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I recently got a ficus bonsai 3 days ago. It's responding well, however, it needs some wiring, pruning and general reshaping before the spring/summer growth. I was wondering how long should I wait before re-wiring it. I was going to wait until spring before pruning it.

  • Hello Mack. Welcome. If you live in an urban area or near one check to see if they have a Bonsai Club or Society. These clubs often offer basic classes in taking care of your Bonsai plant. Also check to see if there is a local Bonsai supply store. – GardenGems Jan 21 at 23:17
  • I was hoping to not have to go back to the store, but since I may have to I will ask them. – Mack Martyn Jan 22 at 19:49
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You truly need to take a hands on class with a real expert in Bonsai. Bonsai is the apex of plants needing our constant help and needing us to know what we are doing. Not at all akin to a 'house plant'

Do not worry about using a timer for your bonsai for light. Just turn it off when it gets dark outside. What are the specs for the light? Good for you, I can tell you are going to really get into this. If you can care for a bonsai and keep it alive you will be able to grow anything...

Where was this Bonsai purchased? Indoors, out of doors, green house? What species is it? Depending on your pot and soil you might need to water every single day which is normal for bonsai. Taking the entire pot and plant and dunking the pot and soil into a bucket of water.

Hopefully, you used sterilized potting medium without water holding gimmicks and without added fertilizer. You want to be in charge of fertilizer so wait until you know more to add any to your bonsai. Fertilizer has to be carefully added and carefully chosen because a little too much is death. Also, that Fertilizer needs to be balanced, NPK. I recommend Osmocote extended release all purpose fertilizer. Use1/4 what the directions recommend.

Fertilizer? Less is Best, More is death and None is dumb, my little ditty about fertilizer. Fertilizer is NOT in any way some 'food' for plants!! But critical for our garden plants and indoor plants.

I would wait until I signed up for a bonsai class (lucky you!) and use my bonsai as my 'model'.

Get a couple of good books about bonsai, about the basics of raising plants, find a good indoor house plant book but no mistake get books on bonsai to read before the class starts. It will make far more sense and you'll be able to get far more out of your class. Allow your new baby to 'settle' in before trying any pruning. Take that class first before any wiring or pruning, okay? Have fun!

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  • The thing is, I was hoping to get enough information from the lovely people on the internet so I wouldn't have to sign up for a class. I've done a lot of research so far as to how much to water, how to wire, when to prune, how much etc. But a lot of this stuff doesn't go into specifics about timing and are just general guidelines. – Mack Martyn Jan 22 at 19:46
  • How much time is allowing it to settle in? – Mack Martyn Jan 22 at 19:46
  • I'm not sure of the exact species of ficus I bought, but I bought it from an indoor greenhouse nursery. I'm using a full spectrum 26 W light bulb, CFL I believe, I can get you the full specs later. I may get some books about bonsai, are there any that you recommend? I'm a beginner but I've done enough research that I feel like I can get into some intermediate and maybe some advanced concepts. – Mack Martyn Jan 22 at 19:48
  • It is a big change from a greenhouse to your indoors. Let that bonsai just relax and get used to it's long term spot. My hubby is an Electrical Engineer so I'd have to ask him about your specifications on the lighting...otherwise, I'll just look it up, grins. I think tho it should be at the very minimum 300 watts. Where is your grow light and the area you've placed your bonsai in your home? You have to send a picture...? Your pot should be very shallow and wider with a drain hole...some don't use drain holes but make sure yours does... – stormy Jan 23 at 4:32
  • Did you use potting medium out of a bag to transplant your bonsai? I don't remember the authors or the titles of books I've read on bonsai. Shoot! Taking a class is for those who know a thing or two about biological, botanical, chemistry. Feel the heft of the pot and plant after watered (dunk in a bucket of water). When that heft is obviously lighter that is when it needs to be dunked again. Not before. It does turn out that every day dunking is normal but always check the heft first. Some basic books would be Shane Smith and Greenhouse gardening, Jorge Cervantes and Cannabis Encycloped – stormy Jan 23 at 4:38

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