The Ficus microcarpa ginseng , in reality, is nothing more than a ficus retusa that has undergone an elaborate process so that its roots take on that appearance, reminiscent of ginseng. It is a tree that behaves like a bonsai for practical purposes and is highly appreciated by many lovers of this type of plant for its ornamental value.
If you want to learn more about the characteristics of the ficus ginseng bonsai and what its necessary care is, keep reading this article.
Characteristics of bonsai ficus ginseng
As we just said, ficus ginseng is nothing more than a processed ficus retusa. In this process, their roots have been intertwined so that they strangle each other, thus causing the aerial part of them to bulge and become much larger and more visible. In addition, chemicals and preparations are usually applied to it that accelerate this process of enlargement of the roots . Afterwards, it is usual to cut the trunk, leaving only the aerial part of the roots and a small stump, in which growth is then stimulated or on which a graft is made.
It is necessary to say that, despite its popular name of ficus ginseng, the latex of this plant is toxic , as is usual in ficus, so we must never confuse it with real ginseng, which has great beneficial properties. Therefore, always wash your hands well after working with these trees and do not leave them within the reach of children or pets.
Otherwise, this plant native to tropical Asia has a leafy crown, gray bark and rarely exceeds a meter in height. It is evergreen, which is also small and oval in shape.
Bonsai ficus ginseng care: a basic guide
The main care that every ficus gingeng bonsai needs to keep in perfect condition are the following:
- Location : outside. It requires a lot of light and good humidity.
- Climate : warm, does not support frost.
- Watering : not very abundant, letting the substrate dry out a bit.
- Fertilizer : in the warm months it is advisable to pay it every 15 days and monthly in winter.
- Pruning : always in the weeks between spring and summer.
In the following sections, we will talk about each of these cares in more detail so that you know how to take care of your ficus ginseng bonsai correctly.
Location of ficus ginseng
Despite its small size, this plant is still an outdoor tree. This is because it requires a good amount of sunlight to develop properly, as well as good humidity.
The environment inside our homes tends to be dry, so the tree will appreciate being taken outside whenever possible. Of course, it must be taken into account that it is a plant of tropical origin, so it does not withstand frost or very low temperatures. If you live in a cold or just non-tropical climate, keep it at home in the cold months, always near a window with light.
Watering the bonsai ficus ginseng
Due to the ability of its roots to spread out and accumulate water, this tree can handle prolonged drought conditions quite well. However, if you want it to grow and develop well, the ideal is to water it whenever you notice that the substrate has dried . There is no problem with it spending a few days with the soil somewhat dry, and in fact this option is preferable to keeping it always moist, or its roots could rot.
Ficus ginseng is not demanding with the type of water with which it is watered and running water can be used without problems, although if it has a lot of lime content, the leaves could stain if you wet them when watering.
Pruning the bonsai ficus ginseng and other care
As we have mentioned in previous sections, the ficus ginseng can be pruned between the end of spring and during the first half of summer to give the tree enough time to grow again until the arrival of the cold.
As for the defoliating of the ficus ginseng bonsai , a common practice in bonsai, it is best to practice it in summer, after the first sprouting is completed. It can be practiced in the usual way, although it is preferable to give the tree at least 2 or 3 years to recover before repeating it, since it is a very aggressive technique that weakens it.
Finally, its branches can be wired to guide them in the desired direction of growth, but care must be taken with the thicker ones, which are less rigid and can split. The ideal time to wire is after pruning.
My ficus ginseng bonsai has green leaves falling off, why?
When a bonsai loses its leaves, be it a ficus ginseng, a ficus benjamina or any other type of bonsai, it is most likely that some of the previous care is not being carried out correctly. For example, it may have undergone a sudden change in temperature , it may not have been fertilized properly, or it may not receive the amount of sunlight that this particular bonsai needs. Therefore, we encourage you to review each of the care exposed to find the cause of the problem.