In this (Ficus Benjamina ‘Orientalis’) Oriental Ficus Bonsai Tree for sale article with care guide I will tell you everything you need to know about this variety of bonsai tree so that you can make an informed choice as to whether it is suitable for your personal circumstances.
The oriental ficus bonsai tree is an evergreen fig tree variety that is native to Australia, south, and south-east Asia so it will do well in hot weather.
If you are a beginner or an expert bonsai hobbyist this bonsai will make an excellent choice because of its sturdy trunk and the branches it forms with shiny green leaves are ideal for bonsai training.
Because the characteristics of this tree are ideal for bonsai it should be easy enough for beginners to shape it to look like a miniature tree (that’s the whole idea of bonsai) and create your very own bonsai vision.
There is a good reason this is one of the most popular types of indoor bonsai and they will no doubt remain a great choice for growing at home, in the office, or in a student dorm.
Reasons you should buy an Oriental Ficus Bonsai Tree:
- Great bonsai for beginner to expert level
- Easy to train and create your unique bonsai design
- A popular choice for indoor bonsai
- Makes a great gift for home, office, or student dorm
(There are affiliate links in this blog post, and if you click any of the affiliate links and buy the products, I’ll earn a commission. However, this will never affect the price you pay.)
Table Of Contents
- 1 Light Requirements
- 2 Watering
- 3 Temperature Requirements
- 4 Fertilizing
- 5 Pruning
- 6 Repotting
The more light you can get it the thicker the canopy will grow but that doesn’t mean positioning it in direct sunlight all day long…
How much sunlight does an oriental ficus bonsai tree need?
The more light the better is what is recommended for most trees but not necessarily for the oriental ficus bonsai tree.
To successfully grow this bonsai tree you have to understand that it doesn’t like too much direct sunlight, which means it is a bad idea to position it on a south-facing windowsill where it might get 8 – 12 hours of direct sunlight.
If you do happen to get this bonsai tree too much direct sunlight it will likely suffer from scolding and the leaves will drop off.
The best idea with this bonsai tree is to position it in a room that is brightly lit with sunlight but where the sunlight doesn’t shine directly where your bonsai tree is positioned.
If you get the position right with little or not much direct sunlight you want the room to be as bright as possible for as many hours of the day as possible and that would be the ideal conditions to grow this unique bonsai.
If you think you won’t be able to get this bonsai the required light or if you just want to give it a boost during the winter months you should check out my full article on cheap led grow lights that actually work.
This is one bonsai tree that definitely doesn’t like its roots to be constantly soaking wet so it’s a good idea to let it dry out just a bit in between waterings…
How to tell if your oriental ficus bonsai tree needs watered?
You should always test how dry the soil is before you decide to add more water.
The first thing you should look for as a sign it may be time to water your oriental ficus bonsai tree is does the soil look dry? If the surface soil looks dry it may be time to water.
When the surface soil looks dry you should stick your finger in the soil to check how far down the soil is dry.
If the soil of your oriental ficus bonsai tree is completely dry 1 inch down then it is time to give your bonsai some water.
This bonsai really doesn’t like its roots to be constantly wet and if that happens your tree may suffer from root rot and not survive, it is definitely a good idea to be cautious with your watering routine.
How often will an oriental ficus bonsai tree need watering?
How often you will need to water your oriental ficus bonsai tree really depends on a couple of factors…
- What is your local climate like?
- How hot do you keep your house?
I water my oriental ficus bonsai tree 2 times per week during the hottest summer months, and during the cooler winter months I water it approximately once per month.
You really should not follow an exact schedule when watering bonsai as it may lead to over or under-watering.
Always check the soil and use your own judgment to decide if your bonsai tree actually needs to be watered.
How much water will an oriental ficus bonsai tree need?
When you are sure your ficus oriental bonsai tree needs to be watered it’s a good idea to give it plenty to drink.
The easiest way to tell if your bonsai tree has been given enough water is to keep on pouring the water onto the soil until it starts to drip out through the holes in the bottom of your pot or container.
If you have kept your bonsai soil and pot in good and healthy condition it is difficult to pour too much water in because any excess should drain out the holes in the bottom.
The oriental ficus bonsai is a tropical bonsai tree so it will always do best in hotter conditions…
Does an oriental ficus bonsai tree like humid conditions?
If you want this bonsai tree to absolutely thrive then you will have to make sure you provide it with humid conditions and this is important during the winter when central heating will make the air drier and less humid than normal.
There are a couple of solutions to provide your tree with humid conditions if you don’t live somewhere with naturally high humidity and these are…
1. Use A Humidity Tray
A humidity tray is a tray you sit under your bonsai trees. It has a layer of stones then water underneath the stones and this means your bonsai pot never touches the water underneath. When the water evaporates around your bonsai this will provide some extra humidity for your tree.
2. Mist The Foliage Of Your Bonsai
By using a spray bottle and misting your bonsai this will provide some much-needed humidity. You should not constantly mist your tree and always make sure the leaves are completely dry before misting otherwise you may provide the damp conditions mold and fungus will thrive in.
What is the best temperature for an oriental ficus bonsai tree?
If your household temperature gets below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.5C) during the winter months it’s probably a bad idea to get an oriental ficus bonsai tree.
The ideal conditions to maximize the health of this bonsai would be to keep it above 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21C) however if you can keep its temperature above 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16C) which is possible in most households then this awesome bonsai tree will do just fine.
If you do keep your oriental ficus bonsai below the required temperature it will likely suffer from leaf drop and may or may not recover afterward.
Fertilizing is the key to growing any sort of plant in a pot or container and the oriental ficus bonsai tree is no different…
Will you need to fertilize your oriental ficus bonsai tree?
You will definitely have to use fertilizer on your oriental ficus bonsai tree and this is because there is such a small amount of soil in the pot or container that your tree will quickly deplete the soil of all the healthy nutrients it needs to keep growing into a beautiful and healthy bonsai.
If you forget or choose not to fertilize your bonsai tree you will not have a bonsai tree for very long, that’s how vital fertilization is for bonsai trees or any tree grown in a pot or container.
On the other side is that if you use too much fertilizer it will cause root burn and if that happens you also won’t have a bonsai tree for very long.
How often to fertilize an oriental ficus bonsai tree?
How often to fertilize your ficus bonsai tree really depends on what type of fertilizer you choose and what time of year it is.
If you don’t fertilize your bonsai often enough you will notice yellow leaf and leaf drop happening and it’s easy enough to rectify, just fertilize more often.
On the other hand, if you fertilize too often and cause root burn that will probably be the end of your tree. So the question is how often to fertilize with different types of bonsai fertilizers?
Always use a liquid fertilizer at half the strength the manufacturer recommends ( it’s better to be safe than sorry). During the summer and rapid growing months, you should use a liquid fertilizer once every 2 weeks, and during the cooler winter months, you should only use fertilizer once every 6 weeks.
Slow Release Fertilizer Pellets
The reason I like slow-release pellets is that you can look at the surface of the soil and if there are still pellets there is no need to add any more.
It normally takes 2 months for the pellets I use to be absorbed and that’s when I add more during the summer months. During the winter months, I skip one 2 month cycle and don’t add any pellets then return to the 2-month cycle (this gives the tree a break when it isn’t growing rapid and doesn’t need fertilization)
You should check out my full article on the best bonsai fertilizer products before deciding which option is best for you.
Pruning bonsai is the key to keeping your tree small and creating your own unique bonsai vision…
How often will you have to prune oriental ficus bonsai trees?
The oriental ficus bonsai tree is a variety of bonsai that will do best if you only prune it once per year.
The best time of year to prune an oriental ficus bonsai tree is at the end of spring when it is entering its most vociferous growing phase as this will allow your tree to use its energy to quickly heal itself.
After pruning you will notice beautiful fresh green foliage will quickly sprout and your bonsai will look awesome during the summer months, this is why i recommend spring pruning but the important thing is that you do prune it once per year when you do it is less important.
How to prune and shape an oriental ficus bonsai tree?
Pruning and shaping your bonsai tree into your unique bonsai vision is the art of bonsai.
There is really no right or wrong, you have to do what you want with your own bonsai tree to create the bonsai design that most pleases yourself and the great thing is that if you get it wrong it will grow back (unless you get it really wrong).
How I prune my oriental ficus bonsai tree:
- The first thing you have to do is look at your bonsai and decide what side will be the front as you want that side to be most aesthetically pleasing.
- Remove any branches or leaves that are growing in the wrong direction (upwards and downwards is wrong) the aim is for sideways growth to create a thick canopy.
- Cut back the branches so that only 2 or 4 pairs of leaves are left per branch, this sounds severe but it will cause fresh growth to rapidly shoot out.
- If there are any branches you want to change the angle of now is the time to wrap the wire around and encourage them to grow in the desired direction.
- Check the wire every 2 months as you don’t want the wire to cut into and damage the tree.
That’s how I prune my oriental ficus bonsai once per year. However, if there are any random branches or leaves that soot out and ruin the look I do cut them off whatever time of year it is.
When you re-pot a bonsai tree you don’t necessarily have to put it in a larger pot you can just prune the roots and put it back…
Will you need to re-pot an oriental ficus bonsai tree?
Your oriental ficus bonsai tree will need to be repotted every 2 – 3 years but the exact time depends on how perfect or imperfect the growing environment you provide it is.
You do not have to put your bonsai in a larger pot every time you repot it because if you did that you would end up with a full-size tree after about 10 years and that defeats the purpose of keeping bonsai.
The trick is that you can either move your bonsai into a larger pot or you can reduce the size of its roots by pruning them.
You could simply root prune every time and you won’t have to put it in a bigger pot and your tree will stay small and bonsai.
How to re-pot an oriental ficus bonsai tree?
Repotting an oriental ficus bonsai tree is really not that difficult yet it will keep your bonsai small and growing healthy as long as you don’t mess up too much.
The great thing about the ficus is that it is a hardy tree so even if you mess up pruning or repotting it should be able to recover.
How I re-pot my oriental ficus bonsai tree:
- Use a sharp knife and run it around the inside of the pot and this should loosen any roots that are attached to the sidewall of the pot.
- Turn the tree upside down and give it a shake and a jiggle until the bonsai comes out of the pot or container.
Now you have the tree and root ball out you should scrape away as much soil as possible, ideally you want to be left with the tree and roots only.
- Pull the roots so that about 25% of the roots are looser and sticking out the way, cut off these 25% of roots with a sharp cutting tool.
- Put your bonsai back in its pot or a larger pot and fill it with good quality bonsai soil and gently press it down but don’t completely pack it.
- Give your bonsai a good drink of water to help it settle back into its pot and encourage it to start growing healthy again.
I hope you have found some useful information in this oriental ficus bonsai tree for sale with a care guide article.
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