How to care for ficus at home

How to care for ficus at home

Ficus is an indoor plant that first comes to mind when you think about greenery in the interior. Everyone loves the house ficus - for its ease of maintenance, beautiful shade from the leaves and rapid growth. However, if you want the plant to be healthy and pleasing to the eye, you need to take care of your flower as the ficus requires. Home care and transplantation take little time. Although this is an unpretentious house flower, ficus can get sick and die if not properly cared for.

The content of this article fully reveals how to care for a ficus at home, what it needs to be protected from, how to understand that the plant needs a transplant, and how to master the propagation of ficus leaves.

What does ficus like?
Caring for ficus at home is very simple. Bright diffused light, rare moderate watering, replanting as it grows and frequent spraying - that’s the whole secret of how to care for a ficus!

Varieties of ficus with photos
Looking at these plants, it’s hard to believe that these are all ficuses! Varieties with photos and names, care, recommendations on living conditions are below in the article.

Ficus benjamina
The most popular variety with small leaves that give a lacy shadow. This indoor beauty grows by about 20–25 centimeters per year; an adult tree can grow up to 2 meters.

Ficus elastica Abidjan (rubber tree)
As the name implies, this flower is loved for its large, elastic, rubber-like leaves, which actually contain up to 15% rubber. To properly care for it, you need to regularly wipe the leaves with a damp sponge. But it doesn't need to be pruned often.

Ficus lyrata
A very impressive plant, relatively easy to maintain, but requiring frequent replanting. After all, it grows by 25–30 cm per year and can reach 3 meters if it likes the conditions in your apartment.

Ficus Microcarpa
It is also called indoor ginseng because of the bizarre shape of the exposed root. They love to grow it as a bonsai; it needs to be replanted a little less often than other ficus fellows.

Ficus Natasha
A charming plant with an unusual, curly leaf shape. As an indoor flower, it does not grow very quickly, but in natural conditions, ten-meter-tall “Natasha” with powerful leaves is also found.

Ficus Robusta
This species has slightly different preferences than others: not such high humidity (50% is enough, while other ficuses like about 75%), and also not too much heat (25 degrees is the maximum).

Ficus Moklame
A nice indoor tree with rounded leaves. The main conditions for its maintenance are timely replanting and very careful watering: the roots can easily rot from stagnant moisture.

Caring for ficus at home
For your pet to grow up as big and shiny as in photos from celebrity apartments, you just need to create the right conditions for it. Here they are!

Variegated varieties love bright, diffused light; other species will be comfortable in partial shade. Definitely do not let the ficus stand in direct sunlight.

Most of all, the king of home gardens loves rooms facing the southeast and southwest.

This is difficult: some species require high humidity (up to 75–80%), others need 50%, and excess moisture will provoke the development of putrefactive bacteria. It is better to study the preferences of the specific type of ficus to which your green pet belongs.

In warm spring and summer, you can move the ficus to the balcony, provided that the night temperature does not fall below 17 degrees. It is more convenient to care for a walking ficus: after all, the humidity outside is higher than indoors.

This also varies depending on the species, but in general ficuses are loyal to any home conditions: both cool rooms and hot rooms. Plus 25 is the optimal temperature, below 16 and above 27 is already unpleasant for the plant.

Usually once a week is enough, but it is better to look at the condition of the soil: if the soil has dried out by 2-3 cm, you can water the ficus. Use water that has stood for 1-2 days and water moderately: it is better to dry it out than to overwater it.

Oh, all the ficus trees love this! Benjamin and Natasha can be sprayed at least every day; rubber and lyre-bearing varieties can be wiped with a damp sponge. Make sure that moisture reaches the top of the plant and not the roots.

Fertilizer and feeding
The rule here is: rarely, but accurately. You can’t skimp on fertilizer; you need to calculate the dosage based on the size of your green pet. A couple of feedings in the spring, a couple in late summer - and your plant will respond perfectly to it.

The ideal formula for ficus is light, loose, consisting of a standard soil mixture with river sand and peat. The drainage layer needs to be small, no more than 3 cm thick. You can take expanded clay or small pebbles.

Like all plants, it is best to replant ficus trees in spring or early summer. Usually the roots themselves hint that they need more space and begin to peek out of the ground. Both small bushes and large trees are transplanted using the transshipment method, without injuring the roots and without dismantling the earthen ball.

However, if you suspect that the soil may have rotted, it is better to replace the entire soil and drainage.

Choosing a pot for ficus
In the case of such powerful indoor plants, the main condition is the stability of the pot. It should be quite heavy, preferably ceramic. To ensure optimal care, drainage holes are required.

Important! The more spacious the pot you choose, the faster the ficus will begin to grow. Therefore, we advise you not to buy a container “for growth” and replant it into a pot only 3–4 cm larger.

Dormant ficus: caring for the plant in the cold season
First of all, we reduce watering: in cool climates, putrefactive bacteria are even more dangerous. Once every 3-4 weeks will be enough for an adult tree.

But you still need to wipe the leaves at least once a month - and let the plant dry in a warm place.

Then we protect the tree from drafts: this robust tree can catch a cold and lose all its leaves.

There is no need to move the tub with the plant anywhere: it sleeps well at temperatures not lower than 16 degrees and not higher than 22.

If you feel the plant is too cold, you can place the pot on a warm travel mat or foam pad.

Ficus trees are propagated by leaves, cuttings or shoots. The most convenient thing is with a leaf; it is the process of such reproduction that we reflected in the photo.

You need to cut a young, but already strong leaf at an angle of 45 degrees, so that the length from the cut to the leaf plate is about 5 cm. We treat it with Kornevin, put it in water, and after 2-3 weeks you can expect the first roots. Do not forget to add water to the leaf and make sure that it does not wither or rot. The leaf that has taken root is transplanted into the substrate and covered with a bag to make a greenhouse. But do not tie the bag, otherwise the young plant will suffocate.


The leaves are falling
This is a nonspecific symptom: it may be due to simple underwatering, or it may indicate the presence of a serious root disease. Check the root system, feed the bush and see what happens.

Brown spots on ficus leaves
This is a sooty fungus, a common disease on ficus trees. We wipe the entire plant with soapy water, treat it with a fungicide, provide the most gentle care possible, and wait a few days.

A dark coating that is easy to shake off like dust
It's bad: it's botrytis, also known as gray rot. Plaque is only the visible part of the problem; in fact, the roots suffer. The cause of the disease is overwatering and heat. It is necessary to remove all damaged parts of the plant, completely change the soil and drainage.

White loose spots on leaves
Similar to powdery mildew, this parasite lives on almost all houseplants. You need to wash the leaves with soapy water and treat them with a fungicide.

The leaves turn yellow and a rusty-brown rash appears on them.
Reminds me of cercospora blight. For treatment we use antifungal drugs. Severely affected leaves can be carefully removed.

Answers on questions
What doesn't the ficus flower like?
He is sensitive to drafts, cold winds, and can get burned in the open sun, especially in the midday. Overwatering is especially dangerous for ficus trees: it causes the roots to rot.

Where should the ficus be located in the house?
Any place is suitable, but esotericists warn that depending on the choice of place you will feel different effects. In the bedroom, this indoor exotic will help the hostess get pregnant, in the kitchen it will eliminate quarrels and slander, and in the hallway it will help maintain the energetic integrity of the family.

How is ficus useful in the house?
Firstly, this is a very beautiful plant that fits into any interior. Secondly, it actively photosynthesizes, saturating the air with oxygen and beneficial amino acids.

What does ficus bring?
First of all, more oxygen and a favorable microclimate. But everything else about the ficus cannot be taken seriously, since these are superstitions: supposedly it drives men out of the house, promises quarrels and scandals, and accumulates negativity.

Can a ficus be kept on a windowsill?
In general, yes, if the window sill can support the impressive weight of the pot, and the bush itself does not receive direct sunlight (the leaves can get burned from this).

How to understand that a ficus is cramped in a pot?
The best indicator is roots emerging from the soil or drainage holes. This means that the capacity has been used and a transplant is needed. Also, if the ficus is cramped, the soil in the pot begins to dry out very quickly.

How do you know when it’s time to water your ficus?
If the soil layer of an adult plant has dried out by 2–3 cm, it’s time to water it.

Where should the ficus be located according to Feng Shui?
It is believed that the best side for ficus is the southeast, and the best room is the kitchen, where a lot of negative energy accumulates. And if you are planning a child, you can put a tub with a plant in the bedroom: it can help conception.

How to understand that a ficus is sick?
The signal can be dark spots on the leaves, rapid yellowing of young leaves, mucus, or spider webs from mites. The most alarming symptom is wilting: the problem is probably in the roots, and if it is gray rot, which happens from overwatering, the plant cannot always be saved.

How many years can a ficus live?
These are real indoor long-livers: with proper care they can live up to 20–25 years, but their period of active growth lasts no more than 15 years.

Do I need to prune my ficus?
Yes, this needs to be done from time to time. The shoot is cut back by 10–20 cm; if it is too tall, side shoots are pinched and large old leaves are cut off. But be sure to leave at least 6-7 large large leaves on the plant.

Why does ficus “cry”?
Sticky drops of milky sap may appear at the base of the leaves. This is not a signal that there is something wrong with the plant. Be careful not to touch the drops with your bare hands, and make sure your pets don't lick them off.

How long can a ficus live without water?
In winter, an adult plant needs watering no more than 1-2 times a month; it can easily live up to 35 days without water. In hot weather, you should not leave it without watering for longer than 9–10 days. Young plants are more vulnerable to drought, so it is worth watering them at least once a week in summer and once every 2 weeks in winter.

Which ficus is poisonous?
All varieties of this flower that are capable of secreting milky juice can be dangerous: the “milk” of the ficus causes an allergic reaction, itching, and in rare cases, blisters.

How fast does ficus grow?
This indoor plant is a fast-growing one. Some varieties can add up to 1 meter per year.

Can ficus be placed in the kitchen?
Yes, this is the optimal place for a large plant. Designers, biologists, and even Feng Shui adherents think so.

Do I need to rotate my ficus?
Yes, this is necessary if you want the bush to have a proportional, symmetrical crown. The pot should not be turned sharply, but by 10–15 degrees every day in the same direction.

How to care for a ficus after purchase?
Be sure to repot the plant in a fairly spacious pot with nutritious soil within 1-2 weeks after purchase. An exception is if the plant has already been replanted in a flower shop. Spray the bush daily with a spray bottle and feed it with mineral fertilizers for this type of plant once a month.

Back to blog

Leave a comment