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How to Prune a Ginseng Ficus

A ginseng ficus is a popular plant to grow as a bonsai. Its growth and shape are easily controlled with pruning. In fact, its roots can be pruned to add to the bonsai’s aesthetic appeal. Prune a ginseng ficus with a concave cutter, which will not show scars as easily as other clippers. Since ficus often bleeds after sharp cuts, use dull pruning shears or clippers, no matter which kind you choose.

Trim up to half of the ginseng ficus new leaves, after it grows six to 10 of them, to help with a strong and lush crown.

Cut new growth and limbs to shape a ginseng ficus. Prune new growth from spring and fall. Prune previous year’s growth in the fall after it's growth has stopped for the year.

Prune the roots every one to two years, preferably in early spring, when you repot a ginseng ficus. Remove the soil around the roots with a paintbrush or bonsai fork. Cut 1/3 to 1/2 of the roots away to control growth. Cut wedges at the top of the rootball, under the crown, to shape the roots to grow in interesting patterns above the soil line.

Prune Branches On A Bonsai Ficus

Use small, sharp scissors to prune bonsai. Only trim the stems, not the leaves, of a ficus. Trimmed leaves take on an untidy appearance and turn brown. Make a sketch of the desired shape and mark which branches need to be removed, including any that grow upright, cross one another or grow inward. Shape the ficus in the winter before heavy spring growth occurs. Prune new growth by pinching and cutting throughout the growing season to two or three leaves per shoot.

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