About The Golden Gate Bonsai Tree
The Golden Gate Bonsai Tree is an excellent tree for beginners mostly because they are fast growers and very tolerant of just about any soil.
Ficus are one of the best varieties of Bonsai trees for indoors. They’re very easy to take care of and need little attention. In the ficus family, the Golden Gate variety is the best for growing indoors.
The attractive gray trunk is thick and sturdy topped by small, dark green oval foliage.
Golden Gate Bonsai Tree Care | Temperature And Lighting
Outside of it’s tropical home, the Golden Gate Bonsai Tree would rather be an indoor plant. It can spend some time outside in the summer provided the temperature isn’t below the mid-50s.
If there is an excessive variation in temperature, the tree may loose it’s leaves. Full sun is best but the Golden Gate Bonsai Tree will survive in less optimal lighting conditions as well.
These trees also love humidity so a humidity tray or regular misting can benefit their foliage. They dislike drafts, whether hot or cold, so must be moved if you notice leaf discoloration or dropping due to draft exposure.
Watering And Fertilizing
The Golden Gate Bonsai Tree is very forgiving when it comes to watering. It is a great choice for those who travel or are just starting out in the art and may forget to water the plant. It’s important that the tree tdoesn’t completely dry out down to the roots.
The plant will normally recover if over watered but check regularly to make sure that it doesn’t have too much moisture. Water should not sit in the bottom of the pot because root rot could develop.
The Golden Gate Bonsai Tree responds remarkably well to feeding and will exhibit new growth almost right away. The tree should be given a balanced formula every two weeks during the growing season. Reduce this frequency to monthly during the winter. You may alternate regular fertilizer with a high nitrogen mix at half-strength every other feeding to encourage foliage growth.
Pruning And Common Sense
Pruning may be done at any time of year but scarring may be less noticeable if done in summer or fall. Make cuts, using bonsai scissors, either flush or concave to the trunk. These trees are in the rubber family and will bleed a milky latex.
When it dries it will form its own seal. Trim shoots down to one or two leaves after they have developed three to four nodes. Use your shaping preference as a guide for where to make these clips. To attempt leaf size reduction, wait until a shoot has six to ten leaves.
Wiring of the Golden Gate Bonsai Tree may be done but because it grows so vigorously during the growing season, you will need to watch the wires very closely to avoid cutting in. Branches should be slightly hardened before wiring, but not too hard because they resist redirection if they are too lignified. A good rule of thumb is to only wire branches that are under a half inch in diameter.
Propagation And Repotting
The Golden Gate Bonsai Tree is best propagated by cuttings. These should be taken in summer in about a four inch length, cut with clean, sharp bonsai shears. Only take cuttings from a healthy tree.
Rooting hormone may be used, then plant the cutting into river sand in a small pot. Wait a month then carefully check the root growth by tipping the pot. Trim all leaves except the top ones and then replant in sand and place in shade for a couple of weeks.
After this time, give the plant liquid seaweed fertilizer and then switch to a hydroponics feed. In about three months your cutting should have a developed root system and be ready for potting.
Insects And Diseases
There are numerous buggers that will attack our wonderful tree including spider mites, scale and mealy bugs but overall this species is hardy and disease resistant. Most insect problems can be controlled or eradicated with a spray of a teaspoon of dish liquid in a quart of water. Spray foliage until run-off is created then spray with plain water.