Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dad's Bonsai regathered

When my Dad had his stroke in February of 2006, his Bonsai collection was scattered among family and friends. The first one I inherited was from my Aunt on March 5th, 2011 when I visited her house. She gave me a plethora of plants, and the first of my Dad's Bonsai that I brought home was the Ficus Insipida below. I am waiting for the other two companion plants to leaf in order to identify them.

Besides my Aunt, a family friend offered to take care of most of my Dad's other bonsai trees. However, soon after he took them, his life got too busy and couldn't afford to give them consistent care. My Sister called him to ask if he could allow us to take one back since I was learning how to grow Bonsai. In the end, he decided to give us most of them back. We took ten trees back from him and my sister kept two. I offered my brother to take any that he likes but he didn't want to yet.

My Sister and brother in law drove eight of my Dad's trees to my house on June 25th. I ran out and bought some lumber and concrete blocks to make two 10' benches.

The bonsai has arrived. They were in my side-yard here but I've already moved them to the backyard where they are not visible from the side yard. I also built a new side yard gate that is 6' tall and put a lock on it for safety measures.

Ficus Insipida is below. This is the first one that I received from my Aunt. This was when the journey of gathering my Dad's Bonsais began.

The two little brown stumps are hard to ID with no leaves. My best guess is Cyphostemma Simulans or mestoklema tuberosa. It's a shot in the dark but it's hard to tell with no foliage.

The first thing was to do identify them. This is what I came up with. There could be some error because a lot of Ficus trees look similar to me.

Ficus Palmeri below:

The two little plants are Ficus Petiolaris and their roots seem to be attached to the Palmeri.

Below is Ficus Microcarpa.

Ficus Benjamina, also known as weeping fig is below.

This is a Holly tree but I'm not sure which kind exactly.

Finally an easy one; Wisteria. Same one in my earlier post of Dad's Bonsai. :)

And another easy one; Olive.

These are big bonsai! A couple of them are about 3 feet tall and wide. The smallest one is the Olive, which is about 18" tall. I cut them back a little since these photos to make them a bit more compact so that they can fit on the bench without too much over-crowding.

Ficus like lots of sunlight. I put the trees in an open space with full sun so the soil dries out quickly in the summer. I water the small pots about three times a week and the deeper pots twice a week. On very hot mornings, i give the leaves a light mist. There is new growth on every tree even though they are shaggy looking. They are very established and hardy plants so it's only a matter of time before they will look more consistently maintained. Once they are more healthy, I will change the soil, re-pot, and start fertilizing. It's exciting to be the care-taker of some of my Dad's plants. I am glad to be up to the task.

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