The willow leaf ficus bonsai (Ficus Nerifolia/ Salisafolia) also known as a mexicana ficus is a stunning looking little bonsai tree when you give it proper care, attention, and pruning.
In this willow leaf ficus bonsai for sale article I will not only show you the best products but I will also give you advice on how to successfully care for your bonsai tree.
Native to south asia and India this plant does prefer hot and tropical climates so unless you live somewhere that can provide that, it is a good idea to grow it indoors.
The name of this tree ‘willow leaf’ suggests it is related to or is actually a weeping willow tree, however, it is not related to a weeping willow in any way; it’s just that it looks like one, especially when you let it grow bushy.
If you are looking for gift ideas or you are a beginner to bonsai this would be a really excellent choice because with very little care it is pretty easy to make this variety of bonsai thrive indoors.
Reasons you should buy a willow leaf ficus bonsai:
- Makes a great gift for beginners to bonsai
- Looks absolutely stunning
- Pretty easy to successfully grow with little care
- Will thrive as an indoor bonsai tree
(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 Temperature
- 3 Watering
- 4 Pruning / Styling
- 5 Fertilizing
- 6 Re-potting
The willow leaf ficus bonsai is native to tropical climate temperatures so it does appreciate lots of light…
How much light does a willow leaf ficus bonsai need?
You should definitely try and get your willow leaf ficus bonsai as much light as possible, the more light you can get, the more chance of success you will have.
If you can position your bonsai somewhere that will get 16 hours of bright light every day your bonsai will thrive.
I know that’s not possible for most people so…
the next best thing to do is position your willow leaf bonsai on a south facing windowsill and that should get your tree enough light to grow healthy.
Really, for your tree to grow just fine it will need 4-6 hours of bright light every day which should be achievable for most people. If you fear you won’t be able to get your bonsai enough light you could always give it a boost by using a cheap Led grow light that actually works.
What type of light is best for a willow leaf ficus bonsai?
Willow leaf ficus bonsai do like light but what sort of light is best to achieve a healthy and thriving little tree?
If you position your bonsai somewhere that gets full direct sun all day, it will do fine.
I would recommend you place it somewhere that gets partial sun which means it should be somewhere that is bright all day but has periods when the sun isn’t directly shining on it.
This tree should do just fine even if you position it somewhere with very little direct sun shining on it just as long as it is positioned somewhere that is very bright all day.
Willow leaf ficus bonsai is a tropical tree so it does need a relatively high temperature but if you keep it indoors your standard household temperature should be just fine….
What temperature does a willow leaf ficus bonsai need?
For your willow leaf ficus bonsai to survive it will need the temperature to be above 45F, if it gets below this temperature it will probably suffer some leaf drop and if it is kept consistently below this temperature it will probably not survive.
It is possible to keep your willow leaf bonsai outdoors during the summer, and lots of people do, then move it indoors when the cooler night temperature gets anywhere 50F.
The willow leaf ficus bonsai likes moist and humid conditions so in no circumstances should you ever let your soil dry out…
How often should you water a willow leaf ficus bonsai?
How often you should water a willow leaf bonsai really depends on your local climate because if you live somewhere hot it will dry out a lot quicker than if you live somewhere with a cooler climate.
The trick to growing a healthy and thriving willow leaf bonsai is to keep the soil moist and never let it dry out.
When the soil on the surface starts to look dried out then it is time to water your tree.
When you follow this watering routine of simply watering it when it looks dry, it should result in you using less water during the winter months because the cooler temperatures should result in the water taking longer to dry out and I would definitely recommend that you feed it less water during the winter.
Can you over water a willow leaf bonsai?
If you use a pot that doesn’t have holes for drainage then it is possible to over water your willow leaf bonsai.
Apart from that you should always give your little tree plenty of water and there are two techniques you can use for watering this thirsty little bonsai…
- Pour water in – it doesn’t matter how you do this and you could use a watering can or pour straight from the tap. The important thing is that you feed it enough water so that it starts to drain out of the holes at the bottom, only then can you be sure you have watered it enough.
- Put the pot in water – you should put the pot in water that goes almost up to the rim of the pot. Leave it there for 10 to 20 minutes and it will absorb plenty of the water it loves. Do this every time the soil looks dry, so approximately every 7 days.
Should you mist your willow leaf bonsai?
Willow leaf ficus bonsai like to live in humid conditions, so, if you have an indoor willow leaf bonsai it really is essential that you mist it or use a humidity tray.
You should use your judgement when it comes to misting your bonsai.
The idea is to let it actually dry out in between regularly misting your tree.
If you keep your bonsai so that the leaves are permanently wet it will create an ideal environment for fungus or mold to grow so you want to avoid that at all costs.
Regular misting of your willow leaf ficus bonsai but let it dry out in between misting is the best option to keep it humid and grow a healthy plant.
If you don’t mist your bonsai during the summer months then it is definitely a good idea to mist it during the winter months when central heating systems create an environment of dry air that isn’t exactly bonsai friendly.
Pruning / Styling
To keep your bonsai actually bonsai you will definitely have to regularly prune it to keep it small and growing in the style you envision…
Best time of year to prune a willow leaf bonsai?
The best time of year to prune your willow leaf bonsai is definitely the late springtime.
This is because there should be some fresh growth and you will be able to judge where you want to cut to prevent the fresh growth shooting out and ruining the style of your bonsai vision.
Because the willow leaf ficus bonsai is a tropical variety you will probably have to prune it throughout the year to keep it tidy.
The rough schedule for pruning a willow leaf ficus bonsai would be:
- Give it a major prune in late spring, don’t be scared to cut it right back as it will spur lots of fresh growth.
- Throughout the year when you notice a branch, shoot, or leaf growing in a direction you don’t want, cut it off and stay in control of your bonsai vision.
How to style your willow leaf ficus bonsai tree?
The main tools you should use when styling your willow leaf ficus bonsai are simply trimming and pinching the leaves and branches.
- The first thing to do is to almost completely defoliate your bonsai, this means removing about 90% of the leaves, yes about 90% of the leaves.
- Choose the side you plan on making the front of your tree as you want to make it the most beautiful.
- Now you can actually see the branches you should decide where you want to cut to achieve the shape you want.
- If there are any major branches that have started to grow upwards you should use bonsai wire to encourage them to grow in your desired direction.
This is how i style my willow leaf bonsai, it’s not rocket science and it’s actually quite simple to do.
Just don’t be afraid of the defoliation stage as beginners often are, defoliation encourages plenty of fresh growth to happen.
Like all plants if you use fertilizer on your willow leaf ficus bonsai it will definitely help…
Do you need to use fertilizer on a willow leaf bonsai?
Because you grow bonsai in little pots which can only hold limited amounts of soil you will have to use fertilizer to keep your bonsai growing healthy and strong.
Plants in general, will feed off all the nutrients that are in the soil that surrounds their roots.
When it comes to bonsai in these small pots you will have to periodically use fertilizer because the bonsai will use all the nutrients in the soil quite quickly and then the only option to keep it healthy is to replenish the nutrients in the soil and you do that by using fertilizer products.
How often should you fertilize a willow leaf ficus bonsai?
You really have to get to know your bonsai to know exactly when you need to fertilize it. This is how I fertilize my willow leaf ficus bonsai to keep it growing nice, healthy, and vibrant…
- Liquid fertilizer – during the growing season I recommend you use a mild liquid fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength. Apply this fertilizer once per month during the growing season and once per 2 months during the cool winter months.
- Foliar feeding – foliar feeding is an excellent technique that will give your willow leaf bonsai a nice little boost it will really appreciate. Every 2 or 3 months you should use fertilizer mixed at its usual strength but spray it on the leaves with a spray bottle instead of pouring in in the pot.
Most bonsai will need to be re-potted every so often to keep it growing as a completely healthy specimen.
Will you need to re-pot your willow leaf ficus bonsai?
You will have to re-pot your willow leaf ficus bonsai from time to time as it outgrows its pot.
How hot the climate is where you live will be a factor on how often you actually have to re-pot your bonsai.
Luckily, you won’t have to re-pot your little tree very often, only when it gets root bound and on average it will probably be every 2 to 3 years you will have to put yourself and this bonsai through the process.
When is the best time to re-pot a willow leaf ficus bonsai?
Because of the stress you will have to put your bonsai through during the process of re-potting it is actually important you plan to carry out this process at the optimal time of year.
The best time of year to re-pot your willow leaf ficus bonsai is during mid summer.
When you re-pot your tree you will have to prune its roots, this causes stress and it will take time for it to recover.
That’s why you should re-pot only during the growing season so that your bonsai is in a phase where it will be putting maximum energy into growing and this it should recover quickly.
However, if your bonsai is root bound and is suffering major leaf drop at any time of the year you should re-pot if you think that will save it because that would be classed as an emergency situation.
I hope you have found some useful information in this Willow Leaf Ficus Bonsai For Sale article and that it has inspired you to start a bonsai hobby.
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