Though you have probably heard a lot about ficus care, watering these plants is not hard. Usually, many beginners kill their first ficus trees by under- or...
Images of Ficus Benjamina plant and pictures
Ficus Benjamina: Main Care Instructions on How to Grow, Water, Fertilize and so on
What Are Ficus Benjamina Plants?
If you want to have a genuine decoration of your room and create a special atmosphere, buy ficus benjamina. It is also called a rubber plant as its leaves seem to be made of rubber and Benjamin’s fig. It looks great both on window-sills and on the floor. It can be often seen in corners of rooms in offices and apartments. There are several types of ficus benjamina:
- Gold Princes;
- Natasha (ficus Yvig);
You can look at ficus benjamina images and see that all these species have one thing in common – all of them look like a weeping tree up to 2 meters of height. The difference is in the shape and color of leaves. For instance, ficus benjamina Baroque leaves are twisted spiral. Ficus Benjamin has ovate leaves of a narrow sharp edge shape, wider or thinner depending on the variety. There also can be light spots on leaves that are iridescent in the sun. See pictures of ficus benjamina plants before buying the one you will take care of.
It is a good decision to grow this plant at home. Even if you don’t know anything about ficus benjamina growing, it isn’t a disaster. I bought my first ficus 18 years ago and I didn’t know how to grow ficus benjamina. Moreover, I could hardly describe it. Since then I have read much about my green friend and I am going to share my experience and knowledge with you.
Ficus Benjamina Care Guide for Beginners
If you haven’t grown this plant before, you surely are unaware how to care for ficus benjamina. In fact, it isn’t as difficult as may seem because ficus is unpretentious. Here are my simple recommendations how to care ficus benjamina. Personally I think that it takes little time and brings much joy.
As for watering, I recommend to do it moderately. It is also important to spray leaves with boiled warm water.
When people ask me about fertilizing, I advise to do it abundantly from May to September once in 2-4 weeks. Use organic and mineral fertilizers that can be bought in special stores. Nourish the plant once a month from October to April.
If you wonder where to place the pot with ficus, I recommend keeping ficus benjamina outdoors in summer, for instance in the garden or on the balcony. However, avoid direct sunlight. If you keep ficus benjamina indoors, the temperature should be at least 10° С and the air humidity – 50-75%.
Useful Ficus Benjamina Growing Tips
Leaves are the main decoration of a ficus. Moreover, they can inform you about health conditions of the plant. Follow simple tips to preserve green, tough and strong leaves.
If you see that young leaves are too little and old are yellow, it means that the plant lacks nourishing elements. You need to fertilize the soil or transplant your weeping fig.
In case of yellow spots appearance stop watering for a while. This notion signals about abundant watering.
Leaves may also become dry and yellow because of direct sun rays. Shedding of lower leaves is a natural phenomenon, especially in the indoor environment, but the barrel should not be completely bare.
Full exposure of the trunk can occur because of delayed transplantation or transplantation in poor soil, sudden changes in temperature and light regimes.
Brown spots on the edges may signal about high temperature in the room, dry air or overfeeding.
Create moderate conditions to prevent ficus benjamina leaves curling, drying, yellowing and browning.
Main Ficus Benjamina Diseases and Pests
Ficus benjamina diseases commonly manifest in leaves color changes. If you take care of this part of the plant and water it moderately, you will not face such problems. What about pests? Are they really dangerous for your ficus?
The most popular microorganisms that do harm to the plant are armored scale and carmine spider mite. The first one usually feeds on palms, lemon, ivy, asparagus, oleander, myrtle, ficus, etc. Their larvae attach to the plant and feed on its juice. They are covered with a waxy shield and look like a blade of grass. You can kill them with the help of special chemical solutions that are sold in gardening shops. The course of treatment may last up to a month. All the trees infected by armored scales should be isolated from the healthy ones.
The second blast is considered to be the most dangerous and hard to get rid of. These creatures are hardly visible. I usually use two best ways to dispose of this insect:
- Cyclamen tubers decoction. Take 50 g of tubers and 500 ml of water. Boil until they seethe. Filter the liquid trough cheesecloth, then brush the smeared trunk, branches and leaves infected with mites. You will see that insects disappear within 5-6 days.
- Persian chamomile decoction and green soap. Take these ingredients in the proportion 5:4 and 1 liter of water. Spray the plant with this liquid every day for 10 days. The enemy will be destroyed.
What You Should Know about Planting Ficus
People who don’t know how to plant a ficus benjamina often make serious mistakes which lead to the plant’s death. Planting a ficus doesn’t need many efforts but requires following certain rules.
First of all, you should know that ficus grows quickly. The soil is to be nutritious for this reason. An optimal mixture consists of 2 parts of leaf and 1 part of peat and humus. Plant ficus from March to August. If you notice white rind on the surface of the soil, don’t worry. It is salt haze.
The second important thing is transplanting as it is an integral part of caring for ficus benjamina. I’d not transplant the tree in a bowl much larger than its root system. Therefore, perform transplanting when the roots fill the entire pot. People often ask me when to transplant ficus benjamina. I always say that the best time for this is spring.
Ficus benjamina cultivation also includes breeding. This plant propagates by cutting. A sprig should have a single leaf with an intact eye and the lower half of the internode without buds. Cutting ficus benjamina you place several sprigs in warm water to the selection of latex. Then you should split the edges of cuttings for better rooting. Then cover little ones with a plastic bag. As you see, ficus benjamina propagation is rather simple.
Ficus Benjamina Seeds
You will never see a ficus benjamina flower and ficus benjamina seeds as this plant never blooms. It is bred with the help of cuttings as it has been mentioned before. Some ficus can be bred with the help of seeds, but it cannot be said about ficus benjamina.
How to Grow Ficus Benjamina Bonsai
You can grow all Japanese styles of ficus benjamina bonsai. Taking into account large leaves of this plant you should plan the minimal height of ficus. I recommend you stop when the plant becomes as tall as half a meter. When young shoots are 10-20 cm, cut them to 5 leaves each.
Branches retain elasticity for a long time. That is why even old branches can be formed in the right direction, using wire or without the help of a fitting device. Since the tree is growing rapidly in thickness, you should constantly monitor the wire. It is often needed to trim the branches almost to the trunk to maintain a compact shape of trees. Ficus benjamina pruning for bonsai will take much time. If you are ready to do it frequently and are sure that you will not forget about it, you can buy a little plant and start turning it into a bonsai.
Another Important Thing about Cutting Ficus Benjamina
Even if you are not going to nurse a bonsai, you should trim your ficus benjamina as cutting has a good influence on the growth of the plant. I recommend you cut more than 10 to 30 percent of the leafy bearing wood in a single growing season. My tips on how to prune ficus benjamina will help you to do everything correctly.
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