The minute you see this extremely thick trunk and dense foliage of the miniature wonder in nursery house, this plant wins your heart. Ginseng ficus bonsai is one of the most popular indoor bonsai. As it is one of the hardiest species, ginseng bonsai tree is easy to look after and is recommended for beginner enthusiasts.
Short history of Ginseng bonsai
There are many species which have ficus genus such as evergreen trees, shrubs, and woody climbers, but there are about half a dozen that are commonly used for bonsai. Bonsai ginseng ficus (also known as Ficus microcarpa, Chinese banyan, or Taiwan ficus) is one of the most favoured ficus species. This bonsai is native to Taiwan and Malaysia. As other ficus, Ginseng is found in tropical forests.
General description of Ginseng
GINSENG BONSAI is a variety of ficus Retusa bonsai. Therefore it behaves more or less like other ficus bonsai. It is a tiny tree with oval, dark green leaves and rootstock which has characteristic shape to the ginger root. The bark of ginseng ficus is of reddish colour. This ficus needs only a modest amount of water and is very hardy. You can use techniques such as wiring, pruning, and container growing to miniaturize your ginseng bonsai ficus.
Leaves and trunk
The trunk is extremely thick what makes ginseng one of the hardiest bonsai trees. Strong branches are covered with a leafy top. Although leaves are often oval, the shape varies according to species from needle-like to teardrop shaped foliage. The root system comes out of the ground.
Flowers and fruits
Ginseng bonsai are non-flowering trees.
Tolerance to climate
Ginseng ficus bonsai tree is regarded to be an indoor plant. You may bring your bonsai outside for some fresh air but it is not necessary. Since ginseng is a tropical plant it likes warm weather and high humidity. The temperature should not fall below 15 degrees.
Tolerance to sun
Ginseng ficus bonsai should be kept indoors in order to protect it from direct sunlight which would burn the leaves. It can tolerate small amount of light, yet the plant will thrive as long as it gets enough sunlight. Therefore it will feel happy if you place it near the window facing south. When you use heat lamps be careful not to put the plant too close. Try to keep 12 inches distance between the bonsai and the lamp. It is not recommended to keep the light during the night.
In order to provide more space for the root system to grow, you will have to repot your ginseng ficus once every two or three years. The best time for repotting is early spring, just before the growing season begins. Ginseng does not like "wet feet", so use well-draining soil rich in nutrients. You can use tropical or conifer mix. Fertilizer should be rich in nitrogen, vitamin, and phosphoric acid.
Ginseng loves misting. You can fill spray bottle with quality tap water and spray the tree every day. Ginseng bonsai is forgiving if you forget to water it from time to time, yet it will thrive if watered regularly allowing the soil to dry out. During warm season it needs to be watered more frequently. As with all ficus species, overwatering may cause root rot.
Pests and diseases
Lack of water will make leaves turn yellow or drop out. Yet the ficus will leaf out when the condition improves. It is rather resistant to pests and diseases.
Shaping ginseng bonsai
A healthy ginseng has very dense foliage. You can trim the dead leaves or stems any time. Also by trimming long stems your ginseng ficus will look more compact. You can simply cut branches and foliage by bonsai shears or sharp scissors. Techniques such as pruning may help to form ginseng ficus into its desired shape. You can do pruning all year round as long as the tree is in healthy condition.
Banyan tree style or informal upright depending on strong upper branch.
Ginseng ficus bonsai summary
This low maintenance bonsai tree would make your place lovely, but more importantly, it will filter the air so that you could breathe fresh air. As other ficus bonsai species, Ginseng is a tropical plant and it thrives in sunlight, warmth, and high level of humidity. Rather easily shaped to desirable design by pruning and trimming. It is a forgiving bonsai which will tolerate bad condition for some time. Therefore, this special ficus bonsai would be a pleasant hobby to a beginner as well as advanced enthusiast.