My first ficus salicaria I bought back from Jason Schley in 2012 has had a nice white buildup on the trunk for a while now. I need to sort out the base. I haven’t decided between ground layering or girdling the trunk yet. I do know that I don’t like the way it looks like it has two fat legs spread out.
Anyway. Today while contemplating future work I decided to clean off the trunk. I love the red trunk on these plants.
Here is a shot of the whole tree:
It’s very scraggly right now and needs wired again. It’s getting progressively better each year. I’m thinking of letting the branch on the left grow longer and thicker and maybe eventually eliminating the right branch. They both need cut back for taper, especially the left one. And I have my nebari fixing to do. I just have to keep at it.
I took these from my itoigawa Shimpaku I got from Evergreen Gardenworks last year. It’s sitting in a pond basket growing out. It has a secondary trunk that needed to slowly be reduced while letting the main trunk line grow. It seemed like a good opportunity for cuttings. These are mostly shorter cuttings. I took another batch of slightly longer ones. All the cuttings were from strongly growing branch ends. I dipped them all in rooting hormone then watered them in. Assuming they take, they should make for a good supply of future material.
A couple years ago I bought a couple s shaped ficus from Walmart. I tinkered around and did some experimenting on them. One has been pruned and wired for some initial branching. This is the other one that was allowed to grow last year.
There were two sacrifice branches left coming from the base along with all the other growth. I’m hoping that these low sacrifices will create a very fat base. I also would like some aerial roots to form around the lower trunk and branches to start a banyan style progression.
There are several ways I have been advised to grow aerial roots.
- Let the plant become pot bound.
- Keep the plant in a humid environment, such as above a humidity tray.
- Share the area where roots are desired either with wet sphagnum moss or some kind of cling wrap.
I have let it grow without pruning or repotting in an effort to get it pot bound.
I sat the plant pot and all in this three gallon nursery pot. I can slip it out easily if needed. The top growth will stick out collecting light while also shading that bottom growth near the base. Hopefully encouraging aerial roots. When fall rolls around I can pull it out of this big can and slip it back on the shelf to overwinter. I’ll post an update further along with the results.
Last year I bought a couple privet “Golden Vicary” on the cheap. They put out a little growth but nothing like I heard privet were apt to do. So about a week or two after they started putting new out new buds this year I repotted them into slightly larger containers.
Container size comparison:
Good mass of roots. Wouldn’t say it was exactly root bound but it seems like a good idea to up the container size:
Combed out the roots a little so they’d grow into the new soil surrounding the outside of the rootball:
For those wondering the freshly worked in soil was 3 parts pine bark, 2 parts perlite, and 1 part Turface. I put some Miracle Grow shake and feed on the surface. It has trace elements in it. I also put a nice dusting of Plant Tone into the upper layer of soil. Beside the NPK values, It has mycorrhizae in it which will hopefully help create a good chemistry.
The end goal here is lots of growth. Hopefully in a couple years these privets will have bulked up to the point I can chop them down and start making shohin.
There are four small Japanese black pine seedlings that I got last summer from my friend Jason. They didn’t push out any candles. I think the soil particle size was too small and they stayed too wet. I took the time to repot them today in a mix of half chunky perlite half akadama.
Think I put enough fertilizer on them? It’s Alaska brand pelletized fish emulsion. I also sprinkled a few spoonfuls of Holly Tone on them too to help add some mycorrhizal fungi to the soil.
Next up a set of three Japanese red pines.