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My Ficus Bonsai Tree [Buckaroo] 5 months 1 week ago #81474

  • dhelix33
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I bought my Ficus Bonsai Tree "Buckaroo" end of July 2023. I knew after taking care of this tree, it could go a couple days without water - the tree was doing well since arriving to our home. I knew I would not be able to water my Ficus Bonsai tree for a long weekend in Southern California - five days. So I added my automated watering system - which worked perfectly [See Image 1_Set up automated watering when in Southern California_end of Aug_2023]. I did do some study into the Bonsai Tree I have. My Fujian Tea tree shares similar leaf and trunk characteristics as the Chinese Elm [mine with trunk "s" shape training as a sprout]. In addition, my Fujian Tea tree blooms white flowers that can appear throughout the year, most prevalently during spring and early winter. I started seeing blooms in mid August [See Image 2 [a&b]_Buckaroo loves North Carolina Summertime-Late August 2023]

Herein lies the rub, the first week of September we went to see the children in Maryland, while I had the automated watering system programmed to push water in the pot for 4 seconds every other day - I did not set the function 'ON.' So Buckaroo sat for five days without water [yikes!]. So, instead of just watering the tree to help restore it to health - I decided to shock the tree's entire system further by repotting in a new larger pot [cleaning up and pruning the longer roots - to promote growth]. From what I see there are no absolutes for Bonsai repotting soil - but I read and understood some of the science for suggested bonsai tree growth and care of the soil mixes I used for Buckaroo's repotting]. Every bonsai tree is different, so I repotted my tree to best suit recommendations for my ficus bonsai tree [See Image_Potting Soil Mix] . I first layered about a half inch of organic soil - to cover the bottom of the new pot and drain screens. Next I layered in about an inch of bonsai soil which are small pebbles - to promote drainage, [the pebbles are also filled with nutrients]. Next about another inch of organic soil - with about 1/4 teaspoon of fertilizer spread across. The final layer was of bonsai soil pellets. I also packed organic soil around the tree root. You can trim away the parts of your bonsai tree which are dead to encourage and nurture future growth and development. Pinching away brown and wilted leaves from the stems with tweezers - I have been told are helpful for the survival and revival of your bonsai tree .

The day I repotted Buckaroo, I did move my tree from our sun room - and then to a table on the patio to get direct sun all day after repot. After doing so, it was apparent that the bonsai tree did not react favorably to me moving the pot around. It was then that I saw a recommendation that the tree remain stationary at least 4 weeks after repotting - so the roots will propagate. Buckaroo bonsai looks so bare after I defoliating trimmed away dead leaves to encourage and nurture future growth and development today. From what I have read, pulling away brown and wilted leaves from the stems are helpful for the survival and revival of my bonsai tree [See Image 3_Buckaroo naked! [17-SEP-2023]]. I have moved Buckaroo inside next to my desk - and near my indoor garden - where the tree will remain. The bonsai gets around 3 hours of direct sunlit in the morning sitting on this shelf, and an abundance of ambient sunlight throughout the day [some sunlight morning or evening is beneficial, but too much after repot can be a problem. I am water misting the bonsai branches also. Have posted an image of where my tree will remain - with fingers crossed the tree will survive me!

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My Ficus Bonsai Tree [Buckaroo] 5 months 1 week ago #81503

  • Ivan Mann
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First, it isn't ficus. It's chinese elm, notorious for being difficult.

Second, stop messing with it. The tree was under stress and changing soil stressed it more. Take it outside, put in in partial shade, more shade than sun, and leave it alone, other than watering.

Water it faithfully when the soil starts to be dry and leave it alone otherwise. It may recover.
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My Ficus Bonsai Tree [Buckaroo] 5 months 1 week ago #81504

  • Tropfrog
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Sorry Ivan to say. I could agree with you, but then there would be two of us beeing wrong :)

Look closely on picture two. That white flower is not an elm flower. It is very typical carmona (fukien tea) flower. So is the leafs with those two "pointy ears". Definetely fukien tea tree.

I am humble to our different climates and what it does for the health of different species. But up here chinese elm is very easy to grow just protecting it in winter. In UK it seems like they are weed even without protection. However fukiens is totally different. Putting all the help my fukien tea is dieing threads in this forum together with the fact that I have never seen anyone succeed or anyone that can give advice how to save a dieing tree makes me think that this species is not difficult to grow in a temperate region, it is impossible.
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My Ficus Bonsai Tree [Buckaroo] 5 months 1 week ago #81506

  • Ivan Mann
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Look closely on picture two. That white flower is not an elm flower. It is very typical carmona (fukien tea) flower. So is the leafs with those two "pointy ears". Definetely fukien tea tree.
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I don't know how I made that mistake. I have a fukien tea I inherited from my sister in law. I should recognize the flowers.

Southern California is hot, even by Alabama standards. I don't know what the exact definition of temperate is, but I think it is warmer than that. The humidity there is probably pretty low, and I don't know the fukien requirements, but whatever they are, the only chance the tree has is outdoors with watering regularly.

I don't think it gets too cold there. I know we were walking around in short sleeve shirts sweating in December.
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My Ficus Bonsai Tree [Buckaroo] 5 months 1 week ago #81508

  • Tropfrog
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I am not so good at american geography nor climate. However, I know that Southern califirnia is hot and partly desert. I also think that north carolina is colder and more humid.

TS is in north carolina so I do not understand the comment about california.

But I am very curious about your systers tree. Inherited sounds like you actualy have one that has survived quite long? Do you mind sharing the story and a picture. Maybe in another thread. This forum is in big need of success stories, too many dieing trees.
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Last edit: Post by Tropfrog.
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