This deciduous bonsai tree grows naturally in Southeast Asia. In all, there are literally hundreds of species, each unique and beautiful. When the Ficus flowers, they are each beautifully enclosed in growing fruit. Keep in mind however, when using Ficus as bonsai, they seldom fruit. This particular bonsai tree prefers full sun to partial shade, with protection from cold drafts. In addition, the Ficus does best in humus-rich soil that is kept moist but also well drained.
The Ficus produces amazing aerial roots that come out from the trunk and branch, which can be used for the overall style if preferred. When first grown, the aerial roots are somewhat brittle. However, as they mature, they become strong. One of the most stunning of all Ficus trees is the Banyan Fig, which is pictured to the right. Although you can train the Ficus into a number of styles, the most common used for bonsai is the clasped to rock.
The leaves of the Ficus vary in size depending on the specific variety and age of the tree. Known as hearty eaters, the Ficus is hardy. You want to ensure the soil remains on the dry to moist side, being careful not to over water, which can lead to root rot. If the leaves grow too large, you can defoliate the Ficus. Just be sure you remove the tip of the growing leaf. Pruning is also required, which can be performed all year round, cutting the Ficus to three leaves and thinning out the large leaves.
Ficus trees prefer indoor temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees, close to a window with lots of sunshine. Keep in mind when growing Ficus for bonsai that they are not fond of sudden changes. Therefore, make moves gradually. For water, the soil should be kept moist in the spring and summer if the Ficus is kept outdoors. Then in the wintertime, the soil should dry out between watering. However, Ficus love humidity. Therefore, use a humidity tray or spray the plant often.