Ficus Benjamin is a tree from the Mulberry family. Its Latin name is Ficus Benjamina. The plant is native to the southern and eastern regions of Asia, found in northern Australia and the Philippines. For many decades, the species has been grown at home, it has become a popular indoor flower. To date, numerous varieties of this ficus have been bred. In this article we will tell you what Benjamin’s ficus looks like and what kind of care he should take at home.
Benjamin’s variety is the most popular among all ficuses, therefore the varieties of this species are very numerous. Among them, popular among gardeners:
- Spotted Mix;
- Twilight or Twilight;
- Midnight ;
- Button Variety;
- Curly, Curly or Curly;
- Kinky ;
- De Dumbbell;
- Neon ;
The variety of varieties is so great that it is not immediately clear that they are of the same origin. Each characteristic and description is different. Trees are tall and low, with dark and colorful leaves, most of them are standard, some are ampelous. Ficus Benjamin of any grade lends itself perfectly to the formation of the crown. Stalks can be braided, cut, beautiful view of the spliced trunks.
In the east, this species is considered a princess tree. Even for Feng Shui they recommend planting him in the house. To choose a variety, it is better to consider it in the photo and video.
Features of care
Ficus Benjamin – the plant is quite unpretentious, it is easy to grow it. Normal care at home is beyond the reach of a novice. There are some rules to follow. It is very important to come up with a permanent place for the bush before you buy. Ficus Benjamin, like other similar species, does not like changing the position of the pot.
A tropical flower loves good lighting, but not direct sunlight. The plant should be slightly shaded so that it does not receive a burn. Where to put ficus Benjamin? A window sill or stand at the southeast or southwest window is best suited. In winter, the flower will need artificial light. Natural and artificial lighting should last at least 12 hours.
The optimum temperature for Benjamin’s ficus is a very important factor in caring for the plant. It does not grow well in the cold, because its country of origin is warm. The temperature in the summer should be maintained at the level of 25-30 ° С, and in winter it is impossible that it should fall below 16 ° С. Too low temperature in the apartment can lead to the fact that the bush will lose foliage. He does not like plants and drafts, so you need to ventilate the rooms very carefully. In the summer, a pot of Benjamin’s ficus can be taken outside, but only in the afternoon.
Dry air for Benjamin’s ficus is another enemy.Often in winter, when the heating system is on, it drops to 35-40%, and the bush grows at 60-70%. In order for the bush to grow well, always remain green and not wilted, it is necessary to spray it periodically with water. Leaflets are dusted with a damp cloth. Once a month, a flower is given a shower. At the same time, you need to make sure that the water does not flood the roots.
Ficus Benjamina likes regular watering, but not too plentiful. In summer, it should be watered 2-3 times a week, in winter – once every 7-10 days. Between the two irrigations, the soil should dry 2-3 cm deep. Overfilling is harmful to the plant, leading to rotting of the roots. How much water to pour under the bush? It depends on the size of the pot and the age of the plant, but the soil should not be wet after watering. The soil must be regularly pushed so that lumps do not form and there is air in it.
Fertilizing the soil is a prerequisite for growing indoor flowers. From a small lump of earth, they do not receive all the necessary nutrients. Fertilizer is applied during the period of active growth and flowering. Vegetation of most houseplants, including ficus, occurs from March to February.
How to feed this type of houseplant? To ensure that the bush always remains green, and lush foliage, a fertilizer with a high nitrogen content is selected. Succinic acid is very useful for this type.Feeding Benjamin ficus is carried out twice a week, if necessary, in winter, fertilizer is applied once a month. Before feeding the plant, the earth is well moistened so as not to burn the roots.
As you can see, caring for Benjamin’s ficus is simple. It is important to remember that different varieties may have their own requirements. For example, variegated are more sensitive to cold and dryness. The temperature and humidity for them should be elevated. Green species do not need a lot of light, they can easily grow and develop in the shade. But for a variegated lack of light is critical. We must try to find out everything about Benjamin’s ficus before starting it in the house.
Growing house flowers always involves transplanting them. Over time, the pot becomes too cramped and the bush does not grow normally. It is necessary to transplant Benjamin’s young ficus in room conditions annually, an adult – once every 3-5 years, always in spring. A new pot is taken 2-3 cm more than the old. It is not recommended to plant bushes in containers with a large diameter, as they will slow down their growth.
Before you plant the flower, you need to prepare the soil. It is easy to buy soil in a store; special land for ficuses is sold almost everywhere. You can make the mixture yourself. To do this, take:
- turf soil – 2 parts;
- leafy soil – 1 part;
- sand – 1 part;
- grass peat – 1 part.
Drainage is poured into the bottom of the pot, then sprinkled with a layer of earth. The bush is not exempt from the old soil coma if it is healthy. If rotted roots or pests are identified, the soil should be carefully removed and the roots treated. After being transferred to a new flowerpot, the tree is carefully sprinkled with earth, rammed, watered and fertilized. The transplant is completed on this.
An adult large bush grows slowly, it is not transplanted often, only the top layer of the earth is changed to it. The soil composition may be the same as for transplanting. For old bushes, choose a tall and open pot, since they have a lush crown. Before transplanting the plant, it is watered. Then it will be easier to pull the trunk out of the pot, and the root system will not be damaged.
The crown and trunk of any Benjamin ficus cultivar grow well and can be shaped. To do this, they need to be trimmed regularly. The procedure is carried out in early spring or late autumn. Pruning can be of different types, here are the main methods:
When forming pruning, excess branches and shoots are removed according to a clear plan.In order for the bush to grow in width, you need to trim the tops. Stems can be braided, twisted together with a spiral, weave different shapes. Weaving causes splicing of trunks. Such trees look very beautiful, and their value immediately rises. If there is a grate in the pot where the boom is allowed, the design looks even more interesting.
A sanitary haircut is carried out in cases when Benjamin’s ficus is sick, frozen or withered. Damaged leaves and branches are removed from the trunks. If the bush is badly damaged, it can be rejuvenated and reanimated. The tree is pruned at the very base, leaving only a thick trunk 3-4 cm high. The flower is able to grow all the branches anew, in a couple of months it is fully resuscitated.
You can pinch it to grow the width. To do this, carefully cut off the tip with a sharp knife. A pinch or gentle pruning is carried out at any time of the year, even a flowering bush can be formed in this way. On the cut trunk with any type of pruning milky juice is secreted. We must not forget that it is poisonous. Therefore, during work, safety rules must be observed. Cats, dogs, birds, other domestic animals, as well as young children should not be allowed to Benjamin’s ficus.
We talked about how to care for Benjamin’s ficus. Now let’s talk about how its reproduction is carried out. The plant does not produce fruits and seeds at room conditions. You can buy seeds at the store, but they are rarely sold.Crops sprout very slowly, their germination is low, therefore it is easier to propagate by the vegetative method. There are two main ways:
Propagation by cuttings
Cutting any varieties of indoor ficus Benjamin is better in the spring, during pruning. The cuttings are taken about 10 cm long, with 3-4 knots, then it is allowed to divide it into several pieces. Rooting occurs even when there is only one peephole on the handle, but in this case it is advisable to leave it with a green leaf. Leaves are removed from long cuttings.
You can root the cuttings of any Benjamin ficus in water or a substrate. A substrate is prepared from a mixture of grassroots peat and sand, and equal parts of both components are taken. Before planting, wash off the milky juice in a tepid little water, lower the branch into a growth stimulator, Epin or Kornevin, to accelerate the process of root development. They put a branch in the soil or water, cover it with a film on top. The shank should be in a warm place, the optimal rooting temperature is 28-30 ° C. Lighting should also be good, no need to fertilize the sprouts.
The first roots appear pretty quickly, after about 2 weeks. Almost the same period is needed so that they are well strengthened. But do not keep it in the water for too long. After this, Benjamin’s ficus can be transferred to a permanent pot. The soil for ficus and its planting is the same as for transplanting.
Reproduction by layering
Reproduction by layering allows you to renew the plant, conduct its rejuvenation. Choose a healthy and strong stem, make a circular incision on the bark, then wind the trunk with cotton soaked in water or green moss. A plastic film is applied on top. After 2 weeks, Benjamin’s ficus takes root roots. The shoot is cut off, transplanted for 10-12 days into a substrate, after which it is planted in normal soil.
Problems and Diseases
Growing Benjamin’s ficus is not particularly difficult at home but no one is safe from problems. Most often, diseases are associated with the fact that the care and maintenance of the plant is incorrect:
- Intense lighting. The bush gets burned, yellow or brown spots appear on the leaves.
- Low light. The foliage falls, the trunk becomes completely bald.
- Low temperature. Ficus Benjamin withers and sheds leaves, the growth rate decreases.
- Low humidity, scarce watering, hot air. Foliage turns yellow, dries, the plant dies
- Few or too many fertilizers. Ficus turns yellow, poorly developed.
In addition, fungi and various parasites affect ficus. They can lead to the fact that the bush dies and it is almost impossible to save it. Here are the main pests of indoor flower:
- Root rot. It is caused by a fungus, its cause is too intense watering and high humidity.Old bushes are often affected.
- Leaf spotting. Fungal disease, manifested by brown spots and dots on the foliage, which whiten over time.
- Anthracnose. Dark brown spots appear on the foliage, quickly turning into ulcers.
- Cercosporosis. This disease is characterized by black dots and grains on the leaves, caused by a fungus that settles on the plant at high humidity and too intense watering.
- Scutellaria. The insect that lives on the leaves can be found by brown spots and growths.
- Mealybug. A white fluffy coating appears on the flower, white spots resembling cotton wool, leaves become sticky
- Spider mite. These pests are recognized by the white, web-like plaque that is collected on the bottom of the leaves.
- Aphids. The leaves become dry, they can twist, and small green midges without wings can be seen on the lower surface.
When fungi become infected, they can be cured with fungicides. When parasites appeared, the plant should be sprayed with insecticides or soap dissolved in water. In any case, it is necessary to establish normal watering, regulate humidity, constantly check what temperature is in the room, whether there are drafts and where they come from. Only after that it makes sense to fight fungi and parasites.
Ficus benefits and omens
Benjamin’s ficus and varieties of this plant have medicinal properties.Healing flower has been used in the East since time immemorial, now it is used for uterine fibroids and fibroids, mastopathy. We must not forget that the juice is poisonous and can be dangerous. It has its contraindications, some people have an allergy to it. Self-treatment brings only harm.
The energy of the plant is very strong, magical features are attributed to it. No wonder it is used in home improvement in Feng Shui, it is recommended to start for those who have certain problems. There is more than one legend around the plant. Popular beliefs speak of such properties of ficus Benjamin:
- gives peace of mind and the joy of life;
- helps to relate more easily to problems and live without worrying about trifles;
- energizes a person, helps to enjoy the fruits of their own labor;
- teaches you to speak correctly, eloquently and do any job quickly;
- helps to establish mutual understanding in the family;
- relieves infertility if it is put in the bedroom;
- able to wake up the dying feelings in a pair;
- if you plant a tree in the kitchen, in the house riches wealth.
Several spliced trunks significantly increase the magical energy of the plant. If it dries, all the beneficial properties disappear. To regain strength, the bush must be watered well, in the summer it can be taken out to the street.
You can’t even grow Benjamin’s small ficus in the house for young girls: he acts like a husband.It will be very difficult for the bride to find a worthy husband, the facts are inexorable, but this bush is simply necessary for the newlyweds to accelerate the moment of conception and the birth of offspring.
Believe it or not in signs, superstition and their significance. everyone’s personal affair, but it’s worth getting a flower in the house: it will be useful in any case. It perfectly cleans the air of harmful substances, saturates it with oxygen. In addition, the plant looks very beautiful and harmoniously fits into any interior, especially if you cut a curly crown or spliced trunks spirally. You can plant a tree in a pot, and in a cache-pot, its size allows this. Ficus Benjamin is not difficult to grow at home, it is suitable even for beginner growers.