Chinese Banyan Ficus Microcarpa Ficus retusa - Bonsai Trees for Beginners

After the Chinese Elm the Chinese Banyan, Ficus microcarpa (somtimes called Ficus retusa) is the most commonly grown Bonsai species. This how to video helps remove many of myth and confusion about growing them and shows how straight forward and enjoyable they are to grow.

The identifying of Chinese Banyan is quite simple. It has oval shaped dark green to medium green leaves. There are no serrations on the leaf edges. It has short petals, less than about a centimetre. If you break the leaf off the stem, a white sap generally oozes from it. The bark can be light gray to brown. It has spots on the bark which form quite a nice character. Often, if the tree is grown in humid conditions, it will have aerial hanging roots. The Chinese Banyan, in our part of the world, is an indoor tree. You can bring it out from May to about October or when temperatures start dropping below 6 degrees nighttime, it's time to get it back indoors. It needs a lot of humidity so, especially when its grown indoors, it needs a humidity tray, so place the tray underneath it with some gravel so that the water collects in it and provides a microclimate for the tree. The Chinese Banyan is a continuously growing tree so you can prune throughout the year, and because of that, you can also feed it throughout the year. I prefer to use a balanced fertilizer on the trees, 555 is pretty good. If you have access to an organic fertilizer, use a pelleted version of it. Let it slow feed the tree because, as its continuously growing, it needs feeding all through the year. Its a tropical tree, so over there, they dont have seasons, its always growing. You cut the branches once its grown about seven leaves. You cut it back to about two nodes or three nodes, three nodes is preferable. You also find that as soon as you prune it, it creates small little branchlets or lateral growths immediately below the area that youve pruned. To be repotted, again any time of the year. It's best to do it in Spring when the weather starts warming. I generally do not do it until the temperatures outdoors have become 10 degrees at nighttime. It grows easily from cuttings. Cuttings have an 80 90% success rate so they add quite easily to the collection.

Uploaded: 23/07/2015 Presenter: Mark D'Cruz Film by: Sandra Rychlicka
Tags: Bonsai;Ficus Retusa (Organism Classification);Tree (Literature Subject);Banyan (Organism Classification);Ficus Microcarpa (Organism Classification)

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