Caring for Bo Tree
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Donna Cunneen
Posted on: September 22, 2003

The Desert Zen Center received a Bo Tree for a memorial present. the Center is located in the high desert of California, USA. Summer temps high, 120F Winter lows 25F and the wind she blows. They have a drip system. Several buildings, a slope, rocks, sandy soil. What do we need to do to keep our Bo Tree alive?

Bo tree (Ficus religiosa) is hardy only in subtropical and tropical zones (zones 10b-11). Most of southern California is in zones 7-10, so there is a chance that your plant will survive if you happen to be in the zone 10 area. You can check the zone map on our website at http://www.richters.com/show.cgi?page=Zones/NA.html to see if the Zen Center happens to be in the zone 10 area.

Bo tree requires well-drained, fertile soil and a full or half sun exposure. In India where it is native it reaches 20-30 meters tall and wide.

If you are in a zone too cold to winter bo tree outdoors, you will can grow it as a "tub plant"; i.e., in a large container that you move outdoors or in depending on the season. While indoors, it will need a bright window getting direct sunshine for at least part of the day. To keep the plant at a manageable size, it will be necessary to prune it from time to time. Generally, the care of bo trees in pots is similar to that of the common house plant, Ficus benjamini.

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