Ficus salicifolia, Ficus neriifolia, Ficus subulata
and even Ficus mexicana ........................ now: Ficus salicaria
Willow Leaf Fig thrives on heat, humidity, and sunlight. And is ideal for the banyan style, depicting a beautiful forest. The banyan style is one in which the tree has aerial roots that become trunks in addition to the "main trunk". During the winter, even with added humidity, don't panic if the leaves slowly fall off. It is resting. Treat it like a dormant deciduous tree, reduce water and give no food. In the spring it will grow new leaves. The tree responds well to wiring but if the tree is growing vigorously can scar rather quickly. The tree can also be grown using the clip and grow technique. It thrives in shallow pots and hardly needs any roots for growth. The Willow Leaf Ficus sometimes makes a small fig. Regular defoliation can help develop ramification, cut the leaves just above the petiole.
I started training this tree as a bonsai in 1993
Even though it is a tree of "uncertain provenance", it is the best ficus for bonsai training.
The name of this one, however, has long been a mystery. It has been sold as Ficus salicifolia, Ficus neriifolia, Ficus subulata and even Ficus mexicana among other names. Some of these are suitable epithets to describe the plant's narrow leaves, but, unfortunately the names belong to other species with much larger leaves and other characteristics that do not fit the bonsai species
Pictures of incredible Willow Leaf Fig