Bonsai Ficus Trees: Too Little Light?

Bonsai Ficus Trees: Too Little Light?

Bonsai Ficus Trees

Bonsai Ficus Trees are some of my favorite trees for beginner bonsai growers.  That’s because the ficus is fairly tolerant of the mistakes beginners make like overwatering or underwatering and incorrect place for growing.  I’ve posted about many of the issues you’ll discover with ficus bonsai as far as caring for them, watering the ficus bonsai and fighting insects on ficus bonsai trees.

Ficus Retusa Bonsai Tree (ficus retusa)

Bonsai Ficus Trees - Retusa  (ficus retusa)

Ficus tolerates sun, partial sun and partial shade.  It does not like full shade. Ficus bonsai trees are tropical plants. And in the US grow native only in extreme south Florida.  For the rest of us ficus bonsai trees are going to best grow inside our homes or offices.

But after seeing a great photo by Paul Henjum, (Thanks Paul for the use of the photo!) I just had to write about ficus and how to tell when ficus bonsai trees aren’t getting enough light.  Now the picture Paul took is not of a ficus, but his clear photo and labeling makes his photo a great teaching tool. I’m a lousy photographer so I get really excited when I see good photos of trees( especially bonsai trees.)

Tree Parts To Know to Properly Care for Ficus Bonsai

Now take a look at the photo.  You  see the nodes labeled in the photo?  Well, nodes are where buds (and new leaves) come out of the bonsai.  The term used for the space between two nodes is called an internode.  When you don’t give your ficus bonsai enough light, the space between the nodes increase.  The bonsai ficus tree looks sparse (some call it leggy).  The leaves on the light starved bonsai also become much larger in an attempt to ‘grab’ as much sunlight as possible.

So if your ficus bonsai tree is looking leggy and the leaf size is increasing, you will want to adjust the lighting for your bonsai. Ficus bonsai trees don’t require as much light as many other bonsai.  But most ficus bonsai trees often require additional light when inside through the use of fluorescent grow lights.

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