TREE: FICUS RETUSA
LOCATION: INDOORS OR WHEN TEMPS BETWEEN 40 AND ABOVE
WATER: 2X A WEEK RATHER BE DRY THEN WET
SUN: SHADE TO SUNNY
HEIGHT: 24-32 INCHES
There are hundreds of varieties of the Ficus, but the most popular one for Bonsai is the Ficus Retusa, which is often shaped in an s-curved trunk and has oval, dark green leaves. The Microcarpa, Tigerbark, Willow leaf, Golden Gate, Ficus Religiosa, Benjamina and Taiwan varieties are quite similar to the Retusa. The Ficus Ginseng is another popular tree. It has a thick, pot-bellied trunk, similar to the Ginseng root. Sometimes it is grafted with Ficus microcarpa leaves (combining it to a ficus microcarpa ginseng).
Some figs can become very large trees with a crown circumference of more than 300 m (1000 ft). Typical for all fig Bonsai species is their milky latex sap, which will leak from wounds or cuts. The tropical figs are evergreen trees, small shrubs or even climbing plants. Some of them can produce nice flowers, while most ficus species have hidden flowers in small receptacles from which the fruit grow. Only specialized pollinating fig wasps can pollinate those hidden flowers. The fruit can be yellow, green, red or purple-blue and are between a few millimeters to several centimeters, like the edible fruit of Ficus carica.