The Ficus benjamina , also called Amate, is an evergreen tree native to Australia and areas south and southeast Asia, which is also the official tree of the city of Bangkok, Thailand. This tree, which can reach heights of up to 15 meters, is also widely used in gardening to make bonsai.
In this article, which we have prepared a practical guide, we are going to see how to care for a ficus benjamina bonsai .
Bonsai ficus benjamina: indoor or outdoor?
The ficus benjamina is a tropical species like most ficus, so it does not tolerate temperatures below 15ºC . In addition, sudden changes in temperature also affect it very negatively, causing it to lose its leaves, and although it needs illuminated areas , it does not tolerate continuous direct exposure to the sun either.
All that said, it is easy to imagine that this bonsai is not suitable for outdoors, so it should be kept indoors , unless you live in an area with a temperate tropical climate. As if that were not enough, it is a tree highly appreciated as bonsai for its beautiful aerial roots, but these only develop under very high humidity of almost 100%, so many times it will be necessary to prepare an individual greenhouse or cover it with a container. of Cristal.
Bonsai ficus benjamina: basic care guide
Like all bonsai, the ficus benjamina requires a great deal of care and attention to develop properly. If you have never cared for one, you should bear in mind that maintaining a bonsai is much more demanding than most common plants, although, of course, it also brings great satisfaction to observe its beauty after having taken care of your plant.
If you dare to try one of these trees, consider this guide to basic care for bonsai ficus benjamina .
- Locate the bonsai in an area with plenty of natural light but where it does not receive direct sunlight .
- When watering a ficus benjamina bonsai , it is recommended that you give it plenty of water whenever you notice that the substrate has become dry and always better by immersion. It can also be beneficial to apply water as a mist daily or every other day to maintain a high humidity index, especially if you want the tree to develop aerial roots. In winter, the ficus will consume less water, but will remain more active the warmer its location.
- The subscription must be made between weekly and biweekly in summer, and monthly in winter. It is possible to use liquid fertilizer or organic compost in spheres.
- The ficus must be transplanted every two years in spring . Use a mulch-based substrate with peat and coarse sand.
- Wiring can be done throughout the year, but special care must be taken to protect the bark. As with all bonsai, wait until winter for the biggest twists. Remove the wires in about six weeks to avoid damage and scarring to the branches.
When and how to prune a ficus benjamina bonsai
The pruning ficus benjamina the should be done in spring . The nipping bonsai , carried out pruning green shoots sprouting for the new very fast, will help maintain controlled growth tree with green young branches. The first clamping takes place in approximately April, and should not be done more than two or three times per season. It is important not to do it on trees that are weak or sick.
To properly prune the bonsai, wait until the stem has about 6 leaves , and cut leaving only two. The ficus cuts will be covered with a natural substance that the tree secretes to seal them, do not remove it.
My ficus benjamina bonsai is falling off the leaves, what’s wrong?
If your bonsai is losing its leaves , it is most likely due to some of the care listed above that has not been properly followed.
Most likely, the tree has undergone a sudden change in temperature , either due to the air conditioning of the home or a change in season. Try to stabilize the temperature in your room and pay attention to your irrigation and fertilization .
Remember that it is important to protect it from direct sunlight and that, although it is a tree that welcomes humidity, an excess of it can cause fungal problems.
If you like trees kept small, as they are very decorative and their care, like gardening in general, can also bring great benefits to us, then we recommend you try more species.