The ficus tree is a popular indoor tree. Ficus are easy to grow and require less care. The cost of maintenance of these plants is comparatively low. That is why they are an excellent choice among other plants to grow indoors.
If you keep your soil healthy and maintain a proper climate, you can have an indoor ficus tree that will continue to grow for years to come.
Today, I am going to tell you How you can take care of your Ficus Tree in simple steps. I will be discussing each and every step in detail so that your ficus will not only survive but thrive for the coming years.
Ficus Plant Profile
|Botanical Name||Ficus Benjamina|
|Common Name||Ficus, weeping ficus, ficus tree, weeping fig, and fig tree|
|Mature Size||Outdoors up to 75 feet tall and 65 feet wide. Indoors about seven feet high and four feet wide|
|Sun Exposure||Filtered bright sun|
|Soil Type||Rich and fast draining|
|Soil pH||6.5 to 7|
|Bloom Time||Outdoor plants bloom during spring. Indoor plants do not bloom|
|Flower Color||White or small yellow blossoms|
|Hardiness Zones||10 to 12|
|Native Area||India, Southeast Asia, America, and Africa|
Ficus tree needs fertile, well-draining soil. Soil-based potting mixes are best for this plant. This is because potting mixes provide all the nutrients it needs. Do not use soils for azaleas or roses. This is because the ficus tree grows well in soil that is neutral and these are more acidic potting soils.
Mix 3 parts peat moss, 1 part compost, and 1 part perlite to make a well-draining potting mix. This potting mix will also help to retain water for your ficus. Adding compost helps to improve the nutritive value of the soil. Plant the ficus in a deep pot with drainage holes. This will help to prevent unwanted accumulation of water in the pot.
Maintain room temperature between 65 to 75 °F. Ficus is a plant of the tropicals. Therefore for the survival of the ficus tree, you have to consistently maintain warm temperatures. Cold drafts from doors, windows or air-conditioning units will cause harm. Keep these plants away from drafty locations.
Ficus plants do well in bright light, but only acclimated plants can handle direct sunlight. You can move your ficus plants outside in summer. But do not place them in a location receiving direct sunlight. Direct, bright sunlight will scald the leaves. This will result in leaf loss.
Make sure to provide indirect sunlight to your ficus tree. An area with indirect, bright sunlight is the best place to keep a ficus tree.
4) Watering your Ficus Tree
Overwatering is just as harmful as under-watering a ficus plant. In both cases, the leaves on your tree begin to drop. Water your ficus tree only when top 2 inches of soil are completely dry . Keep watering the plant until it drains from the bottom hole of the pot. Remove the excess water if it accumulates in a container.
➡ If the leaves fold easily, it indicates that you might have overwatered your ficus tree. If the leaves of ficus are crinkly to touch, they may be under-watered.
➡ Reduce the amount of water that you give to your ficus during winter.
➡ Always water during early mornings in winter and water the plants in the evening during summer months.
5) Humidity for Ficus Tree
Humidity is just as important as light and temperature for a ficus to grow well. If the humidity in the air drops below 40 percent, the plant starts to drop leaves.
In order to maintain humidity, keep a saucer with 1⁄8 inch of room temperature water just below the ficus’s pot. The water in the saucer will evaporate slowly and increase humidity. Refill the saucer when all of the water evaporates.
You can also keep a humidifier in the room to increase humidity. Mist the leaves during the summer months to increase the humidity around your plant.
6) Fertilizing the ficus
The best time to fertilize the ficus tree is during summer. Apply fertilizer to your plant once in a month from April to September. You will see branches grow and new leaves appear during this time.
You can use a general-purpose fertilizer for fertilizing ficus. Dilute the fertilizer to half strength and fertilize every four weeks. Follow the directions written on the package to decide the amount of fertilizer to use depending on the size of your plant. Do this until the active growth period ends.
There is no need to fertilize your plant during the winter.
7) Pests and Insects
Ficus plants attract many household pests like mealy bugs, thrips, and spider mites. This is because of the hot and moist environment. If you see any pests or bugs on your tree, mix soap with water in a spray bottle and spray on your ficus plant thoroughly.
Remember to spray both on both the top and bottom sides of the leaves to get full coverage of the area.
Sometimes the insecticidal soap may not work. In such cases, you can use neem oil or other essential oils to kill the bugs. If the infestation is very severe, throwing away your plant is the best option.
Pruning your ficus tree is necessary to maintain its shape. Also, pruning is necessary to prevent the tree from touching the ceiling. The best time to prune your ficus is during winter.
Wear gloves and use a sharp pair of pruning scissors to prune the plant. Cut off dead branches and yellow leaves for better growth. Cut the plant just before a node. The new growth will sprout from this node.
Note- The sap of this plant is toxic and may cause irritation. Wear gloves while pruning the ficus tree.
9) Potting and Repotting
A healthy ficus plant will quickly outgrow both its pot and your house. Repot only once in 2 years to slow its growth and keep the plant to a manageable size. When repotting, always make use of high-quality potting soil.
10) Cleaning Your Ficus Tree
Every 2 weeks, wipe the leaves with a wet cloth. Wet the cloth with either distilled water or tap water. Gently wipe the leaves of your ficus plant one by one. Hold the leaf from below as you wipe them so they do not tear off.