soil and repotting help?
I just got my first ficus as a gift and was doing some research on them ( as i didn't know about them before) and what i was reading says not to have a soil that holds the moisture to prevent over watering them now i haven't watered my ficus much but every time i check the soil is usually pretty damp. I was wondering if i should change the soil to something that won't hold as much moisture or if I'm watering it to much how i tell? if i should change the soil what kind is the best for it and can i do it now in the winter or wait for the warmer months. and one last question when i got it there was moss all over the top of it i was just wondering if it has any real purpose to it, i know it also hold quit a bit of moisture and stays damp for quite a while. does this help the tree grow faster or can i take it off? thanks
You can tell if your soil needs to be changed if when you water it, it drains really slowly. You want soil that will allow the water to flow through and out the bottom of the pot fairly quickly.
Also, you should wait for the soil to be a bit dry be fore watering. You could check this by sticking a chop stick or wooden skewer into the soil, leave it there for a few minutes then pull it out and see if it feels damp. If it feels damp, no need to water, if it is dry then you can water.
As for the type of soil, that varies from person to person, I use for my ficus a mix of potting soil, sphagnum moss, and turface (you could use a bit of sharp sand, or crushed gravel instead) my ficus seem to enjoy this. Basically you want something that will absorb some moister but let all the extra water flow through.
As for re-potting, it has been my experience here in Canada that since it lives in-doors, you can pretty much re-pot when ever. Ficus do go through really rapid growth spurts in the spring/summer, so they seem to recover faster if you wait to do it just before this growth spurt. But if it is really crapy soil, then you might want to re-pot sooner.
Good luck, I'm sure there will be more advise to follow from other growers.
i just use any standard bonsai mix. I check for dryness with a finger poke about 1 inch deep. Water as necessary. I mist often. I read the rule for moss is to touch no more than 3 sides. Some here advocate removal of moss for tree health. Forgot why, but was told this by senior member aimurthman