Bodhi or Ficus rumphii bonsai tree for beginners


Bodhi or Ficus rumphii bonsai tree, to grow easily for beginners. Especially, in tropical places like Kerala and other southern regions of India.

Beautiful Bodhi or Ficus rumphii bonsai tree
Bodhi or Ficus rumphii bonsai

Generally, Indian climate is suitable for plants that belong to the Ficus family. Peepul tree ( Ficus religiosa ), the Banyan tree ( Ficus benghalensis ) etc. are a few examples. Commonly we can find a lot of such trees aged hundreds of years, mostly in the premises of temples.

Religious importance of Ficus trees

Surely we know that Siddharth Gautama attained enlightenment and became the Buddha, while meditating under a peepul tree. Consequently the place has become sacred for devotees, and Mahabodhi temple at Bihar in India, is one of the famous pilgrimage destinations. Surprisingly the Ficus religiosa tree, that people worship at the temple, is the successor of the original one.

Benefits of growing Ficus trees

Evidently, most of the trees under the Ficus family have got medicinal properties. For this reason different parts of the plant such as flower buds, bark, roots etc. are used in Ayurveda. Preferably for the preparation of medicines for stomach ailments, respiratory disorders etc.

Likewise, Ficus trees produce the largest quantity of oxygen in nature.

Obviously they are the best plants for making bonsai, and definitely we can keep it indoors or outdoors.

Most important Ficus plant varieties in India

Specifically Ficus religiosa, Ficus benghalensis, Ficus benjamina, Ficus microcarpa, Ficus ginseng microcarpa, Ficus alii and Ficus rumphii are the common varieties. Doubtlessly all these varieties are ideal for making bonsai, especially in tropical climates.

Among these, Ficus benjamina is one of the most beautiful ornamental trees for gardens. Furthermore, it is the most suitable plant for making bonsai, preferably for beginners. Usually the plant needs only minimum caring and responds well to different stages of bonsai training.

Other common plants for tropical gardens

Besides, you can make your garden really awesome with a lot of plants that are ideal for tropical climates. Flowering plants like Hibiscus, Lantana, Bougainville, Crepe Jasmine, Ixora etc. are examples.

Similarly flowering vines, ornamental palms, plants with colourful foliage etc. are also fine for tropical gardens.

How to grow Bodhi or Ficus rumphii bonsai

Let us see the simple tips for growing Ficus Bodhi rumphii bonsai

Bodhi or Ficus rumphii is one of the most important plants in the family, having close resemblance to religiosa. However, there are slight differences  between the two.

Mainly like the colour, shape and texture of leaves.

Propagation of Bodhi or Ficus rumphii bonsai

Though we can use mature seeds for propagation, the easiest and faster way is through stem cuttings. Always remember to collect cuttings from healthy mother plants.

Bodhi or Ficus rumphii bonsai from stem cuttings
Propagation from stem cuttings

Particularly, cuttings with a length of about four inches, having at least one leaf node is ideal.

For rooting the stem cuttings, tuck the lower tips about one inch deep in river sand filled up to ¾  in a pot. Never forget to water regularly and keep the pot in shade for a few days.

Once the stem cuttings start rooting, new leaf buds begin to sprout. Doubtlessly, you can transfer your Ficus Bodhi saplings to the training pot after a few weeks.

Preparation of the training pot

Surely, you can prepare the potting mixture in the following ratio

River sand20%
Garden soil20%
Crushed bricks20%
Coco peat15%
Dried cow dung or compost15%
Neem seed powder5%
Bone meal5%

Further mix all the ingredients together, fill about ¾ of the pot, and transfer the sapling carefully to it.

Light requirements

Truly, Bodhi trees prefer bright indirect sunlight, mostly like other Ficus varieties. Therefore, these bonsai trees are the best options for indoors, balconies or window sides.

Training your Bodhi or Ficus rumphii bonsai

Bodhi or Ficus rumphii bonsai in a training pot
Bodhi or Ficus rumphii bonsai in a training pot

Let your Ficus Bodhi sapling grow in the training pot for a few years. Meanwhile give proper care by watering the plant daily. Likewise feed the plant with an organic manure at regular intervals.

In a like manner, never forget to repot your bonsai at intervals of about two years. Additionally, make sure that you are using fresh medium each time, which is essential for the healthy growth.

Either using a sharp knife or pruning shears, you can remove about two third of the roots carefully.

Pruning and  wiring your Bodhi or Ficus rumphii bonsai

Of course, you can read here in detail the simple tips for pruning your bonsai. Also you will get a general picture about the essential tools for pruning and  wiring bonsai plants here.

Definitely, your Ficus Bodhi will become a beautiful piece of art within a few years, through proper caring.

Transferring your Bodhi or Ficus rumphii to the original bonsai pot

Certainly you can transfer your Ficus Bodhi to an original bonsai pot. First fill the pot with a medium prepared as above for the training pot.

Then take the plant out of the training pot along with the soil, without making any damage to the roots.

Bodhi or Ficus rumphii in an original bonsai pot
Bodhi or Ficus rumphii in an original bonsai pot

After that, remove the extra roots if any, using a sharp knife or scissors.

Finally, fix the plant in the pot using wires and fill the potting mixture.

It is equally important to keep the pot in shade for a few days. Because your bonsai should get adapted to the new environment.

In addition, you can read here the simple tips for the preparation of bonsai mix for Ficus trees.

Lastly, keep your fantastic Bodhi bonsai at any place you like, make your garden really amazing.