Tag Archives: seed grown

Growing figs from seed

One of the ways that I obtain material that is not commercially available is to find seed of rare species. Growing from seed is not the fastest or easiest way to obtain bonsai but it does allow one to exert complete control over the development of a bonsai.

While there are many ways to sprout seed I am currently sprouting my fig seed by sowing the seed on the surface of rock wool plugs. These plugs are available online or from garden centers.

The plug is kept in a shallow dish with a bit of water in the dish. This keeps the plug from drying out. Ficus seed take somewhere from 1-12 weeks to sprout or even longer.  Plants are kept growing on this plug until they have 4-5 leaves on each sprout.

Once the seed has sprouted and two or three leaves have appeared the plugs can be placed  into a bonsai soil mix. The surface of the plug should be 1/4-1/2 inch above the surrounding soil mix and allowed to grow for a year. Once the seedlings are quite sturdy with about 8 leaves on each one they can easily be removed from the plug and rooted into a pot of bonsai soil.

It normally takes 3-4 years from seed to get a plant large enough to begin bonsai training, so the process is not for the impatient bonsai grower.

Click below to read more details about seed growing.

Ficus tremula growing on top of a rock wool plug, Several sprouting seeds are outlined in red.

Ficus tremula growing on top of a rock wool plug, Three weeks after sowing, several sprouting seeds are outlined in red.

http://www.bonsaihunk.us/ficusforum/FicusTechniques/FigTechnique33.html

http://www.fukubonsai.com/1a9a14.html

 


The definitive reference work on Ficus
for bonsai. The book is a softcover, 8 by 10 inch volume, with 144 color pages, containing detailed information for the beginner as well as the advanced hobbyist.

 Click here for more information

 

Ficus virens, Red balete, Lipstick Ficus, White Fig

Ficus virens has many common names; Red Balete in the Philippines, Lipstick Ficus in India and White Fig in Australia. Whatever it is called it is a huge tree growing in its native environment. It can stand alone as a single trunk tree or exist as a strangler fig with many aerials. The most famous trees of this species are the Cathedral fig and the Curtain fig in Australia.

The species can make excellent bonsai. Leaves reduce well in container culture. Some cultivars show very extensive red or bronze coloring on the new leaves. Unfortunately this lovely red color does not persist for long as it fades into a dark green as the leaves mature.

Ficus virens is not often available as plants in the US so all my trees are grown from seed. The following are all about 8 years old and beginning to show signs of becoming good bonsai. All the trees are under 10-12″ tall or about 30cm.

Ficus virens seed grown

With some Ficus virens new leaves are quite red

_MG_1849

_MG_1889

_MG_1898

_MG_1909

_MG_1914


The definitive reference work on Ficus
for bonsai. The book is a softcover, 8 by 10 inch volume, with 144 color pages, containing detailed information for the beginner as well as the advanced hobbyist.
 Click here for more information
 

Ficus rumphii, a rare bonsai subject

This is a Ficus rumphii, an unusual and rare bonsai subject in the west. This specimen is about 8 years old and seed grown.

Leaves are large but reduce with defoliation. There is some random branch die back suggesting that this may not make the best bonsai subject.

The bark is a rather stark whitish brown.

Ficus rumphii, about 12" tall with most leaves removed

Ficus rumphii, about 12″ tall with most leaves removed


The definitive reference work on Ficus
for bonsai. The book is a softcover, 8 by 10 inch volume, with 144 color pages, containing detailed information for the beginner as well as the advanced hobbyist.
 Click here for more information