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.
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.