Ficus (lat. Ficus) is a genus of plants of the Mulberry family. Ficus grows mainly in tropical countries (in southern Africa and the Mediterranean, on the islands and coasts of the Indian and Pacific Oceans).
In indoor floriculture, Ficus Benjamina is very popular.
Ficus - popular species:
Lighting. Ficus loves a bright place shaded from the direct sun. With insufficient lighting, variegated ficuses lose their leaf color (become monotonous green), the stems of the ficus stretch out, its growth slows down, and leaves may fall off.
Temperature. Ficus thrives at temperatures of 25-30 ° C in summer and 16-20 ° C in winter.
Air humidity. It responds well to bathing in a warm shower 1-2 times a month, covering the surface of the earth with plastic wrap.
Air humidity must be at least 50%. When kept indoors with dry air, the plant can be placed on a pallet with damp expanded clay or pebbles. Spraying with filtered water and wiping the leaves with a damp swab will also be helpful.
Watering. In the summer, the ficus should be watered abundantly, but in no case should it be poured. The soil between waterings must necessarily dry from above by 2-3 cm. Water the ficus in the usual way - from above.
In winter, watering is even more moderate.
Top dressing. Ficus is fed in spring and summer every 10-14 days. After transplanting for 2 months, the ficus does not need feeding - the substrate usually contains a supply of fertilizers.
In winter, you do not need to fertilize the ficus, although under optimal conditions of artificial lighting and humidity, it is possible to fertilize with half the usual dose every 2 months.
If the ficus is grown in an inert substrate, then it is fed all year round.
Transfer. Like most plants, ficus is usually transplanted in the spring. When the roots are completely entwined with an earthen ball and crawl out of the drainage holes, the ficus needs a transplant.
Young plants (1-3 years old) are transplanted into a pot two fingers wider each year. More mature plants - every two, then three years. Ficus needs good drainage. In ficuses in tubs that are difficult to transplant, the top layer of the substrate, saturated with mineral salts, is changed.
Trimming and shaping. Ficus formation is preferably done before the beginning of the growing season - in February.
Pruning is not recommended at the same time as transplanting - this can weaken the plant.
Ficus Benjamin can be formed in the form of a bush, trunk and longline trunk.
For bushiness, the main shoot of a young ficus is cut at a height of 12-17 cm. As a result, the development of shoots from the axillary buds begins. When the lateral shoots have reached a length of 10-15 cm, they are also cut off above the bud, which is located outside the crown.
To obtain a desktop stem (trees with a trunk and a round crown), the main shoot is cut at a height of 30-35 cm. To obtain a floor one, at a height of 80-100 cm. Then, pinching young shoots, a round crown of a ficus is formed. The trunk is always cleaned of side shoots.
Reproduction. Ficus is propagated at home mainly by cuttings, although there are options for propagation by air layers and seeds. The best time for propagation of ficus by cuttings is spring.
You can use cuttings left over after pruning the ficus. Cut the stalk so that its length is 7-10 cm with 3-4 nodes (leaves) and the distance from the lower cut to the leaf is 2 cm.
The upper semi-freshened cuttings are most suitable for reproduction.
The stalk should be placed in water for half an hour to remove the milky juice, then air-dried for about an hour.
Ficus roots can be germinated either in water, sand or in a mixture of coarse sand with peat (coconut peat) in a 1: 1 ratio.
Cuttings are stuck into the substrate (sand) by 1.5 cm and covered with a transparent container or bag to avoid moisture evaporation and drying of the leaves.
After 3-4 weeks a young leaf will appear on the cutting and the plant can be transplanted into a pot with a diameter of 10 cm. It is recommended to add ¼ part of the sand to the soil.
Plants in winter. Move variegated forms to a sunny place.
Do not overcool (below 10 ° C) or overheat (above 20 ° C) the plant.
The normal wintering temperature is 15-20 ° C.
Excess moisture is dangerous. Please do not flood the plant.
This is interesting: Ficus Benjamin got its name from the word benzoin, a benzoin resin that is obtained from the sap of the plant.
PHOTO FICUS BENJAMIN