can you grow a bonsai tree from another bonsai?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

can you grow a bonsai tree from another bonsai?

ok i have a bonsai tree but i would like to make a second one. its a ficus and i have had it for almost a year now so its about 4 years old but i dont know if it is possible to make a second tree with it. if you could help then please do. thanks!

You can propagate trees into bonsais either from standard or previously bonsaid trees, though you’ll likely have more vegetative growth from a plant like a Ficus that is not previously bonsaid. That said, many Ficus are fairly easy to propagate, usually I find the air layering technique to be the most succesful. Choose a reasonably mature piece of stem, either the previous year’s growth, or current years that’s a few months old. This involves making a cut an inch or so long on part of the stem, just lifting up some of the surface bark – it doesn’t need to be totally removed from the plant, though can be lifted, using something to keep it from sealing back up, like a little match stalk etc. You then start surrounding this part of the stem with something like sphagnum moss, and enclosing this by using some string tied around it. Adding some hormone rooting gel or powder will encourage rooting, before you cover it with moss.

Keep the sphagnum moist, enclosing within a tied down pieve of plastic, and you should start to see roots forming into it, from the Ficus stem. If the moss is too wet, it can cause some rotting, so beware of this.

When there is a good root system that’s formed, you can cut this piece of your plant away from the parent, using a sterilized knife, just below the area that is wanted, and immediately above your parent plant’s leaf buds, where it will subsequently grow shoots from.

Keep your new cutting enclosed in a polythene/plastic cover, to help preserve humidity levels, and plant into a well draining potting soil. Once more fully rooted, it can be fertilised, and managed as you would your other bonsai.

Otherwise you can propagate Ficus from seeds, produced by plants that flower and are pollinated – your current plant may not be at this stage at its current age. It doesn’t matter if the seed comes from a currently bonsaid plant or not, its genetic material will be the same, and it will grow according to the prevailing conditions.

Hope this helps.


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