Author Topic: Ficus re-potting and defoliation  (Read 4274 times)

DorianJF

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Ficus re-potting and defoliation
« on: December 22, 2014, 07:45 AM »
Hi All

Maybe someone can shed some light on this subject for me.

I have read a few articles about re-potting ficus and defoliation and the information from different sources gives different views

Some say that when you re-pot your ficus you should defoliate the tree at the same time. The reason they say is that all the energy from the tree will be used to create strong roots which in turn with then allow the leaves to regrow.

Others say that you should only partially defoliate or not at all.

Now.... 

YOUR POINT OF VIEW ON THIS
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Re: Ficus re-potting and defoliation
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2014, 09:08 AM »
Some say that when you re-pot your ficus you should defoliate the tree at the same time. The reason they say is that all the energy from the tree will be used to create strong roots which in turn with then allow the leaves to regrow.

Now.... 

YOUR POINT OF VIEW ON THIS

If leaves generate the energy needed to grow new roots, what generates the energy if the leaves are removed?

My point of view is this:  The horticultural reason to defoliate at repotting is to reduce the demand on the recovering roots for water, but misting foliage afterward can reduce this demand too.  I would not defoliate at repotting, since I see that as weakening the tree on two fronts.
 

Sorce

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Re: Ficus re-potting and defoliation
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2014, 01:11 PM »
Amen.

If the tree is healthy. You can do anything.

I've left all the foilage and cut all the roots.

I wouldn't defoiliate.  Good energy.

Sorce
 

Charles Willis

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Re: Ficus re-potting and defoliation
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2014, 04:48 PM »
If the tree is healthy you can defoliate fully, wire, and repot all in one sitting. I only do that in the summer when they are growing strongest. If you're trying to increase the vigor of a tree by repotting into better soil I would leave the foliage alone. Sometimes a large reduction off the root system can cause some leaf drop, but they recover quickly.
 

Herman

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Re: Ficus re-potting and defoliation
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2014, 04:22 AM »
Hi All

Maybe someone can shed some light on this subject for me.

I have read a few articles about re-potting ficus and defoliation and the information from different sources gives different views

Some say that when you re-pot your ficus you should defoliate the tree at the same time. The reason they say is that all the energy from the tree will be used to create strong roots which in turn with then allow the leaves to regrow.

Others say that you should only partially defoliate or not at all.

Now.... 

YOUR POINT OF VIEW ON THIS

this reply
If the tree is healthy you can defoliate fully, wire, and repot all in one sitting. I only do that in the summer when they are growing strongest. If you're trying to increase the vigor of a tree by repotting into better soil I would leave the foliage alone. Sometimes a large reduction off the root system can cause some leaf drop, but they recover quickly.

and this reply
Some say that when you re-pot your ficus you should defoliate the tree at the same time. The reason they say is that all the energy from the tree will be used to create strong roots which in turn with then allow the leaves to regrow.

Now.... 

YOUR POINT OF VIEW ON THIS

If leaves generate the energy needed to grow new roots, what generates the energy if the leaves are removed?

My point of view is this:  The horticultural reason to defoliate at repotting is to reduce the demand on the recovering roots for water, but misting foliage afterward can reduce this demand too.  I would not defoliate at repotting, since I see that as weakening the tree on two fronts.

gives you all the light you need on this subject.

also don't defoliate and repot your Burt davyii Nana at the same time, the leaves are small already. Ramification can be achieved by cutting back hard. mine got blasted by week long rain and then some intense sunshine afterwards, the leaves burnt off in half a day, its only pushing new buds now. They are slowwww growing, don't slow it down any more than you need to

kind regards
Herman
 

DorianJF

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Re: Ficus re-potting and defoliation
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2014, 04:55 AM »
Thanks guys for all the information.
 

Anthony

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Re: Ficus re-potting and defoliation
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2014, 05:01 AM »
Dorian,

another view. Before repotting, fertilise for a month and get the tree strong.
Then just do a simple repot.
Normally if there are any branch extensions for thickening, they can be cut back at the time of repotting or a few weeks earlier.
Good Day
Anthony
 

DorianJF

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Re: Ficus re-potting and defoliation
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2014, 09:18 AM »
Anthony - Luckily I have been fertilising regularly over spring and summer and the ficus has shot so many new leaves too.

I have a Wild Fig Bonsai - Ficus Natalensis Age 29 years that I was doing root over rock style.

This was the very first bonsai that I ever got and when it started with aerial roots out of the trunk, I used 2 of those to pull over a rock. Being a total newbie to bonsai, I was over the moon that I achieved this.

In the beginning of spring, I wrapped up the rock with soil to try and get more roots to shoot from the 2 roots that I had pulled over the rock.  It was not looking natural at all to me and I thought that maybe with more roots over the rock, I might get a better overall looking bonsai.

But in the back of my mind, it has still been bugging me that even if I did get more roots to grow that it would not be natural looking at all.

So I decided to totally get rid of the rock, let the tree settle for the next year and then proceed again with working on it.

Pic 1 - 2008
Pic 2 - 2008 - A clear view of the 2 roots over the rock

This was left to grow like that till Sept 2014 when I wrapped the rock up to get more root growth from the 2 roots.
Pic 3 - All wrapped up
Pic 4 - Unwrapped and plenty of root growth

But like I said, not the direction that I believe is right for this bonsai.
 

DorianJF

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Re: Ficus re-potting and defoliation
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2014, 09:20 AM »
So I decided to cut off the 2 roots and just sit with the bonsai on its own.

I did a slight defoliation (only the largest leaves) and re-potted it.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2014, 09:30 AM by DorianJF »