I’ve been caring for a ficus for the past few months, and have enjoyed seeing the lush green foliage in the garden.
Green Island ficus
As we’re nearing the end of summer, this is my last chance to prune the tree and expect a good response before winter.
The work is simple: reduce all branches to about one inch to keep the internodes short. Although some of these branches will die back, I expect many to produce new shoots that will help maintain the compact shape of the tree.
Here’s the tree after cutback.
As only a handful of the reduced branches are slender enough to bend with wire, the tree didn’t require much wiring.
After wiring – 7″ tall, 14″ wide
To give the tree an extra “push,” I moved it into a greenhouse where I’ll keep it through winter.
Even though we can expect another month or so of warm weather in the Bay Area, the evening temperatures are beginning to cool down which can cause old leaves on ficus to turn yellow and fall off. When I see yellow leaves on ficus bonsai, I move them into the greenhouse where they can get the heat they’re looking for.
Unlike trees native to temperate climates, tropicals respond best to repotting when temperatures area warm. As a result, I’ll look to repot the tree next spring in May or June.
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