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Ficus Benjamina

Pruning: 

Ficus can handle pretty severe pruning, but can suffer dieback if pruned too aggressively. The Ficus Benjamina will bleed a milky white sap when pruned. It has been said that this can cause itching, but I've never experienced that myself. 

Sun:

Ficus prefer full sun (with afternoon protection) when put outside. They can do with an East or West facing window to get sun if kept indoors year round. It's truly advised to keep it outdoors when the temperature will by above 55 degrees.

Temperature: 

It needs to be 55 degrees or higher to be kept outdoors as it is a tropic plant. 

Feeding:

Fertilize every two weeks during the growing season. Cut back fertilizing in the Winter. 

Wiring: 

Wiring can be done year round, but you need to take care if wiring during the growing season as the wire can cut into the branch quite quickly. 

Watering:

Ficus have a high tolerance for over and under-watering. If you are giving too much water or too little the leaves will drop. If you then water it or let it dry out the leaves will come back. Regular misting can help with humidity and growing aerial roots if those are desired. 

Winter Care:

Ficus need to be brought inside when temperatures will drop below 55 degrees. Keep in mind that if you have your tree closer to the house or ground it will not reach the same temperature as a forecast might predict. I don't bring mine inside until I see around 45 degree forecasts since my trees are close to the house and near the ground. 

Repotting:

Ficus can be repotted every 2 to 3 years. Ideally done during Spring or Summer, but can be done anytime of year. 

Pests: 

Bonsai are susceptible to the same pests and diseases as common house plants. The best defense is to keep your tree clean and healthy. Keeping the leaves free from dust will allow proper circulation in your tree. If you notice any abnormal leaf drop, stickiness to the foliage, or visible insects, you need to treat the problem promptly. Start by spraying your bonsai with a solution of 1 tsp dish soap to 1 quart tepid water or Neem oil spray and spray till mixture runs off the leaves; Rinse solution off leaves with plain water and repeat every few days as needed.

Propagation:

Propagation can be done from air layers, cuttings rooted in water, root cuttings, and from seed, though I'd recommend the former methods before seeds. 

Additional Comments:

Ficus are perfect for beginners because of their ability to withstand the inconsistency that a beginner might give it. 

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