Ficus is probably the most famous (and most unpretentious) of all indoor plants. The genus has about 600 species, including edible figs, and is widespread in all warm regions of the world. Rubber ficus comes from India, where under natural conditions it reaches a height of 30 m or more. In the store, most plants have a height of about 46 cm and from 5 to 8 formed leaves. You can also purchase more adult plants, about 1 m in height. Indoors, they grow to about 10 m. In nature, the height of the tree can reach 30-40 meters. About how to care for rubber ficus at home, our article.
Ficus rubbery, Ficus elastic, Latin - Ficus elastica.
Growth. In comfortable conditions, Ficus rubbery can give an increase of 60 cm to 1 m per year.
Flowering period. Only very large, old plants bloom and produce fig-like fruits.
Lighting. Ficuses are rubbery light-loving plants, but also adapt to darker places. Lack of light slows down growth.
Temperature. In winter, the minimum temperature is 15 ° C, in summer - no higher than 29 ° C.
Watering. In winter, keep the soil slightly moist, watering the rubbery ficus no more than once a week. Water more often in summer, at least twice a week.
Top dressing. In the summer, every 14 days, add liquid fertilizer to the water.
Humidity. Rubber ficus adapts to central heating, but it must be sprayed on top at least once a week, and wipe the leaves with a sponge every month.
Cleaning. Varieties with smooth leaves are cleaned by hand. Fleecy leaves are cleaned with a soft brush. For Ficus rubbery, a cleaning agent can be used every two months.
Atmosphere. Airing, but not drafts.
The soil. Soil mixture based on peat or sod land, good drainage.
Transfer. It is necessary in two cases: the plant has become too tall and large for its pot or the water passes right through from top to bottom. The latter indicates that the soil has been depleted. Transplant ficus rubbery in spring.
Pruning : Only to limit the growth of ficus. Do not forget about the support for young plants. When a leaf or stem comes off, a white, thick liquid flows out. The wound should be anointed with petrolatum or isolated with a piece of tissue.
With good care, the plant will live long and grow until it reaches the ceiling. With waterlogging, it can die in 6 months. Ficus is a rubbery plant requiring minimal care. Do not over-wet, especially in winter.
Ficuses propagate by apical cuttings with leaves or pieces of stem with one leaf. If you put such a stalk in a jar of water on a sunny window and change the water often, then after a while roots will appear on it. Ficus propagation can be achieved in another way: cuttings are rooted in raw sand. In this case, the stalk is washed from the milky juice, which is released from the place of the cut, allowed to dry a little and planted in small pots with wet sand, which are placed in a warm place, best of all, in a greenhouse.
If the ficus has lost foliage, and the leaves remained only at the top, it can be renewed by resorting to reproduction by air layering. In this case, a circular incision is made or a narrow strip of bark is removed under the layering and moss is attached to this place, which is constantly moistened. After 1-2 months, roots develop around the incision. Cuttings along with the roots are cut and planted in a pot. The best time to breed ficus is summer.
Ficuses are quite resistant to diseases and pests. If you follow the basic rules of care, properly water the ficus, diseases will bypass it. So, if the ficus suddenly began to lose foliage, the cause of this may be excessive soil moisture or severe drying out of the earth coma, cold drafts, lack of light. If the tree-like ficus gradually loses the lower leaves, then this is a natural process and there is nothing to worry about.
In ampelous and bushy ficuses, dry and shriveled leaves indicate insufficient air humidity and drying out of the soil. It is necessary to spray the plant more often and water it properly. The same symptoms can be with a sunburn. In this case, you need to find the plant a more suitable place where there is no direct sunlight.
If you notice small spiders on the underside of the ficus leaves, this is a spider mite. It reproduces very quickly in dry air and at high temperature. It is destroyed by thoroughly washing, especially the lower part, the leaves with a weak infusion of tobacco dust (4 tablespoons per 1 liter of water), into which soap or infusion of Dalmatian chamomile with soap are added. After two hours, the leaves are washed with warm water.
If dots and spots appear on the leaves, this may be a shield aphid. This pest is also destroyed by soap and tobacco infusion, to which it is good to add a little denatured alcohol or kerosene. In this case, it is necessary to carefully examine the plant and remove all shields from leaves and stems with a cotton swab. Clean leaves are the main protection of ficuses from diseases and pests.
Ficus rubbery - completely unpretentious plant! Beautiful appearance and low requirements make this flowerpot very attractive for lovers of indoor plants.