Author Topic: New ficus benjamina  (Read 3892 times)

jlushious

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New ficus benjamina
« on: January 18, 2014, 05:35 PM »
Was at a local garden centre today picking up some soils and came across this little guy for only $12. I thought it had good trunk movement so I picked it up. I gently repotted into a better soil (as shown) as it was in really awful potting soil that was so wet it was kind of soupy. It also wasn't keeping the little guy in place.

I picked up a colander on my way home and potted it into that. I know these like humidity so it's obviously indoors, I also placed it on a tray with water and it's in my kitchen - so hopefully it doesn't feel too dry!
 

Larry Gockley

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Re: New ficus benjamina
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2014, 06:32 PM »
Looks good. A little case of spring fever, perhaps ? ;)
 

jlushious

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Re: New ficus benjamina
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2014, 08:52 PM »
Weeeelllllll maybe! All my trees are outdoors, buried in snow or in a dark shed. It's kind of nice to have some green to see everyday!
 

ortizdhs

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Re: New ficus benjamina
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2014, 12:36 PM »
I remember seen this in Golden Acre or the one close to Cross Iron Mills. I was going to pick one up myself. I like how the leaves are smaller than the regular Benjamina. By the way, any word on the collection with Mike?

Regards

Pedro
 

Sorce

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Re: New ficus benjamina
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2014, 05:52 PM »
It's nice to see your Winter Blues turn green! Welcome to Tropicals!

If I may share....

I have about 10 cuttings rooted from 2012 in a pot about the size of that one. Last winter, they were all the size of new growth. I set it under the flourescents for 16 hours on, with only one directly under the light. That one is now cigar thick, the others barely cigarettes.

I also use a regular energy efficient bulb in a lamp with a moveable arm and place it directly over low branches on larger trees that need to  catch up in size. This also works to great effect.

Most importantly, if that place is its final home by the window. You can just pull the blinds up so only the bottom gets direct light.

And leaf pruning. (photos) This was an air layer. Note the thinnest branch on the bottom. Pic one. After one season. By defoliating the top, 2-3 times, the bottom branch caught up.

I hope this helps you maintain that wicked trunkline.

Sorce
 

jlushious

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Re: New ficus benjamina
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2014, 06:20 PM »
Hi Pedro, I picked it up at Blue Grass, the one up near crossiron. There were others but were truly just sticks in pots! I haven't heard yet, hopefully we can get together this week though!

Thanks Sorce, I did just get a grow light for my red pines that I am trying out from seed. I will give this guys some extra light since it sounds like it will help thicken it up. For now that's the brightest spot in my house, so it's likely that it will be its long-term home until the summer warmth rolls around (maybe for a 3 week period in July...).

I had read that they don't like direct sun, but need lots of brightness, so I was keeping the blinds down.
 

Sorce

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Re: New ficus benjamina
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2014, 09:43 PM »
It should take full sun well. The only problem is change. From high light to low.

I kept one outside last year and it grew well, much stronger, healthier, thick leaves. But is sulking inside now. Even right under the flourescents.

I think I'm underwatering it also though.

If you haven't, excellent info.  http://www.bonsaihunk.us/index.html

And the care sheet here has a list of leaf problems and symptoms I find very useful. Good info for other trees too.

http://www.bonsaitoolchest.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=63
  ;D

 

jlushious

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Re: New ficus benjamina
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2014, 09:41 AM »
Thanks for the species info!

I'd love to put mine outside... but... well, I'm zone 3.... :D
 

Joshua Hanzman

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Re: New ficus benjamina
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2014, 12:26 AM »
Very nice trunk line, good catch! I just bought twin T5 lights for my indoors, and I think even that is not yet enough for my neea =(

But I think ficus do fine in relatively low light so I wouldn't worry to much..
 

ortizdhs

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Re: New ficus benjamina
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2014, 01:23 PM »
Like Joshua mention, Some Ficus do OK in low light. One of the only setbacks is that the leaves tend to become larger in order to have more surface in them receiving light.

regards

Ortiz
 

jlushious

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Re: New ficus benjamina
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2014, 10:27 AM »
Thanks gents, I am moving to a new place (same town though, so still zone 3, haha). And will have more windows with southern exposure which will be the future home of this little guy. I have it under grow lights right now, I think the roots are doing well as it's already really sturdy in the basket that I have removed the chopstick prop I had put in. I have some new leaves starting to bud out so hopefully that means it's not dying yet!

I also put that plate underneath it and use it to catch the water from watering so it has it's own little humidity tray since it's pretty dry here. So far so good!
 

augustine

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Re: New ficus benjamina
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2014, 09:20 AM »
Jlushious,

In my experience Benjamina does not backbud reliably from a branch without foliage (in my area zone 7a). Therefore you may want to keep foliage on a branch if you are reducing/shortening branches. Or you could test it (removing all leaves to see if it will backbud) on a branch that you do not want.

I've read that they do backbud more reliably in warmer climes.

Best regards,

Augustine
 

jlushious

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Re: New ficus benjamina
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2014, 11:23 AM »
I stand corrected, the move to the new house may have killed it. All the leaves are drying, rolling up and falling off.

I know it's related to the move and change in light, but my question is can ficus recover from a total leaf drop? I am also wondering if I should defoliate the whole thing - every single leaf is drying up - to save its energy from trying to save its dead leaves and put that energy into new buds? Thoughts?
 

ortizdhs

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Re: New ficus benjamina
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2014, 11:53 AM »
Do you have a window facing south? I will not recommend that you defoliate a Benjamina fully. They don't really like it. Slow down the watering and instead mist it with a sprayer. Do you have Superthrive? Let me know as. I have some. Text me if you need some other help.

Pedro
 

jlushious

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Re: New ficus benjamina
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2014, 12:32 PM »
I only have a southeast window, it gets good light throughout the day. I have been misting twice a day, and not watering quite as much. I don't have superthrive, but I should probably get some. Can you buy it locally do you know? It's  basically like  a multivitamin for plants right?