Ficus bonsai trees grow well from cuttings, making them a good choice for gardeners who want to begin raising bonsai trees. Once the bonsai tree has been established and started growing, it can be trimmed and trained to grow into a number of different shapes. Ficus bonsai trees require care from the time they are planted throughout their life cycle. Growing them under the proper circumstances ensures that they will grow to their full potential.
Ficus Bonsai Supplies
Growing a bonsai ficus from a cutting requires only a few basic supplies, but raising a beautiful ficus does require some care. When preparing to raise a ficus from a cutting, use a healthy 4-inch cutting of a ficus. It will need a glass jar for the initial growth, as well as growth hormones to stimulate roots. Once the ficus has begun to grow strong roots, it will need a regular bonsai container filled with peat moss or sand.
What Type of Ficus Cutting to Grow
Use a 4-inch cutting from a ficus plant. The cutting should come from a branch, just below a leaf node. Remove any leaves from the cutting. Dab a small amount of root growth hormones on the cut end of the cutting to help the plant put out roots.
Fill a glass jar with room-temperature water and place the cutting in the water. Make sure the cut end of the ficus is in the water, as this is where the roots will grow from. Place the jar and the cutting in a warm room where the cutting will receive partial sunlight throughout the day. Too much direct sunlight can damage the young plant.
Raising a Ficus Bonsai from a Cutting
Replace the water every two to three days with fresh, room-temperature water. Allow the ficus cutting to put out roots in the jar for three to five weeks. Fill the bonsai planter with peat moss or sand to grow the bonsai in. Use either solely peat moss, or an even mixture of peat moss and sand.
Dig a small hole for the bonsai. The hole should be deep enough to cover the roots completely; dig a hole that is 1 to 3 inches deep, depending on how long the roots of the plant are. Place the cutting into the bonsai planter. Cover the roots with at least an inch of peat moss or sand and make sure the plant sits upright and steady in the bonsai planter. Water the bonsai thoroughly, but allow the planting material to dry completely between each watering.
Keep the bonsai tree in a warm, humid and well-lit area throughout its life cycle; ficus bonsais grow best indoors, although they can occasionally be taken outside. The plant will need to be re-potted every few years as it begins to outgrow its planter. Regular pruning of the branches helps to shape the ficus bonsai into a distinctive bonsai tree in addition to keeping the plant healthy and strong.