Ginseng Fig bonsai

I had my eye on this little Ginseng Fig with a view of air layering the top bit. The long aerial roots are a hallmark of this plant, but I saw a small ‘sumo’ style configuration at the top of this tree which I wanted to create. So here we go.

Ginseng Fig bonsai
August 2020

The other side of the tree before the operation.

Ginseng Fig bonsai ring barked

I started with ring barking the tree where I want the roots to grow, I did this all the way around both bits of root. I used a surgical scapel because it’s easy to use, very sharp & precise and easy to change the sterile blades.

Ginseng Fig bonsai with moss and clingfilm covering ring bark

All wrapped up after surgery. I packed sphagnum moss onto the ringed bark and held it in place with cling film. The sphagnum moss keeps the effected area moist and should not be allowed to dry out. I kept the tree on a south facing window in the kitchen. It was near the sink, kettle, washing machine and dishwasher so I was thinking (hoping) the humidity might be helpful.

Roots growing from air layer on Ginseng Fig bonsai

This image was taken in December, a few months after surgery. You can see roots have already begun to develop inside the cling film so the procedure has worked 🙂

mini saw

Its May now. The weather is warmer and the light is brighter, time to repot. I’ve been waiting for this. Out comes the mini saw, its teeth are so sharp.

Roots growing from moss on air layer

Quick check of the roots, these look okay. I’m going to be extra careful and not touch them this time around as they will be fragile at the moment.

Sawing Ginseng Fig bonsai

Using the saw I remove the top section from just below where the new roots have begun to grow.

Top section removed of Ginseng Fig bonsai

This bit was quick and easy.

Top section in pot of Ginseng Fig bonsai

I planted in a roomy pot, enough space to allow comfortable recovery.

Scoop with sieve, dust particles removed from bonsai soil

Ensuring all the dust particles are removed from the new soil as these will block drainage, which is no good for bonsai.

Ginseng Fig in new bonsai flower pot

Soil added. I kept the old roots to see if anything grows up again, technically the tree has just been coppiced so there is a chance. I guess we’ll see.

Ginseng Fig bonsai being watered

I like to initially water on wire so I can see the water come out the bottom clearly. I keep watering until I no longer see any dust particles in the water any more.

Ginseng Fig bonsai finished

One little sumo tree. This will have been traumatic for the plant so my after care has to be spot on. Keeping the tree well hydrated and I will also have to stop feeding for a few weeks to allow the new roots to hopefully grow.