hi, I have recently got a so-called ginseng bonsai at home, and I would like to have some information on how to look after it. I have no idea how old it is, however it was bought a year ago but it was kept at my father-in-law’s house, who in this period pruned it without a precise criterion, when the hair became too thick. the bonsai is fine, but I noticed that the base has definitely risen since it was purchased, discovering a good part that was previously buried. furthermore, the vase seems to me quite large compared to the plant; is it necessary to repot to cut the roots that perhaps have grown too large? also in this period many small leaves are coming out in each branch, do I have to prune it and pinch it or is it too late now? I have read however that it is good not to cut too big branches and that repotting together with pruning is not good as it is too much stressful for the bonsai if done together … do I have to fertilize it in this period? I’m waiting for some advice, thanks in advance !!!

Dear Marchetto,

the ficus is a widely used plant cultivated as bonsai, because it is a plant that manages to survive even in conditions that are not entirely suitable, even with little light and a very dry climate, as happens in an apartment. It is an evergreen, which in nature reaches the size of a tree; cultivated in pots, the ficus naturally tends to grow well, even without the proper care. Repotting and more drastic pruning are done in spring; being a strong and resistant plant, they can also be done simultaneously. If desired, it is possible to prune also in autumn, even if unfortunately autumn pruning does not give a quick and ready vegetative response, as happens instead for spring pruning. It is ideal to wait until April next year, and prepare to prune and repot, with light pruning of the roots. The pruning of the ficus generally spares the larger branches, because the wounds inflicted by the toes tend to heal badly, leaving conspicuous marks; remember in any case to cover the cuts with mastic for pruning, which prevents fungal diseases from penetrating into the wood left to live. You will have to choose the shape of the bonsai from the various possible styles; spring pruning is practiced by removing the branches that develop crossed, facing inwards, the branches on the stem, the parallel branches or with upward development. The pinching of the shoots, on the other hand, is practiced all year round; good to avoid pinching the shoots as soon as they have developed: generally it is expected that a shoot has produced at least 5-6 leaves and then it is cut, leaving only two or three leaves; in this way the development of new shoots and smaller foliage is promoted. The pot for the ficus bonsai should be shallow, and not too wide; it is repotted using akadama mixed with a little universal soil, of excellent quality. Watering must be fairly regular, but to be provided only when the soil is dry, because the ficus tolerates drought well, while it fears water stagnation. If desired, it is possible to water the plant by immersion, even only once a week, or even less in winter. Fertilization will be regular, every 12-15 days, using a bonsai fertilizer.To have a plant that is always healthy and luxuriant, it is advisable to keep high ambient humidity, vaporizing the foliage, and placing the pot in a large saucer full of water, with the pot raised from the water by means of gravel or expanded clay. The exposure will always be bright, but semi-shaded, with a few hours of direct sunlight, in the coolest hours of the day.

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cure bonsai ginseng – Bonsai Questions and Answers

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