Ficus Tree Care: Tips For Growing Ficus Indoors

Ficus trees are a common plant in the home and office, mainly because they look like a typical tree with a single trunk and a spreading canopy. But for all of their popularity, ficus plants are finicky. However, if you know how to care for a ficus tree, you’ll be better equipped with keeping it healthy and happy in your home for years.

Learn About Ficus Houseplants

What is commonly referred to as a ficus is technically a weeping fig. It’s a member of the Ficus genus of plants, which also includes rubber trees and fig fruit trees, but when it comes to houseplants, most people refer to a weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) as simply a ficus.

Ficus trees can maintain their tree-like shape regardless of their size, so this makes them ideal for bonsais or for massive houseplants in large spaces. Their leaves can be either dark green or variegated. In recent years, some imaginative nurseries have started to take advantage of their pliable trunks to braid or twist the plants into different forms.

Growing Ficus Indoors

Most ficus trees enjoy bright indirect or filtered light with variegated varieties happily able to take medium light. Bright, direct light may result in scalding of the leaves and leaf loss.

Ficus trees also cannot tolerate low temperatures or drafts. They need to be kept in temperatures above 60 F. (16 C.) and actually prefer temperatures above 70 F. (21 C.). Cold drafts from windows or doors will harm them, so make sure to place them somewhere where drafts will not be an issue.

How to Care for a Ficus Tree

When growing ficus indoors, it’s important to maintain a relatively high humidity around the plant. Regular misting or setting the ficus tree on a pebble tray filled with water is a great way to increase their humidity, but keep in mind that while they like high humidity, they don’t like overly wet roots. Therefore, when watering, always check the top of the soil first. If the top of the soil is wet, don’t water as this means they have enough moisture. If the top of the soil feels dry to the touch, this indicates that they need water.

Also while caring for a ficus plant, be aware that they are rapid growers and require plenty of nutrients to grow well. Fertilize once a month in the spring and summer and once every two months in the fall and winter.

Common Problems When Caring for a Ficus Plant

Almost everyone who has owned a ficus tree has asked themselves at some point, “Why is my ficus tree dropping its leaves?” A ficus tree losing its leaves is the most common problem these plants have. Leaf drop is a ficus tree’s standard reaction to stress, whether it’s from any of the following:

  • Under watering or over watering
  • Low humidity
  • Too little light
  • Relocation or repotting
  • Drafts
  • Change in temperature (too hot or cold)
  • Pests

If your ficus is losing its leaves, go through the checklist of proper ficus tree care and correct anything that you find wrong.

Ficus are also prone to pests such as mealybugs, scale and spider mites. A healthy ficus tree will not see these problems, but a stressed ficus tree (likely losing leaves) will surely develop a pest problem quickly. “Sap” dripping from a ficus houseplant, which is actually honeydew from an invading pest, is a sure sign of an infestation. Treating the plant with neem oil is a good way to handle any of these pest issues.

Ficus Triangularis | The Sweetheart Tree You Need To Grow

Ficus triangularis plant is known as the Sweetheart Tree, having deep green and glossy leaves with a unique triangular shape. It’s a popular plant to grow, but newbie gardeners might get confused when it comes to growing them.

This article will cover everything you need to know, especially how to care for the ficus triangularis so you can grow them beautifully.

Everyone who loves ficus triangularis and plans to grow them will benefit from this expert guide.

Features of Ficus Lyrata

Ficus Lyrata will be a wonderful decoration for any interior, as it has a spectacular unusual appearance due to large “corrugated” sheet plates. However, flower growers appreciate this tree not only for its beauty. The fact is that it is capable of saturating the air in the room with oxygen, purifying it of harmful impurities, and also filling the home with favorable energy.

Best Growing Conditions for Ficus Tree

Make sure you have a spot with either direct sun or lots of bright, indirect light to display your ficus. It's a great plant to keep in a corner near a large window or next to a glass patio door. Ficus trees also thrive in high-humidity environments, making them a great candidate for a bathroom with a big east- or west-facing window.

A sunny spot will help your plant grow more quickly but will also cause the plant to use more water and dry out more frequently, so be sure to keep an eye on soil moisture while your plant adjusts to your space. Choose a spot where temperatures at night don't drop below the high 60s.

Note that, like its relative the fiddle-leaf fig, your ficus has a tendency to drop leaves when it experiences a change in environment, whether you're bringing it home from the garden center for the first time or moving its position in your home.

If you notice only a few of your ficus's leaves falling with new growth appearing to replace them, don't be alarmed. That's just the plant's normal growth process.

The plant drops its old leaves and grows new ones that'll be able to grow well in its new environment. Though the leaf drop may last for a few months, your ficus will eventually stabilize.

What are the Soil Requirements for Ficus Trees?

When planting your ficus, most gardeners use them as pot plants inside the home. Therefore, chose a pot that’s a little bigger than a half-gallon ice cream container when potting your ficus tree. Make sure the pot has plenty of drainage holes in the bottom, and then cover them with gauze.

Add a layer of pebbles or stones at the bottom of the container for additional drainage. Fill the pot with a high-quality potting mix, and leave a space for the root ball of the plant. Place the roots into the hole and backfill the hole with potting soil.

Press the soil down to remove any air pockets, and then water the soil thoroughly. Let the soil dry out until it’s dry if you poke your finger and inch below the surface. Water again when it feels dry. Give the ficus at least a month to settle in the container. During this period, the roots establish in the soil.

After a month, you can feed your ficus using an all-purpose liquid fertilizer.

Irrigation and compost

Watering a Ficus lyrata is not complicated, it is simply necessary to keep the substrate humid most of the time, thus providing it with a humid environment similar to the tropical one. Of course, it is very important that you never water until it floods or let the soil dry out completely, preventing the plant from suffering from water stress. In the cold months, space out the waterings a bit until about once a week.

As with most plants, fertilizing Ficus lyrata during the warm months will help its growth to be more energetic and the plant is at its best. You can use universal fertilizer for green plants, or make an organic compost yourself.

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