Bonsai ficus benjamin

Bonsai ficus benjamin

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General characteristics of the Ficus benjamin bonsai

The ficus benjamin is one of the plants that we can advise you to develop your new passion, that is to say the cultivation of a vegetable aimed at creating a real work of art in general and bonsaistica in particular. Evergreen plant of tropical origins, but also of India and China, the Ficus is part of the scientific family of the Moracee, order Urticales, class Magnoliopsida, division Magnoliophyta. Currently over 800 species are classified with appearance and behavior that are also very different from each other, evergreen or deciduous. There are those that produce fruit or not, there are those with the ability to develop aerial roots, such as Ficus benjamin, and others with traditional root systems: in this family there is an extremely rich natural world that can sometimes generate confusion in the inexperienced grower.

Presentation of the general characteristics of this plant which is now widespread also in Italy

When we talk about Ficus benjamin we are referring to a shrub that has green lanceolate leaves with a sharp, non-coriaceous apex and a maximum length of 12 cm, which can reach a height of two meters. Over the years it develops the aerial roots of which we have just spoken, which take on the appearance of real lianas and descend from the more robust branches, giving the entire plant system a truly unusual appearance, which meets much curiosity.
For a simpler development of these roots, when the plant is kept in an apartment, it is good to keep a certain level of environmental humidity constant, perhaps even using the nebulizer directly on the plant.
In the tissues of Ficus benjamin there are so-called lactiferi channels, because they contain a whitish and dense milk and on this particular we must focus our attention, because in case of cutting or incision on the surface of the plant coming into contact with this substance can be very dangerous, as it causes skin irritation and can also cause eye damage in the event of contact, so it is good to proceed with extreme care during these operations which among other things are essential for the creation of the bonsai. In eastern countries this particular latex is even used to produce rubber.

The different dimensions that can be reached by this plant

Many do not know that in nature the Ficus benjamin (but also the Ficus elastica or Fico del caucciщ) can easily reach 30 meters in height. It is important to specify this in order not to fall into the frequent misunderstanding that associates the small size of the plant with the word bonsai. In an apartment, ie in a vase, it reaches a maximum height of 2 and a half meters. The trunk is slender, erect but flexible: it has a certain elegance. The bark has a light color and is smooth, but over the years it takes on a slightly darker color. On the branches arise the aerial roots, which have the function of distributing with a certain rationality the so-called crown of Benjamin, which tends to develop in a remarkable way and must therefore be treated in an intelligent way so as not to obtain undesired effects.

Where to grow your Ficus benjamin. How pollination occurs

The ideal environment for growing this particular plant is a soil with Ph between 5 and 6, that is a bit acid, which must also be fertile, therefore with the presence of numerous nutrients, and permeable. In fact, it is important to understand that Ficus benjamin does not tolerate soils with little drainage, in which the water stagnates dangerously and therefore it is necessary to pay the utmost attention to this aspect. And after all, becoming an expert in bonsai art means actually personally guiding a plant organism placed in a tiny vase with love and a sense of responsibility during the entire phase of its development, in constant respect for its vital needs, leading it to show features pre-established, according to one's own subjective aesthetic taste. The word bonsai is in fact formed by two eastern terms: bon and sai, which mean container and educate respectively, that is, to train in a disciplined way.

Bonsai ficus benjamin: The periodic repotting

It is ineffective to understand that one of the most important moments in the care of a bonsai lies in the activities related to pruning and the so-called regenerating periodic repotting that has the function of giving new vigor to the plant. We advise you to repot every 3 years in May or in any case during the spring period. The plant must be repotted in a compound formed by half universal soil, 20% from peat, 20% from sand and the remaining 10% from pumice. As for pollination, it is entomophilous (also called entomogam), which is caused by the activity of insects (especially butterflies, bees, beetles) that are attracted by the scents of plants.


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