BONSAI RESCUE PLEASE


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My daughter in law has left me with her Bonsai which is loosing it's leaves. I don't know whether I should feed it, water it, let it dry out, inside, outside, upside down! I'm obviously feeling a bit upside down with its future in my hands. It really is a striking little plant, I'm sure you agree.
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Pearl and I pondering it's future.
 
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I decided to research this myself and now know that this is a Ficus Bonsai Tree with air roots and alternate leaves....that's all "Bonsai Speak". Thus I do not need to worry about the leaves falling off. I am going to "defoliate" in the morning.....the ficus that is;)..... to reduce its leaf size as I think they are a bit ungainly. There are all new shoots now. The ficus is quite hardy and can be outside but not in winter because of frost. Not sure on how to judge when to water as it though as it has a very hard solid surface on it. I'm liking it more and more, although with those roots it looks like it could decide to go "walkabout"!!!:confused:
 
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A ficus is a sturdy tree. Don't panic, it will not die that easily. I guess it lacks water. Is it summer there and the weather is too dry? You have to water it twice a day. We also have a Ficus here but not a bonsai though. We trim not only the leaves but also some branches of our Ficus to maintain its smallness and round shape. As I said, it is a sturdy tree that will not die that easily.
 
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I'm new here so missed this conversation. What ever happened to this little fella DeborahJane?
 
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Thanks for the reassurance Corzhens:).
And for the concern Java Guy:). I cut back the big leaves according to the information I looked up to keep them "bonsai" size, bought some fertilizer and "misting" it so so far it's looking good.
 
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That's great! Did you do anything about the soil? I noticed in the pictures that the soil looked blue. Then you mentioned you couldn't really tell if it needed water because the surface was hard. Did your daughter buy this at a box store or one of the online flower shops? They like to glue pebbles to the surface to make it easier for shipping as well as more "pleasing" to the uninformed shopper (not saying you are uninformed or anything). I've seen some junipers bonsai at the grocery store with blue glass marbles glued on. These practices are the WORST thing you can do for a bonsai plant (or any plant for that matter). If you haven't already, I would remove that junk from the soil.

Any picture updates?
 
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EEEK! :confused:I think the pebbles are glued on. There is a bonsai guy at a market I go to so maybe I'll take it down to him. Do I just pry off the pebbles? My ipad is playing up so I can't do the forum on it and that is how i post photos. The key pad has a mind of its own, the keys flick on and off and it types all sorts of things. It's like it is possessed. :eek:I think I need a new one . I had the screen replaced a few months ago and according to the Apple people that can't be done. The camera works so maybe I could take a photo and post without any script...or attempt to type something and keep my fingers crossed.
 
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LOL EEEK! is right!. If your plant is doing well in the current condition it's in it means 2 things. First, you are doing an outstanding job taking care of it despite it's handicap. Second, imagine how great it will be doing once you get that little guy growing in the right condition!!! Below is a link for how you should proceed...or take it to an expert as you suggest! When I go to the grocery store I have to avoid the plant section. I'm always tempted to buy all the poor plants that are glued up and try and save them :(

http://www.bonsaiofbrooklyn.com/tip23.html
 
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The 'bonsai' shown in the OP is a Ginseng Fig (Ficus microcarpa). Ginseng Figs are grafted plants using two different forms of Ficus microcarpa, the scion has small leaves and the rootstock has swollen roots and large leaves which are not usually seen as it is a rootstock. The common name refers to how the swollen roots resemble those of true Ginseng (Panax spp., Araliaceae) .
 

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