The characteristics of the ficus
- Type: ornamental plant
- Height: up to 5m
- Flower color: White
- Fruit name: akène
- Desired exposure: partially shaded
- Type of soil: well-drained, fresh, humic
- Foliage: persistent
- Interview : need for moderate light, easy to maintain
- Location: office, entrance
- Sanitizing: no
- Diseases and pests: whiteflies
- Varieties:Benjamina, Elastica, Retusa, Alii, Diversifolia
Origins and characteristics of the ficus tree
Known in French under its botanical name, the ficus (from the Latin "ficus" meaning "fig tree") brings together 1000 different species. They are lianas, shrubs or trees. Their origin is tropical, since we find its origins in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Ficus is therefore a houseplant in our regions.
Its pot culture reduces its natural dimensions. For this reason, not all ficus trees give flowers and fruits.
The variety of ficus is important: twenty or so adapts easily to indoor growing. The weeping fig (ficus benjamina) has flexible branches that fall like those of a willow. The rubber (ficus elastica) can be recognized by its large varnished leaves. The Malaysian banyan (ficus retusa) has a trunk formed of several branches which become roots in the ground.
The sap of some species is toxic. TheFicus elasticais renowned for its depolluting properties because it absorbs formaldehyde, which is found in particular in agglomerated materials, glue or varnishes that cover our furniture. The Ficus benjamina also absorbs the ammonia contained in certain cleaning products as well as xylene, which is found in paints and varnishes.
It is necessary to adapt the mixture of organic materials according to the ficus species that we're going to plant.
- For broadleaf ficus: mix 1/3 of sterilized fibrous potting soil, 1/3 of peat or leaf potting soil and 1/3 of coarse or perlite sand.
- For ficus with smaller leaves: mix 1/3 of coarse peat, 1/3 of medium vermiculite and 1/3 of coarse sand.
The ficus is a plant which needs light, sun but also sometimes to be in a certain darkness, according to the chosen species.
The planting of the ficus is generally carried out in spring. He enjoys being cramped in a pot. So choose pots of small diameter, between 10 and 30cm, even for the largest varieties.
Maintenance of the ficus
New subjects are obtained by layering. We lower a branch in a pot and keep it partially buried with a tie. After a month, roots develop at the level of the buried part. After 2 months, a branch of leaves appears. We can then cut the branch to make the new plant autonomous.
Must repot the ficus every two years. This operation takes place in the spring. Cut the damaged roots and crumble the root ball a little to oxygenate the plant. Then place it in a larger pot. The gaps are filled with topsoil. During the same period, the ficus trees are pruned to give them the shape of a cone or a pyramid.
Ficus diseases and pests
It is necessary to watch over your ficus, which are more or less fragile depending on the species.
Red spiders are rife when the atmosphere is hot and dry. They weave fabrics under ficus leaves, which then turn yellow. To remedy this, baste the plant and increase the humidity in the room.
The floury mealybugs leave white cottony patches on the stems. To remove them, simply soak a cotton ball with denatured alcohol or beer.
If your ficus leaves turn yellow, this is due to overwatering. Allow the soil to dry well between two waterings and make sure that the drainage is effective. Brown spots appear on the foliage? This is due to an excess of sun, which burns the foliage. If your ficus is losing leaves, it is because the place where it is not suitable for it (exposure, temperature, etc.)