If you’re wondering how to grow a bonsai tree, but aren’t sure where to begin, we suggest starting with a Ficus bonsai. They’re easy to grow, difficult to kill and are seriously pretty, which is why we think Ficus species make the best bonsai trees.
There are hundreds of species of figs in the Ficus genus, most of them are tropical and evergreen, although some are deciduous. Many varieties are natural dwarfs, which makes them some of the best bonsai trees.
Commonly known as the Chinese banyan, Ficus microcarpa grows naturally in southwest Asia and is one of the most popular indoor bonsai trees. The ‘banyan’-style roots are commonly trained in a root-over-rock style to stunning effect. Caring for your ficus bonsai will be easy if you just follow these basic steps.
How to grow a bonsai tree:
Location, location, location
Your Ficus bonsai will perform best in well-lit areas with natural sunlight; think a patio location with morning sun, or a sunny location indoors. As with all Ficus varieties, they need fresh air and good ventilation.
Bonsai trees live in small pots and their roots dry out much quicker than plants in the ground or in bigger containers, so close attention should be paid to watering. Check your bonsai every day and water when the top 3cm of the soil is dry.
The leaves need humidity to keep them green and healthy. If you’re growing your bonsai indoors, the air inside can be very dry, which can damage your tree, so mist the leaves regularly.
Ficus bonsai fertilising
You should fertilise your ficus bonsai every two weeks during the growing season and once a month in the winter. The Chinese banyan responds quickly and enthusiastically to fertilising (another reason why we think it’s one of the best bonsai trees) — so don’t be tempted to skip it.
Pruning your bonsai
Most ficus species are vigorous growers, and this one is no exception. Prune back to 2 to 4 leaves after 6 to 10 leaves have grown. Because it is a quick grower, you should see rapid results in your bonsai!
For more information on choosing the best indoor plants, and then keeping them alive, see how to grow an areca palm or caring for the beautiful peace lily. Both of these amazing indoor plants actually remove toxins from the air, so everyone should have at least one in their home.