Ficus update 2013

Some six months ago I went to visit one of the local nurseries, mostly in search of mugo pines, when I came across this ficus in their office. I didn't like it. It had the S-curve, tipical chinese styling. It was in this tiny pot with about 5cm diameter of soil, next to a huge rock glued together from little pieces. I told them to move it near a window at least and repot it. 

One week later I visited again and saw it in the poor state as seen above. Its leaves lost colour and they were dropping at the slightest touch. I thought it will die within two more weeks. Seeing as I'm good friends with the folks I told them I will take this home (not buy it) and nurse it to better health. I repotted it immediately and moved it gradually to full sun. 

The poor thing had been grafted several times, grew in multiple directions, still had wire embedded in the bark. I tried to do quite a bit of cleanup on the dead wood and decided to do an approach graft with the lowest branch to recover from legginess and empty lower half. Other than that, regular fertilising and (by now) moved to full sun. 

Here we are to the current day  (6 months):

I decided this would be the new front

Given such good colour, strong growth, I decided to style it before the top branches harden and to clear out a bit of the thicket on top.


In-progress shot (without the magic 5'oclock light)

And now for the before/after final shot

Three quarters

Top view

View from behind/alternate view

I quite like where it is now and love that it is so healthy. I hope it will fill out nicely in the new configuration. Might even keep it after all.