere above ground, which if in the 'right place' will make the trunk look thicker with good taper. In the "wrong spot" it may form an area of reverse taper. Not a lot you can do about it, it is one of the reasons some Ficus species are more difficult than others to make a nice bonsai with.

Your fusion tree is an interesting start. I like it. Would love to see progressions as it grows. You have a nice Facebook page, thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Ficus - Bulbs?
Post by: DorianJF on November 19, 2014, 01:02 AM
Hi Leo

Thanks for that information.  Definitely never knew any of that and I will definitely try to apply what you have mentioned.

Thanks for having a look at my FB page.  I decided to start it more as a way of tracking my bonsai and my progress on each and I find it a good way to reference what I have done and when.  If you see anything on there that you think I am doing wrong, please feel free to comment and post suggestions.  The more information I get the better it is for my bonsai.

I still have quite a few bonsai that I need to put on there so what that space.