Ficus Ginseng Tree Info – Information On Ficus Ginseng Care Indoors

Ficus Ginseng Tree Info – Information On Ficus Ginseng Care Indoors

By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

What is a ficus ginseng tree? It is native to south andeastern Asian countries. It is in the Ficusgenus but has a chubby trunk, which is similar to ginseng roots – hence thiscommon name. Keep reading for more ficus ginseng tree info.

What is a Ficus Ginseng Tree?

A quick scan of ficus ginseng tree info reveals that itsbotanical name is Ficus microcarpa. Thetree is the result of a graft where the rootstock is developed into thecharacteristic “pot belly” trunk, and a scion of a variety of small leaved ficusis grafted to the top.

The tree is also known as a pot belly fig as well as Taiwanficus, Indian laurel fig, or banyan fig. Ficustrees grow very quickly and make excellent indoor plants. They havewhite milky sap and they can be poisonous to cats or dogs who like to graze.The trunks of these trees are interesting with smooth gray bark marked withtiger stripes and sometimes vertical aerial roots.

Ficus Ginseng Care

This is a tropical tree, so it needs to be indoors wheretemperatures are 60 to 75 Fahrenheit (15-25 C.), or outside of its 9-11 growingzones. In fact, the ficus ginseng is often recommended for beginning bonsaigrowers. This is because it is such an easy tree to grow.

The tree needs plenty of bright light but it should beindirect. Avoid the southern exposure where the sun may burn leaves. Outdoors,the tree requires sun to shady conditions.

Select the perfect spot for this tree and then try not tomove it. Ficus are notoriously cranky when moved. It does, however, appreciaterepotting every 2 to 3 years. Avoid placing the tree in any area where thereare drafts or near heat, where one will freeze the tree and the other will dryout soil.

Wipe the leaves when they get dusty and water only when thesurface of the soil is dry to the touch. This plant prefers high humidity, ifpossible, which will encourage it to produce more aerial roots. Either mist theleaves frequently or place the pot on top of pebbles in a saucer of water.

Since the tree grows fairly quick, an occasional ficustree pruning now and then will help maintain and adequate indoorsize, especially when growing as a bonsai plant. As with any pruning, useclean, sharp tools.

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Ficus microcarpa Ginseng

A quirky plant that is grown in Bonsai style, Ficus Ginseng is a robust, easy-care houseplant that will bring a little Zen into your home.

A bonsai suitable for beginners, the plant is characterized by the shape of its trunk and the miniature canopy of small, shiny oval leaves. The thick, pot-bellied trunk is actually made up of roots and this is where it gets its name - Ginseng is Chinese for 'root'.

Originating in Asia, the roots of Ficus Ginseng are grown for 15 years or so before being finished in the greenhouse as bonsai - so your little plant has already had a long life by the time it arrives in your home.

Place your Ficus 'Ginseng' in a prominent place so it can be enjoyed all day -and in summer it can even take pride of place outdoors on the patio or decking.

Ideal for those venturing into the world of bonsai growing for the first time, Ficus Ginseng is the easiest bonsai tree to grow because it is very tolerant of a range of conditions.

Supplied as a potted plant in a 14cm nursery pot.

What Is Supplied

Supplied as a potted plant in a 14cm nursery pot.


Bonsai Ficus Ginseng - Easy Care Houseplant in 13cm Zinc Pot

A quirky plant that is grown in Bonsai style, Ficus Ginseng is a robust, easy-care houseplant that will bring a little Zen into your home.

A bonsai suitable for beginners, the plant is characterized by the shape of its trunk and the miniature canopy of small, shiny oval leaves. The thick, pot-bellied trunk is actually made up of roots and this is where it gets its name - Ginseng is Chinese for 'root'.

Originating in Asia, the roots of Ficus Ginseng are grown for 15 years or so before being finished in the greenhouse as bonsai - so your little plant has already had a long life by the time it arrives in your home.

Place your Ficus 'Ginseng' in a prominent place so it can be enjoyed all day -and in summer it can even take pride of place outdoors on the patio or decking.

Ideal for those venturing into the world of bonsai growing for the first time, Ficus Ginseng is the easiest bonsai tree to grow because it is very tolerant of a range of conditions.

Presented in a 13cm zinc pot, this easy-care houseplant is perfect for instant impact and is of course social-media friendly!

Supplied in a 13cm zinc pot - see ‘as supplied’ photo.


All Things Gardening forum→Ginseng Ficus Bonsai

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Removing the glued rocks was good but adding the green moss was a bad thing. You don't need to hold moisture in and you could cause some rot problems. If you want to decorate the top of the soil, a single layer of small pebbles would be best.

Does that pot have a drainage hole? If not, your first project will be repotting. If you want to keep this plant as a bonsai, the pot needs to be small. The art of bonsai isn't just about pruning to a shape but also keeping the roots pruned also. The pot never gets bigger but the plant will need to be repotted and the top and roots pruned every other year or so.

The tree can be any shape you would like. Look at photos of Ficus bonsai and choose something. The training will be a life time project. Ginseng Ficus take very well to pruning but because of their fat trunks and roots, they can't be easily wired or bent in new directions.

I have never liked wiring but have always managed to achieve the shape I want with pruning. Part of it is being able to predict what direction the plant will grow if you cut it here. Or here. And also by weighting new branches to pull them down or tethering to change direction.

I would suggest, for a couple reasons, that you just concentrate on keeping it alive and prune it into a simple ball like this:

The reasons I am suggesting this pruning style is that you are a new bonsai owner so don't take on something too challenging quite yet.

And, because of how this tree was grown, it will never be anything more than what it is. The trunk was cut and allowed to sprout in every direction. It will be hard to overcome that original cut.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming. "WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org

Likewise, you have to decide if you want to keep your Ginseng as a miniaturized bonsai or if you want to grow it into a much larger plant. No right or wrong, just a decision based on what you want its future to be.

If you opt to keep it as a bonsai, then I suggest you keep it in that pot indefinitely. Just monitor the soil moisture regularly as it may need frequent watering as the roots expand. If you choose to move it into a larger pot, then it will start to grow much larger.

Pruning is also very much a personal aesthetic choice. This plant will give you a chance to experiment with how you want it to look. Pruning is like getting a haircut. Neither affects overall health, but both alter the appearance.

Does that pot have a drainage hole? If not, your first project will be repotting. If you want to keep this plant as a bonsai, the pot needs to be small. The art of bonsai isn't just about pruning to a shape but also keeping the roots pruned also. The pot never gets bigger but the plant will need to be repotted and the top and roots pruned every other year or so.

Thanks for your response! It is super helpful. If I put it in a larger pot, will it continue to grow bigger and bigger or will it stop to where t fits the pot? I would like it to be slightly larger than it is now, but not overwhelmingly big. It's currently about 6-7 inches tall.

The size determination is how big you allow it to grow. Even in a HUGE pot, you could keep it small, but that would be silly. Choose the pot and grow the tree into it. I have a 25 year old Ficus benjamina in a pot that is 15 x 15 x 15 inches. The tree itself is 4 - 5 feet tall. I prune the top constantly and, every couple years, I dump it out and prune the roots and replace the soil.

In plants, all plants, there is a very close relationship between the roots and the crown. The stems act as conduits between the roots and leaves and also support the plant. The top of the plant will not grow larger unless the roots of the plant are fulfilling their part of the bargain. The roots will not grow unless they are getting enough support from the leaves. The balancing act is yours - you have to keep all the parts happy and synchronized by watering, pruning, ferilizing and providing sufficient light.

Don't panic! Every plant in your care, whether in a pot or in the ground, is living with the decisions you make (Oops! Sorry! More stress). You are the Goddess of the Garden. How's that for power?

Relax everybody. The species will survive inspite of you.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming. "WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org



I'll never understand why they don't package these "bonsai trees" with books about the art of bonsai, or at least have an adjacent rack of bonsai books. I bet people would buy several plants to experiment with various styles. It seems like there's an assumption that nobody is interested in learning or working for decades on a project.

purpleinopp said: Awesome creations, Tofi!

I'll never understand why they don't package these "bonsai trees" with books about the art of bonsai, or at least have an adjacent rack of bonsai books. I bet people would buy several plants to experiment with various styles. It seems like there's an assumption that nobody is interested in learning or working for decades on a project.

I have probably 30 plants in my bedroom (I love them all equally) but I have recently become very interested in the idea of bonsai trees. As you said, it does take decades and result take a while to show, but I am super excited at the idea of possibly still having these trees in 50 years! I might be in a minority because of this. I don't know how everyone doesn't have dozens of plants in their houses. I've actually started growing pomegranate seeds — this is my next big project and I already love it :)

One of my favorite books on bonsai is called "The Japanese Art of Miniature Trees and Landscapes" by Yuji Yoshimura and Giovanna M. Halford.

I Googled to see if this book is still in print and I don't think it is but found it at several online secondhand booksellers. Barnes and Noble had a copy for $1.99!

My oldest bonsai is about 45 years old. My youngest is 5 years old. Mine have all been started as seedlings I dug up or purchased in 2 inch pots.

I'll post a couple photos in a minute.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming. "WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org


I have probably 30 plants in my bedroom (I love them all equally) but I have recently become very interested in the idea of bonsai trees. As you said, it does take decades and result take a while to show, but I am super excited at the idea of possibly still having these trees in 50 years! I might be in a minority because of this..

I might hope to keep my bonsai trees 20 or so years but by that time I'll forget what to do with them.


A Japanese Maple that has changed a lot over the years. Until about 25 years ago, it was a cascade but my husband knocked it off the front porch and it became something else. Then a deer ate it and once again, it became something else. This is what it is now and how it looked in October. The bamboo stakes and orange cording is keeping the pot from flying away in the wind and changing shapes once again.

This is my oldest bonsai at 45 years - Five Gingko trees in a landscape. Bonsai are always planted in odd numbers, never even and NEVER four.
Four and death are almost the same kanji so don't plant four of anything (I don't even buy 4 of anything). My DH's cousin lives in Japan town in Los Angeles on the 5th floor of a four story building - its the same as never having a 13th floor. The ginkgos now and in August.

This is a dogwood bonsai in training at 5 years. I dug it up because of its fall color and twiggy nature (don't worry, in my own yard). Its wintering over in the garage because it too cold outside and too warm in the GH.

This is a group of 3 Hedge Maples, dug up as seedlings (from my yard). These trees are about 10 years old.

This is an Ume' tree grown from a pit from the Asian grocery - about 20 years old. I'm not sure it will go to the garage this winter as the mound it is growing out of is a 4 inch bonsai pot completely covered in Baby's Tears. I think the pot is now firmly attached to the GH floor.

I used to try to keep a whole bunch of bonsai trees but its hard to take care of that many. I have whittled my collection down by choice and attrition, but am always on the lookout for something new and exciting. My newest is a naturally weeping cherry that (yes, I'll admit that) I bought in a 4 inch pot. I also have opted for mostly larger plants - those tiny pots have to be watered multiple times a day when its hot. All the small ones live their summers in the greenhouse under the sprinklers for the orchids. In the winter, they live on racks in the garage.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming. "WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org


@Tiffany purpleinopp. yes I also think that if people been given example, exposure, and encourage to do a long term project, something like bonsai. many will actually becoming fan, if not fanatics

I have another project on combining ficus ginseng (also given as a gift to friend). just by combining many types of figs in single pot. but I cant find those images. I'll try later..


Tofi, your little Ficus trees are beautiful. But. It is a whole lot easier to grow plants that appreciate your weather. Luckily, the Gingko forest and maples can live outside. The dogwood can spend the summer out but its too cold here in the winter. The little ones have to live in the greenhouse just so they get watered. So most of mine are large and living out year 'round on an automatic drip system. In the winter, I do shove them up against the walls of the house for a little protection.

I have to admit that I tossed a perfectly healthy Japanese maple this summer after trying to make it into something I liked for about 15 years.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming. "WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org


Experts Talk About Shaping the Ginseng Ficus

ratnaacharya on March 17, 2015:

I appreciate d knowledge shared by everyone.i cud know whether my. Bonsai ginseng is still sleeping or dead as not asingle new leaf appeared till mid march.i fear overwatering .some roots n thick stem seems to be waterlogged.i have repotted but dont know how often to water it at this stage of recovering.can anyone help plz.

Garden Goddess (author) from Garden Of Eden on February 16, 2011:

Thank you elayne001, I really appreciate your comment and your visit. I hope that you will get to experience the joy in having a bonsai tree soon. They really are fun to grow. Thank you for your visit.

Elayne from Rocky Mountains on February 15, 2011:

You did a great job with this hub. Congrats on the nomination. I love bonsai trees and hope someday to have one.

Garden Goddess (author) from Garden Of Eden on February 14, 2011:

Thank you for your visit and your very kind comment. I had a lot of fun writing this one. I am looking forward to having fun writing more in the future. Thank you for your congrats. I am grateful to be nominated and humbled by your hospitality.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on February 13, 2011:

Very cool hub. Nicely written. Welcome to hubpages. congratulations on your nomination.

Garden Goddess (author) from Garden Of Eden on February 12, 2011:

Thank you for your visit and your kindness in forwarding my information to your friend. I adore bonsai's and love sharing the information.

Thank you for your congratulations, I am still happily surprised and blushing.

I appreciate your visit and sweet comments. =)

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on February 12, 2011:

I will forward your hub to my best friend who has been looking for info on how to take care of bonsais!

Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination :) http://bit.ly/f8XToN Please read and vote! Best of luck!

Garden Goddess (author) from Garden Of Eden on February 11, 2011:

Thank you my dear friend for taking the time to visit and as always for your encouraging words. You are the best!

Garden Goddess (author) from Garden Of Eden on February 11, 2011:

Thank you for your visit and very kind comment, can you see me blushing like a red rose? Thank you for your vote and encouragement.

janet shimniok on February 11, 2011:

cheapsk8chick on February 11, 2011:

Really neat hub! Well written and very informative. Vote up & awesome!

Garden Goddess (author) from Garden Of Eden on February 05, 2011:

Thank you for your visit and your very nice comment. I am grateful and humbled by your compliment.

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 05, 2011:

I really like the style, layout, and content of this Hub. Rated Up and others.

Garden Goddess (author) from Garden Of Eden on January 28, 2011:

Thank you for your support More Than Words, it is much appreciated. :)

Pamela Bogwald from Oak Ridge, NJ on January 28, 2011:

Yes, nice. Like the appearance of the Bonsai

Garden Goddess (author) from Garden Of Eden on January 28, 2011:

I think it is a beautiful way of describing dormancy in its simplest form.

Pamela Bogwald from Oak Ridge, NJ on January 27, 2011:

I have a friend that bought a book, Bonsai Techniques II, signed in 1982 by John Yoshio Naka. He wrote in the book: "Last leaf has fallen, tree will slumber, I will dream, spring is tomorrow" What do you think of those words?

Pamela Bogwald from Oak Ridge, NJ on January 27, 2011:

Baja is the right spelling.

Garden Goddess (author) from Garden Of Eden on January 27, 2011:

Thank you for stopping by and the wonderful insights. The Ginseng Ficus goes dormant in the winter time also. I did not know and think it is fascinating about the Ba Ha desert plants. I will have to do some research on these plants. That's why I love plants, flowers, and trees because there is always something new and wonderful to learn. Thank you for your wonderful knowledge and your kind comment.

Pamela Bogwald from Oak Ridge, NJ on January 27, 2011:

A house is an alien environment for some bonsais. Junipers can't take the house. Some plants from the Ba ha desert in Mexico are very tolerant in the house. They go dormant in the winter time and break growth in spring. There are certain kinds that can tolerate five years without water in their own environment. They thrive on neglect, hardly no watering needed. Nice hub, love it. I'll have to get my book out to get the names straight.

Garden Goddess (author) from Garden Of Eden on January 24, 2011:

Thank you for your visit and wonderful comment. I really enjoy the indoor bonsai's for the same reasons you mention. Thanks again for stopping in. :)

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on January 24, 2011:

I love bonsai but have had no success with the few that I have tried - going away, the plant sitter forgot to water one, etc. But keeping a bonsai indoors is wonderful. You keep your eye on it and it won't need to be watered every day like an outdoor bonsai. Great hub!


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