Ginseng bonsai

Features bonsai ficus ginseng

The plant of origin of the bonsai ficus ginseng is very large and is native to the humid tropical or sub-tropical area of ​​the Asian continent. The bonsai obtained from it, on the other hand, has much smaller and smaller dimensions and in fact can reach a maximum of one meter – one meter and a half in height. It has large, ovoid, glossy leaves with an intense green color. The roots, on the other hand, are gnarled, they can also be aerial and reach considerable dimensions. It is precisely the shape of its aerial roots that makes ficus ginseng very attractive and sought after as a bonsai, especially when grown in the rock style. The trunk is very large, sinuous, gnarled, with an important diameter, it is smooth and light grayish brown in color and has an aged appearance.It can produce small dark fruits. The greatest difficulty in its cultivation is given by being able to reduce the size of its leaves which are a little too large. It can be cultivated with various styles, among which it is worth mentioning the following: – informal or erect (moyogi); – with aerial roots (sekijoju); – cascade (naegari); – with twin trunks (sokan); – at volute (bankan).

Ginseng bonsai pruning

The ginseng bonsai tolerates even drastic pruning well and is able to germinate even from old stems. The choice of branches to prune depends on the style you intend to apply. However, those that develop inwards, downwards, those parallel, those opposite and those that cross must be eliminated. Spring pruning helps the plant grow back. Cuts should always be medicated with healing paste or mastic because otherwise they are unsightly. It is also useful to spray water on the wounds to favor the coagulation of the latex which is very abundant in these plants. You can also provide for the defoliation with a special defoliator to reduce the size of the leaves. However, let’s remember to leave at least one leaf ends of each branch that we will remove when the new ones have grown. To set the desired shape of our bonsai, you can also use wires, rods and weights. The copper wires will have to be sheathed and will have to be checked on a regular basis because the ginseng bonsai grows a lot and for this reason they tend to quickly cut the bark.

Repotting, soil, fertilizations, parasites and diseases

The best time to repot our ginseng bonsai is in late spring. Before repotting our seedling, it is necessary to check that it is in good health. This operation must be repeated every 3/4 years. The root system (in particular the more woody one) must be reduced by about half and the soil and sometimes also the pot must be replaced. The ficus ginseng bonsai tolerates root reduction quite well. The soil for the cultivation of bonsai is very important because the roots live in it which, in addition to anchoring the plant, are used to absorb nutrients. So, for good growth, humus-rich, well-draining soil is needed. The ideal soil is that made up of a mixture of universal soil and akadama (in Japanese, «red ball» soil). As far as fertilization is concerned, since it is an evergreen plant and grows all year round, a specific fertilizer not too rich in nitrogen should be used to avoid too large leaves. Fertilization should be reduced in winter and when it is too hot. Ficus ginseng is subject to attack by parasites and fungi, such as spider mite and cochineal.

Bonsai ginseng: Display and watering

The ginseng bonsai is an indoor plant, and should be placed far from heat sources, which dry the air too much, and near a window, paying attention to the so-called lens effect, caused by glass. It is also necessary that the environment is very humid and in the absence of this type of habitat, the plant can lose its leaves. In summer when the temperature exceeds 15 ° C, it can be placed outdoors, but not in full sun, because the sun’s rays could burn the leaves. It does not tolerate temperatures below 8/10 ° C. The ideal place to keep our bonsai is the bathroom provided it is bright. It needs abundant watering from early spring to late summer. It should be irrigated when the soil begins to be dry, avoiding stagnation of water, because it creates root rot and the attack of parasites and fungi. In winter, watering should be reduced, while in summer it is advisable to nebulize the leaves to maintain the right environmental humidity. A saucer containing expanded clay or pumice and water must also be used to ensure the right microclimate around the plant.

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