Ficus burtt-davyi can be a difficult bonsai subject. Sometimes it just won’t grow properly. This tree has been a problem for me over many years.
It has just not been vigorous and I have had to consider discarding it or perhaps re-styling it. My decision was to get radical and to cut the tree in half. One part will become a slant or windswept while the top portion with only one root was secured on a rock to justify its poor root system. Time will tell if I can bring these two to a satisfactory bonsai design.
The overall vigor of the tree may respond to less water, coarser soil and allowing it to rest during the shorter days of winter. Time will tell.
Several years back the tree was not looking its best and I just did not care for the design
The tree was cut in half
The bottom half was planted as a separate tree
The top half was totally fine living just on its one aerial root. This was planted on the rock to deal with the one-sided root of this tree.
Ficus burtt-davyi is one of the figs that is not too infrequently used for bonsai.
There are many cultivars of this fig differentiated by small, medium or large leaves. Even the large leaf form has leaves that are only two or three inches in length.
One of the great attributes of this fig is that it will form figs nearly every year about the time that the new foliage is getting ready to sprout. Figs/syconia are small in size, start as green in color and mature to red or dark purple. Of course the seed inside is not fertile as the specific pollenating wasp is not present in my plant room.
Ficus burtt-davyi with numerous figs/syconia