Ficus is a very common indoor plant. Of all its varieties, the variegated ficus is most popular. It fits perfectly into any interior and for many has already become an excellent addition to the collection of indoor plants.
- Varieties of variegated ficuses
- Soil <
- Watering <
- Feeding <
- Transplant <
- Problems you may encounter
In order for the ficus to please the eye, it is necessary to care for it correctly, otherwise the plant will lose its unusual color or die at all.
Varieties of variegated ficuses
There is about a huge number of varieties of ficus. They are so different from each other that a beginner in this case will not be able to understand whether the ficus is in front of it or not.
There are such variegated species:
- Ficus Rubber – a plant having a thick stem and reaching 2-2.5 m without timely pruning. The leaves are large, fleshy, oval in shape. Variegated varieties: The Black Prince, Variegata, Robusta.
- Pumila, or dwarf ficus, is a creeping plant (ampelous). Has shoots up to 5 m long. Tiny leaves in the form of a heart. Variegated species: Sunny, White Sunny, Dorta.
- Ficus Binnediika Ali is an unpretentious decorative tree with oval elongated leaves. In nature, its height exceeds 20 m, but in indoor conditions – no more than 2-2.5 m.With proper pruning, it builds up a lush crown in a very short time. Variegated species: Amstel Gold, Amstel King.
- Ficus rusty – a small bush native to Australia. The leaves have a dark green color with a pinkish-milk edging. On the back of the leaf there is a red fluff.
- Ficus Benjamin is a tree-like plant with medium-sized leaves. The most common variety among indoor flower lovers. Variegated varieties: Anastasia, Baroque, Danielle, Midnight Lady.
All these varieties successfully grow in room conditions with proper care. For beginner gardeners, Ficus Binnediika Ali is perfect. It is completely unpretentious and can tolerate drought and hot weather normally.
To plant ficuses, airy, light and loose soil is required. This is due to the fact that the dense texture of the soil guarantees stagnation of moisture, and these plants do not like this. Most often, the pots are filled with a substrate consisting of:
- clay granulate or expanded clay;
- leaf humus ;
- turfy land.
Ficuses do not like acidic soil, and the earth should have neutral acidity, in extreme cases – be slightly acidic. To reduce acidity, you can add a little dolomite flour or quicklime to the soil. Among other things, they enrich the substrate with calcium and magnesium.Indoor decorative trees are vital for potassium and phosphorus. These trace elements help maintain the marble color of the leaves. They are rich in wood ash.
Some gardeners recommend adding brick or stone chips to the soil: this gives the roots the ability to breathe and prevents the water from stagnating.
Ficus is demanding for watering – it should be done often, but in small portions of settled water so that moisture does not stagnate in the soil.
Since ficus trees come from tropical countries, they need high humidity. At home, it is not difficult to organize, it is enough 1-2 times a day to spray a room flower from a bullet machine. In winter, when the ficus is at rest, spraying and watering reduce.
It is useful to arrange a hygienic shower for your indoor plants. Before the procedure, the earth in a pot is tightened with plastic wrap and the ficus is washed from the shower with room temperature water. It is recommended to wash decorative trees no more than once every 4-5 months.
In spring and summer, during the period of active growth of shoots and root system, ficuses need nitrogen-containing fertilizers An excellent solution would be nitrogen-containing fertilizers.The lack of this substance inhibits the growth of deciduous mass.
Among other things, potassium, calcium and phosphorus are vital for indoor flowers. In order not to count the dosage for a certain amount of land, you can use ready-made fertilizers. These complex fertilizers need only be diluted with water and water the plant.
In autumn and winter, when the growing season ends and the ficus is at rest, feeding is stopped: they not only bring no benefits, but are also harmful to the plant.
Home care gives results if the plant is systematically transplanted into a suitable pot size. This must be done carefully. Sometimes the transplant is not planned, but emergency. If the ficus is “overfed” with fertilizers, it will have to be transplanted with a complete substitution of the substrate.
The signal that the plant requires a transplant is that the earth in the pot dries up quickly, and it is full of small roots. The pot is taken 5-6 cm wider than the previous one.
In order to transplant with minimal damage to the rhizome, it is recommended to carry out a series of manipulations:
- Moisten the soil in the pot and carefully remove the top its layer on 2 fingers.
- Put drainage in a new pot on the bottom. This can be a special clay granulate, stone chips, shells or pebbles.
- Lay a layer of a new substrate. It is recommended to compact it lightly.
- Using light tapping movements, shake the rhizome out of the old pot. At this time, the shoots must be supported by hand. If the ficus is large, then help is needed, one can’t cope here.
- Place the rhizome in a new pot, and cover the free space with a substrate.
- If a young plant has been replanted, you do not need to tamp the ground: this interferes with the natural ventilation of the roots.But large ficuses should be carefully tamped, because under their weight they can simply twist out of the pot.
After the transplant, the ficus can still grow for some time. This is normal, because the root system is growing. If the pot is too large, the process may be delayed.
The presence of sufficient sunlight is the key to the normal growth of ficus, as well as maintaining its color. Due to insufficient lighting, the leaves fade, and the young shoot does not grow motley, but green. Even if then this decorative tree receives normal lighting, the pigmentation of the leaves will remain the same. Sometimes ficus even discards leaves due to short daylight hours.
It is recommended that you think ahead of time exactly where the pot with a flower will stand, because he does not like changing places. Better put it on the south window. Fucus needs to be turned to the sun with different sides, otherwise the foliage will grow only on one side.
The love of decorative trees for the sun does not mean that they need direct sunlight. They can get sunburn. A leaf that has been green or mottled becomes brown and fades over time. During the summer heat, it is better to cover the ficus with paper or something similar from the sun.
In the wild, ficuses grow in height and rarely allow side shoots, but in conditions of a house or apartment is not possible.Among other things, a bare stick with a leafy top does not look very good as a decorative plant. In order to give the ficus a beautiful shape, you need to resort to pruning.
In the photo on the Internet you can see trees and bushes, but these are the same plants. If you cut the apical kidney, side shoots are activated. For this purpose, the crown of the plant is trimmed.
Pruning is done in early spring, until the indoor flower has completely moved away from winter dormancy.
It is not recommended to leave the tree completely without leaves : they perform the function of photosynthesis and thereby provide the plant with energy. The leaves are green due to the chlorophyll in them. It is he who synthesizes starch from sunlight.
If the plant has lost its decorative properties or the trunk is too elongated, you can make anti-aging pruning. To do this, completely cut the trunk 10 cm above the ground. The section is treated with potassium permanganate and the rhizome is transplanted into a more spacious pot, replacing the substrate with a more nutritious one. After a couple of weeks, new young shoots appear. The rest of the leafy part can be used to propagate ficus by cuttings.
For any pruning, the following rules must be strictly adhered to:
- Pruning is carried out only in early spring.
- Slicer on the shoots make a straight line, and on the trunk – obliquely.
- After trimming, you need to remove the milky juice with warm water and a sponge.
- The knife, scalpel or clippers are sanitized before trimming.
- The cut is processed with potassium permanganate or special pastes sold in flower shops.
- Top dressing is performed no earlier than 2 weeks after the wake.
Using proper pruning you can get a beautiful and healthy plant. In addition to decorativeness, pruned trees are more likely to grow deciduous mass and are less sick.
Problems you may encounter
The variegated decorative ficus and care for it only bring joy to those people who love indoor plants.
But the ficuses are sick, and the reason for this is improper care, as well as the originally infected seedling or soil.
When growing a room flower You may encounter such problems:
- Black dots on the back of the leaves – tserko Porozov. The green leaf fungus spreads spores and can infect other indoor plants. The affected leaves are cut off, and the entire ficus is treated with a fungicide.
- Spider mites are small creatures that infect the leaves of a decorative tree. They are easily detected by thin cobwebs twisting branches and trunk, as well as white spots on the foliage. The plant is washed under warm running water, and the leaves are wiped with alcohol.
- Dropsy – brown growths on the leaves, formed due to overflow of soil.Leaves with growths are removed, and the plant is transplanted into a new substrate.