CHINESE BANYAN (Ficus microcarpa)
Prevalent species in Bonsai can be found in different stores from time to time, as there are many commercial growers of this variety. Essential to make sure the plant is healthy and is in suitable soil and a well-draining container or pot.
Also known as the curtain fig, ficus ginseng and many other names - it is a tree in the fig family Moraceae, native to China and tropical Asia. It is a great indoor plant that will do well in any well-lit area in the house.
In the winter, if this Bonsai is placed in a warmer area, more water is required. If kept in a cooler place, it will only need to be kept slightly moist.
Watering: During the summer, feel the soil or stick a wooden chopstick in the soil to see whether it is damp or dry. If damp, the soil is fine. If dry, the Bonsai will need watering. Daily misting is also suggested to maintain humidity, but too much misting can create fungal problems.
Training: straightforward due to their flexibility. Strong branches should be shaped with guy wires because they can be left on the tree for a longer time.
Pruning: Regular pruning is necessary to retain the tree's shape. Not to be pruned back until the desired thickness is achieved. After which, the tree can be pruned back and will continue its growth.
Repotting: is best done during the winter/beginning of spring, every other year.
MATURE: 10"-16" tall, comes with a medium ceramic 8inch pot.
YOUNG: 10"-12" tall, in a 4" grower pot.
These are not seeds - But an Actual Living Bonsai Tree
Please see our Choosing a Bonsai page, for the age and dimensions regarding the different stages of our Bonsai (Baby, Young, & Mature).
It is important for the soil have good water retention while also draining well, along with very good aeration. The quality of the soil directly affects the health, size and growth of your tree. One of the worst things you can do to your tree is plant it in regular garden soil. Garden soil hardens when it drys and can often lead to a disadvantage when growing a Bonsai.
Soil mixtures can be purchased here, but given their weight and cost of shipping, you can also easily make your own.
Depending on the type of Bonsai you're growing, here are the general formulas for successful mixtures.
Deciduous Tree (Leafy and looses leafs in the fall)
10% Potting Compost
Coniferous Tree (Evergreen like Juniper, Cedar)
If you are not able to check on your Bonsai's moisture levels daily, add more Akadama to the mix.
Given how these soils erode over time, repotting every 2-3 years is required.
Here are some suitable replacements if you cannot find the recommended types of soil.
- Akadama - fine fired or baked clays, some even recommend cat litter as a substitute.
- Pumice - fine crushed aggregates, expanded shale and vermiculite.
- Lava Rock - This can be replaced with fine gravel or you can also look into purchasing a larger lava rock at a hardware or gardening centre and crushing it.
One of the best and easiest ways to fertilize your Bonsai, is to add a liquid fertilizer mix when water your Bonsai's once a month during the spring/summer. If your Bonsai looses leaves in the winter there is no need to fertilize it then. If you have a coniferous tree, fertilizing the tree once in the beginning of winter and once in the middle of winter should be sufficient.