Ficus ginseng plants (Ficus microcarpa) are tropical indoor trees from Southeast Asia and the Pacific that are ideal for bonsai. These low-maintenance trees offer a host of uses and benefits, and symbolic value, in addition to attractive gray bark and charismatic pot-bellied trunks. When cared for correctly, Ficus ginseng trees can live for several decades. In this article, we’ll explain when and how to repot a Ficus ginseng at home.
- When and How to Repot a Ficus Ginseng – The Essentials
- Why Repotting Your Ficus Ginseng Might be Necessary
- How Often Does a Ficus Ginseng Need Repotting?
- Best Times of Year to Repot a Ficus Ginseng
- The Best Soil Mix to Use When Repotting a Ficus Ginseng
- What Tools Will I Need When Repotting a Ficus Ginseng?
- Size & Types of Potting Vessel Considerations
- How to Repot Your Ficus Ginseng
- Post-Repotting Care
- Repotting Ficus Ginseng FAQs:
- Wrapping Up
When and How to Repot a Ficus Ginseng – The Essentials
Ficus ginseng trees usually need repotting once every 2 to 4 years. Repot plants during the spring when the active growing season starts. If you’re training your Ficus ginseng for bonsai, repot it every two years. Always provide slightly acidic, well-draining soils that can still retain some moisture.
Why Repotting Your Ficus Ginseng Might be Necessary
Ficus ginseng trees need repotting because they can become root-bound over time, which can restrict their growth. If your Ficus ginseng stays root-bound for too long, it could start to suffer from serious problems. If you notice roots poking out from the bottom of the pot’s drainage holes, then your Ficus ginseng needs repotting.
As your Ficus ginseng grows, it will gradually use up the nutrients in the surrounding soil. If the soil no longer contains nutrients, your plant will struggle to keep growing. Providing a fresh batch of soil also provides fresh nutrients for your Ficus ginseng, fueling new growth.
Ficus ginseng trees may also need repotting if they start suffering from diseases or pests. This is especially necessary if there’s a fungal infection within the soil. Replacing the infected soil with a fresh, clean growing medium can help your Ficus ginseng recover.
Repotting can also help rescue your Ficus ginseng from overwatering or underwatering. Although Ficus ginseng trees need slightly moist soil, they hate waterlogged soils that can lead to root rot. If your Ficus ginseng is suffering from root rot, repotting the plant can solve the problem.
How Often Does a Ficus Ginseng Need Repotting?
Ficus ginseng trees can survive for decades and generally grow between 1 and 2 feet tall indoors. As such, Ficus ginseng trees have a relatively slow growth rate. This means that you should only repot them every 2 to 4 years.
Best Times of Year to Repot a Ficus Ginseng
The best time of year to repot your Ficus ginseng is in the spring. The active growing season for Ficus ginseng trees begins in the spring and runs until the fall. As the plant comes out of winter dormancy, repot it to give it a new lease of life.
The Best Soil Mix to Use When Repotting a Ficus Ginseng
Whenever you repot your Ficus ginseng, it’s a good idea to give it the right kind of soil. Ficus ginseng trees need slightly acidic well-draining soils that can still hold a bit of moisture. Although you can use pre-mixed bonsai soil, you can also create your own soil mix.
Mix together 2 parts houseplant potting mix, 1 part sphagnum moss, and 1 part fine grit or perlite. This provides a good combination of drainage, nutrients, and water retention for your Ficus ginseng.
What Tools Will I Need When Repotting a Ficus Ginseng?
When it’s time to repot your Ficus ginseng, you’ll need the following tools:
- Newspaper to cover the work surface
- Small trowel to help remove the plant
- Clean, sharp secateurs or scissors to trim the roots
- Container of freshly prepared and moistened growing medium
- Watering can filled with lukewarm distilled or filtered water
These plants are considered toxic to humans and pets, so it’s prudent to wear gloves when undertaking any form of ficus ginseng plant care.
Size & Types of Potting Vessel Considerations
Ficus ginseng plants can grow in a range of potting vessels. If you’re just growing it as an indoor tree, your Ficus ginseng will be happy in a suitably-sized nursery pot. You can then place this in a ceramic or plastic decorative pot.
If you’re growing your Ficus ginseng as a bonsai tree, aim for a traditional rectangular bonsai container. Allowing your Ficus ginseng bonsai to become slightly root-bound helps you manage its size. Using a shallow bonsai container makes managing and training your Ficus ginseng easier.
Choose a pot that’s about an inch or two larger than the previous container. For bonsai specimens, choose a new pot that’s as deep as the width of your Ficus ginseng’s trunk.
How to Repot Your Ficus Ginseng
Here’s a step-by-step guide detailing how to repot a Ficus ginseng:
- Give your Ficus ginseng a light watering about 2 or 3 days before you repot it.
- Gently remove the plant from its old pot. If your plant is severely root-bound, use a knife or small trowel to gently loosen the soil around the edges of the pot. Remember to untie any wire that might be supporting or training your plant before removing it from the pot.
- Using your fingers or a stick, remove excess soil from around the root ball. Check to see if any roots are rotten or damaged.
- Using scissors or secateurs, trim any roots that have grown too long. This is also the best time to trim off any rotten roots. Although Ficus ginseng can cope with pruning, avoid removing more than a third of the roots in one go.
- In the new nursery pot or container, add a layer of new soil. This layer should cover about an inch of the pot.
- Carefully position your Ficus ginseng into the new vessel. Reapply any supporting wires to hold the roots or trunk in place.
- Fill in around the root ball with the rest of the fresh growing medium. Make sure that the soil covers the roots evenly.
- Water your Ficus ginseng thoroughly to help it adjust to its new pot.
Once you’ve repotted your Ficus ginseng, it’ll take a little time to recover. Position a ficus ginseng somewhere that receives plenty of bright, indirect sunlight to stimulate new growth. Ficus ginseng trees need several hours of bright, indirect, or filtered sunlight every day.
Place your Ficus ginseng somewhere with warm, stable temperatures. Ficus ginseng plants need temperatures between 60 and 75ºF (15.5 to 24ºC). These tropical indoor trees need moderate humidity levels of at least 50%. Keep your Ficus ginseng away from cold or dry drafts at all times.
Give your Ficus ginseng some time to recover before fertilizing it again (and may even drop a few leaves or display a few yellowing leaves). Wait at least a month before you start feeding the plant again. Fertilize Ficus ginseng trees once every two to four weeks during spring and summer.
Repotting Ficus Ginseng FAQs:
Should I Water My Ficus Ginseng Immediately After Repotting?
Once you’ve repotted your Ficus ginseng, water it thoroughly to help it recover faster.
Why is My Ficus Ginseng Limp After Repotting?
It’s perfectly normal for a Ficus ginseng to be slightly limp after repotting. The plant will recover in due course.
Ficus ginseng trees might take a while to grow, but these symbolic plants still need to be repotted every so often. Repot Ficus ginseng trees every 2 to 4 years. If you’re growing a Ficus ginseng as a bonsai tree, repot it every two years. Always repot Ficus ginseng trees in the spring before the growing season gets into full swing.
Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.