Start bonsai with Ficus microcarpa,one of the most beautiful plants that suits fine for the purpose. The plant with dark green shiny leaves, woody stem and hanging roots will make your bonsai really awesome.Truly the ficus microcarpa trees belong to the fig family Moracea. Therefore the fruits are also one of the main features that make your bonsai more attractive.
Generally most of the trees from the ficus family are best options for you, as a beginner in the field. For example trees such as Ficus benjamina, Ficus benghalensis, Ficus alii etc.Certainly Ficus microcarpa, popularly known as the Chinese banyan is one of the best plants for making bonsai in tropical regions.
We can keep these shade loving plants in our balconies or window sides.
In addition, these low maintenance plants are best sources for an endless supply of oxygen. Hence without any doubt, you can select this plant for keeping in your office or work place.
Here, I will share with you the simple steps for making a Ficus microcarpa bonsai.
Propagation of Ficus microcarpa.
Ficus microcarpa sapling developed from stem Cutting
Definitely we can use stem cuttings from mature plants for propagation. For this first select a healthy mother plant without any kind of diseases. Then, collect cuttings with a length of about four to six inches from it.
In tropical regions, the Ficus microcarpa trees are widely used as an ornamental plant. Hence it is quite easier for you to collect the stem cuttings. You can also buy saplings directly from sellers.
Prepare a Potting medium in the following ratio for the propagation ficus microcarpa plant.
|Coco peat or perlite||20%|
Mix all the above ingredients well and fill the mixture about 3/4 of an ordinary terracotta pot. Make sure that there are enough holes on the pot for proper drainage. Plant your Ficus microcarpa cutting in it about 3 inches deep.
Keep it in shade and water regularly, preferably twice daily. Dont forget to add an organic manure at intervals of four to six weeks.Once the roots are fixed and new leaves begin to sprout, move the pot to a place with partial sunlight.
Let your Ficus microcarpa sapling grow in the same pot till it is ready to be transferred to a training pot.
Pinching and pruning.
Pinching and pruning are the first steps of training your bonsai. You must have an idea about the final size and shape of your bonsai right from the beginning, Hence remove the unnecessary buds and branches from the sapling.For pruning the branches, you can use a sharp knife or cutting shears, whereas you can carefully pinch off the buds with your nails.
Definitely you will get an idea about different basic bonsai styles from here.
Wiring your ficus microcarpa bonsai.
Through wiring, you can bend the branches to any direction according to your idea. For this you can use soft copper or aluminum wires. Always remember to avoid wiring your bonsai too tightly, because it may leave marks on the trunk.
Ficus microcarpa bonsai under wiring.Let your ficus microcarpa bonsai grow in the training pot for a period of about two or three years. Never forget to give proper caring to your Bonsai during this period. Especially by watering regularly, feeding occasionally with an organic manure, nipping unnecessary buds etc.
It will be really amazing, to see the transformation of such a little stem cutting into a wonderful piece of art.
Transfer to original bonsai pot.
Here you can follow the same steps while transferring your bonsai to the training pot. In addition you can use the Potting medium in the same ratio. After removing the extra roots, fix your bonsai tightly in the pot using wire. For this you can use the same copper or aluminum wire. Then fill the pot with the medium, and your favourite Ficus microcarpa bonsai is ready.Keep the bonsai in shade for a few days. Remember, you can keep the health and beauty of your bonsai only through proper caring.