My Tropics Dream – The Tropicals Will Have To Do For Now

Well, it’s officially summer and if we ever get out of this rainy pattern it’s going to heat up and the spring breeze will be O-ver.  This means we get tropical temperatures without any of the other benefits of the tropics.  No white sand, no crystal clear blue-green water, no ocean breeze.  What can you do?

Last year I got a cutting from a Green island ficus, Ficus microcarpa, owned by the elder statesman of our local bonsai club.  I had admired the tree for years, but never tried my hand at it because keeping tropicals in a non-tropical environment was not something I was prepared to do.  But I finally got the urge.  I love the appearance of Green island ficus.  The leaves are bright green, small, glossy, and round with a slightly pointed tip.  Here’s my first Green island ficus bonsai-in-the-making.

It’s not much to look at, but considering where it began I’m happy with it.  In a bonsai pot it isn’t going to grow very quickly or with as much vigor as it would in a larger nursery container, but I’m not in a huge hurry with it.

This past winter I learned something about this species that just amazed and excited me.  Each time we were threatened with a freeze I brought it inside and set it on my desk.  Typically it would stay in for a week or so before going back out.  But each time I brought it in, I noticed that it kept on growing.  The species is not a super fast grower, but it seems to grow some all the time.

So now I had an indoor bonsai species to work with and enjoy.  How could I say no?  This one has been such a pleasure that I made my mind up to venture into a few other indoor species – Willow-leaf ficus, Portulacaria afra (Dwarf jade or Elephant bush), and Bougainvillea.  It’ll be at least next year before I have some of these species for sale, but I’m sure enjoying the development process.

In the meantime, I went ahead and picked up a few Green island stock plants so I could offer a few for sale.  These came out of Florida, where they’re grown en masse for landscape planting.  The pots are by Chuck Iker.

The trunk base on this one is 1.25″ and it’s 8″ tall.  It came with a few aerial roots, which hopefully will come through the transplanting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one has a 1″ trunk base and is 6″ tall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think is my favorite of the three.  The trunk base 1.25″ and it’s 7″ tall.  The pot really makes this composition.

I anticipate these guys will resume growing in a week or two, and will be able to ship out in about a month.  If you’re interested, simply go to our Ficus Bonsai page.

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