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 Bonsai Ficus Leaf Willow

 By Erik A. Olsen

The bonsai ficus leaf willow is just one option you have when it comes to growing and training this miniature Asian tree. Although you can choose from a number of styles, the root over rock is one of the preferred. This type of tree is also called the Mexicana Ficus, which is a tree with elongated, light green leaves that looks similar to the weeping willow tree. The bonsai ficus leaf willow thrives in all types of lighting conditions, just one reason it is a favorite. Considered a tropical, indoor plant, this willow tree is great for people just getting started since it is easy and fun to grow.

Other names for the bonsai ficus leaf willow include the Salicifolia or Nerifolia. Interestingly, while many ficus trees make excellent bonsai, this is probably one of the top choices. When buying these from an online resource or gardening center out of your area, you would usually receive the tree in a four-inch growing container. However, when you shop around for the bonsai ficus leaf willow, you want to remember this is a seasonal tree so sometimes nurseries or gardening centers have them out of stock, only temporarily. As a fast-growing, broad-based tree, they do great in northern regions.

As a member of the evergreen tropical group, which is actually part of the fig family the bonsai ficus leaf willow originated in Indonesia. The trunk of this tree ranges in color from light to dark gray and can become quite thick. The aerial roots come from the trunk and branches while in humid, shady environments. Again, leaves will alternate different shades of green and will grow anywhere from one to three inches long. However, the leaves typically grow no more than one-half to three-quarter of an inch wide. As the new leaves grow, they are a gorgeous bronze or pinkish color. Interestingly, these leaves will often curl to the right or left but as they mature, they tend to straighten out.

Although the trunk and leaves of the bonsai ficus leaf willow are wonderful, the flowering and fruiting is what makes the tree so magnificent. The larger specimens usually have large trunks that have to be potted in shallow containers since all the roots can be removed. Then soon after the bonsai ficus leaf willow is transplanted to its new home, new roots will begin to develop. Keep in mind that if your willow experiences sudden changes in temperature or light, then it could go into shock. When this occurs, the leaves will likely fall off but do not worry, new ones will grow back. Most importantly with the bonsai ficus leaf willow is to avoid over watering.

For the lighting of this bonsai the ficus leaf willow will need to grow in deep shade to full sun. If you need to reduce the internode and leaf size, you can allow the tree to grow in full or nearly full sun. This particular tree is also not cold hardy, meaning you have to provide it with protection from harsh wind, frost, and freezing. Then, when you water your ficus, you should do so about every two weeks so the soil never dries out completely. This bonsai will also need to be feed frequently, using a good, year round fertilizer. Finally, the bonsai ficus leaf willow can be pruned and wired anytime. Then to keep the growth down throughout the year and to help with the styling of tree, you can simply pinch back the unwanted areas.

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