Ficus home care
Ficus can rightly be called one of the most popular indoor plants. This genus has united more than 800 species, among which there are huge trees, and lianas, and shrubs. Due to their high decorative qualities, they are actively used for breeding, creating new and new forms.
The variety of species allows to select suitable plants in winter gardens, ampel cultivation, vertical gardening, creation of bonsai and, of course, cultivation on a window sill as a pot plant.
Ficus care at home
Almost all kinds of figs come from tropical and subtropical countries, nevertheless, they are unpretentious and grow well in an apartment. First of all, it is necessary to take into account that plants react painfully to movement and begin to actively discard leaves, so it is better to immediately choose for ficus a permanent place. Adaptation of the plant can last up to 6 weeks, but optimal home care can easily survive this period without loss of decorativeness. It is worthwhile to consider the factors that are necessary for all species.
Lighting. Most species of ficus can withstand shading, but prefer well-lit places, without direct sunlight. The need for lighting can be assessed by the color of the leaves. Species and forms with dark green leaves grow well both in well-lit places and in the penumbra, but with good lighting, the increase will be greater. Variegated forms, as well as species with light green leaves require bright diffuse light, and when shading, they lose their decorative effect.
In winter, during a sharp decrease in daylight, variegated forms, it is necessary to provide additional lighting, especially if the air temperature is above the optimum for this period.
Temperature mode. The optimum temperature of the content is 18-25 ° C.For all species characterized by periods of intense growth and relative dormancy. Intensive growth of plants lasts from spring to autumn. At this time, the temperature of the contents may be from 23 ° C to 30 ° C.In winter, the growth of plants is suspended, so it is recommended to reduce the temperature of the contents to 15-18 ° C, but do not lower it below 12 ° C.When growing ficus in rooms with central heating plants must be removed away from the batteries, but do not allow a strong cooling of the earth coma.
Moisture, watering and top dressing. When caring for ficus, it is worth sharing such concepts as air humidity and soil moisture. Like many subtropical plants, ficuses like high humidity( only in conjunction with constant air movement), respond well to periodic spraying with warm water and bathing in the shower.
At the same time, all kinds of ficuses react poorly to excess and stagnant moisture in the soil, especially in winter. Watering should be moderate, and an earth lump between watering should dry up a few centimeters, but do not dry out completely.
Ficuses grow intensively from spring to autumn, which means they have an increased need for nutrients. You are a time of active growth, you must carry out every second or third watering, alternating organic and mineral fertilizers. During the rest period, it is not recommended to feed plants, and the irrigation frequency should be reduced to a minimum. Planting of ficus and ficus transplantation.
.For planting it is necessary to use light fertile soil. The optimum substrate must consist of a mixture of peat, leaf humus, turf and sand. Some species like when heavier components, such as clay, are added to the soil mixture in small amounts. However, good drainage is a prerequisite for good growth for all species.
Young plants are transplanted every year before the onset of intensive growth. Adult plants simply pass into a larger pot or replace the upper part of the soil. It is worth noting that large species( for example, ficus cauliflower), grow very actively and are digested with an earthen litter, therefore, in order to contain growth and achieve relative compactness, pots of small size should be chosen.
Trimming of the ficus
Forming and trimming. The need for pruning can occur in plants of different ages. Most often it is carried out in order to restore the decorativeness of the plant or to give it a certain shape. Carry out this procedure better at the end of winter, before active growth begins.
Most species well tolerate pruning and easily form new shoots, but there are exceptions. For example, a triangular ficus can be cut only in exceptional cases and very moderately.
Some species often form a single stem and, even with the help of trimming, they can not be made to branch them( for example, rubbery ficus).In such cases, it is recommended to resort to shaping without trimming. To stimulate the growth of the lateral buds, the trunk of the plant is bent and fixed so that the lateral part of the stem is the highest point of the plant. After the lateral bud has awakened and is moved to growth the plant can be returned to its original position.
Ficus reproduction at home
propagation of fig tree with cuttings
Most species easily reproduce by stem and leaf-cutting cuttings. It is best to root the plants in a mini-greenhouse with a lower heating or under a film. The soil temperature should be 25-28 ° C.In order for the rooting to be successful, it is necessary to completely wash off the milky juice, which, when hardened, clogs the blood vessels and prevents the formation of roots. Cuttings can also be treated with heteroauxin or preparations containing indolyl-butyric acid( for example, Kornevin).In the warm season many species easily take root simply in a container with water.
It is also effective to multiply the ficus with air layers. This method is optimal for species poorly forming roots( for example, rifolia ficus), and also when there is a need to rejuvenate the plant. On the selected shoot, a small incision is made, treated with a root stimulant, and then wrapped with wet sphagnum. Usually the roots are formed within 1-2 months. After this, the entrenched batch is separated from the mother plant and transplanted into the substrate.
Diseases of the ficus
Ficuses are rarely infested with diseases unlike other indoor plants. Most often, there are damage to the leaves( stains, decay, yellowing), but the cause of their occurrence should be sought in violation of agricultural technology. The main thing is not to allow permanent overmoistening of the substrate, cold drafts, direct sunlight and ensure good lighting.
Ficus pests and prevention
Ficus differs from most plants with dense leathery leaves and the presence of milky juice, which is toxic for some species of animals, so at home, plant infection with pests occurs in the last place. Nevertheless, ficuses can damage spider mites, scutes, mealybugs, thrips, falsities, aphids. To prevent their occurrence, it is necessary to regularly inspect plants, maintain high humidity, several times a month it is good to wash plants under a warm shower.
Kinds of Ficuses
There are a limited number of species of ficuses suitable for growing at home and all their features.
At home, a limited number of ficus species are often grown. The most popular ficus is rubber, f. Benjamin, f.dwarfish, f.carica( fig), f.lyre-shaped, etc. For these species a large number of varieties that are not only different from natural species by their decorative properties, but also better adapted to the conditions of the premises, are now deduced.
It is easiest to grow large species, such as rubber locust, ficus of Benjamin and figs. The most difficult because of the high sensitivity to air humidity are ampel species( for example, various forms of ficus dwarf and ivy).