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"Mallsai" under grow light? Grafted ginseng ficus to real bonsai experiment 1 month 6 days ago #73157

  • Bonton
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Hey everyone, I'm new to bonsai but I have lots of experience rescuing cacti and other plants that don't typically thrive in my region (southern CT, zone 7b). My fiance bought me a "mallsai" the other day and I'm determined to turn it into a "real" bonsai. It's a grafted ginseng ficus, has some excellent aerial roots. I'm going to repot it with 60% clay pellets, 40% bonsai mix and grow it in my growbox with 250W LED. Anyone have any luck doing this? It's an experiment for sure, but I saw a photo of a similar mallsai that grew into a real bonsai in full sun, outdoors in FL, so I'm thinking my grow box with humidity, stable temps and light 16 hours daily should do something positive. Thoughts/suggestions appreciated, thank you!

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"Mallsai" under grow light? Grafted ginseng ficus to real bonsai experiment 1 month 6 days ago #73159

  • Albas
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Hey Bonton, welcome to The Empire Forum...

I would say it's not easy to turn it on a propper Bonsai, but not impossible, maybe a little harder if indoors...
All my trees are outside, so I can't help you with indoors info.

I shared this picture on other topics as an example, this tree is also a Grafted Ginseng Ficus, hope it inspires you. :)

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"Mallsai" under grow light? Grafted ginseng ficus to real bonsai experiment 1 month 6 days ago #73164

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Thank you for the welcome :) That's a beautiful example!

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"Mallsai" under grow light? Grafted ginseng ficus to real bonsai experiment 1 month 5 days ago #73169

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Hey Bonton, welcome to The Empire Forum...

I would say it's not easy to turn it on a propper Bonsai, but not impossible, maybe a little harder if indoors...
All my trees are outside, so I can't help you with indoors info.

I shared this picture on other topics as an example, this tree is also a Grafted Ginseng Ficus, hope it inspires you. :)


How sure are you the foliage is stll the graft> Normally a compact variety is grafted on the rootstock. This looks like the regular F. retusa?

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"Mallsai" under grow light? Grafted ginseng ficus to real bonsai experiment 1 month 5 days ago #73170

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That one isn't mine, Albas added the pic of his example. Mine is very clearly grafted, it has a chopped trunk with a few branches stuck in and no natural growth yet.

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"Mallsai" under grow light? Grafted ginseng ficus to real bonsai experiment 1 month 5 days ago #73171

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I know. I quotes alblas' post.
It is a wellknown picture, as there are VERY few people who manage to make anything realistic out of such ficus ginseng.

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"Mallsai" under grow light? Grafted ginseng ficus to real bonsai experiment 1 month 5 days ago #73172

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Got it, thank you. I know it won't be easy but I love the idea of the effort, learning along the way, and possibly cresting something beautiful at the end.

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"Mallsai" under grow light? Grafted ginseng ficus to real bonsai experiment 1 month 1 day ago #73219

  • Albas
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Well, it's not a Retusa, the leaves are different, the F. Retusa, native from Borneo, has a rounded tip on the leaves, as you can see at this KEW samples...

Ficus Retusa


Ficus Microcarpa


But you made a good point LB, I always though that Caudex-like roots is a Microcarpa characteristic, as you can see in this seedlings...
Being the top leaves also Microcarpa, maybe the grafted branches were prunned of long ago...

Well... If you look at the backside of the tree, you can see the bulb still there with a bit of a calous on top, but maybe as I said, the grafted tips were cutted off, allowing the lower part to backbud?

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"Mallsai" under grow light? Grafted ginseng ficus to real bonsai experiment 1 month 1 day ago #73220

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I'm not saying that you should put all your efforts on this single tree, you surely can get more promissing material out there...
But as Osamu Hidaka once said... Try it... hahahah (wise words :P)
And since it was a gift, why not?

Btw... I can get you this tree owner contact if you wish...

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"Mallsai" under grow light? Grafted ginseng ficus to real bonsai experiment 1 month 1 day ago #73225

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Interesting. Never knew F. restusa was a commercial mislabelling.
Interesting read: adamaskwhy.com/2016/07/24/ficus-vs-ficus/

As for the example tree:
adamaskwhy.com/2014/09/24/this-was-a-gin...ood-bonsai-subjects/

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