Summer Ficus Work

Bonsai Iterate

As I have worked on my ficus bonsai this summer, I have been considering a question. Who do we learn from? For a number of years I felt pretty good about learning about how to care for tropicals from folks who have lots of experience, but those experienced folks I’ve been learning from are bonsai practitioners who live in subtropical areas like Florida.

Ficus microcarpa before work, summer 2021

The approach I have been following for a number of years has been to do heavy work on ficus mid-summer including defoliating for easy wiring and styling, and I repot then as well when necessary.

I really started questioning these practices when I listened to a recent podcast from Bonsai Mirai. The Asymmetry interview with David Cutchin addressed how some of the habits of Florida bonsai practitioners may not be such a great thing for their trees even in Florida where…

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