The Ficus genus of ornamental plants is very popular for growing indoors with their prominent, broad and glossy leaves. Among the most popular indoor species are the rubber tree (Ficus elastica) and the fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata). Once settled in their new environment, Ficus plants and trees are relatively easy to care for.
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Below is a general care guide for Ficus plants which can slightly differ depending on variety.
Light & Temperature
Ficus plants generally enjoy bright indirect light. You can place them in a spot indoors that receive bright light. Rotate the plant occasionally so it stays upright and growth is even on all sides. They will thrive in virtually any situation that avoids direct scorching sun. Most ficus also adjust well in average temperatures.
Watering, Humidity & Misting
Water your Ficus about once a week with room temperature water. Thoroughly water the plant until it drains from the bottom of the pot and discard the excess water from its tray. Allow the water to slightly dry out between waterings.
Observe how the plant is doing with your watering schedule and adjust frequency whenever necessary. Humidity and light levels will affect the amount of water the plant needs. Ficus plants will do well under average humidity but will enjoy being misted occasionally.
Soil and Repotting
Use a well-draining potting mix. When your Ficus is filling out its pot and no longer growing comfortably, it is a good time to repot. A larger pot will allow your Ficus to grow to its healthiest potential.
Some Ficus plants are quite tricky to propagate while some are easier. They’re propagated by stem tip cuttings or air layering - depending on the species.
Use a balanced fertiliser formulated for houseplants. Follow the directions on the label of our Down to Earth. organic plant food.
Numerous Ficus plants are toxic if ingested and should be kept out of the reach of children and pets. The leaves of the ficus also contain sap that can cause irritations.
Under the right care and conditions, your plant will grow happy and healthy. But here are some issues you may encounter while caring for a Ficus:
Fungus - When you spot tiny black dots on the undersides of the leaves, remove the infected leaves and spray fungicide right away.
Anthracnose - This shows up as rusty spots on stems and leaves. Remove the diseased leaves and provide proper light, water and fertiliser to the plant moving forward.
Oozing sap - This may be caused by mealybugs or scales. It can be treated by a soapy solution or neem oil.
Leaf drop - Ficus are sensitive to changes in their environment and they react by dropping leaves. Not to worry as the leaves will grow back when the plant adjusts. If it has not been moved, leaf drop may be caused by any changes to lighting conditions or watering. Be cautious of the ficus’ regular habits and schedule and try not to deviate to avoid leaf drop.
Dry, browning or curling leaves - This can be caused by lack of water, low humidity, lack of light or a combination. Observe and adjust care as needed.
Droopy leaves - This is due to the soil being too dry. When leaves start to droop, check if the soil is dry and then water the plant thoroughly.