This blue glaze rice bowl caught my eye at Fei Long Asian Supermarket. It is bonsai quality for only $3.99. The little Ficus tree now has a new hydroculture home growing in expanded clay pebbles covered with decorative polished pebbles. There is no need for a much more expensive planter with a drain hole.
Note the 1/2" diameter clear plastic pipette access tube. Simply insert a length of 1/4" tubing to the bottom, hold your finger over the top end, lift and see the water level. Add water only when empty. Plant care is that simple and virtually fool proof, keeping in mind that when dealing with living organisms nothing is totally fool proof. Hydroculture is probably as close as it gets.
The tree was propagated last October from a bundle of cuttings held together with a rubber band. The propagator was a recycled soda bottle SIP with a deli container hood for holding humidity.
The small caliper stems will fuse together over time to create a thick trunk. No pruning has been done at this point. I will prune the tree for bonsai type character at a later date.
The houseplant market is a dying business in more ways than one. Why don't we have sustainable indoor plants like this available at retail? Why are houseplants essentially a feminine product. Surveys show 80% of the market with a large part of the remaining 20% purchased by men as gifts for women.
A more masculine symbol tree like this could be a young boy's lifetime companion.
See more tabletop plants like this on Flickr.