and caring for a bonsai tree seems too difficult, consider diving
into the miniature tree world with a ginseng ficus. It’s unique looking, with aerial
roots, and is considered to be very forgiving for beginners. Growing
ginseng ficus as a bonsai tree is a great idea for a hobby for yourself or as a
gift for a fellow gardener.
Ginseng Ficus as a Bonsai
Ginseng ficus (Ficus
retusa) is one variety of this large group of fig trees. Native to
Southeast Asia, the ginseng ficus is also called banyan fig, Taiwan ficus, and
laurel fig. It is most striking in appearance because it grows thick roots that
stay exposed above the surface of the ground. As a bonsai, the effect is of a
small tree standing on legs.
The tree grows oval shaped, dark green leaves. The trunk of
the ginseng ficus is thick and bulbous, reddish gray and has tiger-like stripes.
The leaves grow densely, giving you a thick canopy. The best part of growing
ginseng ficus as a bonsai tree is that it requires little maintenance.
How to Grow a Ficus Ginseng Bonsai
Ginseng ficus bonsai care is simple and minimal, making this
a perfect choice for anyone who is new to bonsai. First, find a good place for
your tree. Ginseng ficus naturally grows in warm, moist climates. Place it
somewhere that won’t get too cold and out of any drafts that could suck
moisture from its leaves. And make sure it will get a lot of indirect light and
avoid a spot with direct, bright light.
Your little ginseng ficus will grow well indoors with warmth
and light, but it also appreciates trips outside. Set it outdoors in the summer
months in a spot that is bright with indirect sunlight, unless you live in an
arid climate, in which case the air will be too dry.
A ginseng ficus will tolerate some over or under watering,
but aim to keep soil moderately moist throughout the summer and back off a
little in the winter. To make the air more humid, set the tree on a tray filled
with pebbles and water. Just make sure the roots aren’t sitting in water.
Ginseng ficus pruning isn’t difficult. The art
of bonsai is to trim and shape the tree with your own aesthetic in
mind. In terms of how much to trim, the general rule is to take off two to
three leaves for every six new leaves that grow and develop. Always leave two
or three leaves on a branch at least.
With just a little simple care, growing and maintaining a
ginseng ficus as a bonsai tree is easy. It’s a creative project for a gardener
or any plant lover that can last for years to come.