Suffering ficus retusa

Suffering ficus retusa

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Question: Can I cure the ficus?

Dear site, I have been following you for some time, but I could not find an explanation for my problem. An information, I have a bonsai, to be precise и a ficus retusa (purchased early February) I can't understand why it has become so impossible to keep, I explain: it is near a window, it has no excesses of water, it does not take currents cold (at least I hope, unless there is some draft in the window) if above the ground it is dry the watering by immersion (for about 5 minutes, then I remove it from the saucer and back to where it was before), it still continues to lose its leaves and then dry the sprig from the tip. Where am I doing wrong? if you prefer I send you some pictures. Waiting for your reply, I thank you, greetings.

Suffering ficus retusa: Answer: the ficus bonsai

Dear Riccardo,
the genus ficus brings together a large number of species of trees of varying size, and also shrubs of various types; the ficus to which we are most accustomed is a Mediterranean species, the ficus carica, or the fig tree of which we are used to eating sweet and soft fruits. The ficus that are grown in the apartment are more often species of Asian origin, and so is also the ficus retusa, a typical ficus raised in bonsai, originating in Malaysia, and therefore used to a mild climate, mostly warm, and quite humid . Cultivated in bonsai, in the apartment, it is a small tree of easy cultivation, very widespread also due to the fact that it tolerates drought well, and therefore it is also suitable for the most careless farmers, who periodically forget to water their bonsai; the ficus retusa in fact does not need excessively abundant watering, and even if from April to September it is important to water it every time the soil is dry, in the remaining months it is sufficient to water it sporadically, about once every 15 days, or even less. This is because, although it is an evergreen plant, in the months with short days, the ficus retusa tends to have a period of semi vegetative rest, in which it does not need much water; so in spring and summer, your immersion watering method is perfect: dip the jar with water that reaches the outer edge, as soon as the topsoil is very wet, take the jar out of the water, let it drain well and put it back in its place. In the autumn and winter months instead you can simply water the soil lightly, with a little water, once in a while. In the vegetative period, in addition to water, you also supply about 15 days of fertilizer, specific for bonsai. In my opinion, from the description you make of your ficus, he received too much water in winter, and now he is developing root rot; It is therefore the case to repot it, replacing all the soil with fresh soil and also pruning the roots in the points you notice dark or ruined, without exaggerating obviously. In the descriptions of this bonsai, it is often indicated that it is a plant that, while tolerating a periodically dry climate, actually loves damp environments. This does not necessarily mean that it must always be watered throughout the year, simply, in the winter period, it is advisable to vaporize the leaves with demineralized water, in order to increase the environmental humidity; this because at home, the heating system, any stoves or fireplaces, and the proximity to a radiator, tend to dry the air very much, making it unhealthy for all the plants; this problem is solved with a simple vaporizer, with which to spray water on the leaves of plants. Certainly it is also useful to place several plants nearby, so that the vaporization is carried out for a longer time, and the climate in their vicinity tends to become slightly more humid.