The most popular plant of the 50-60-ies - rubber plant rubber. Care at home for him is considered simple, the plant looks attractive and “solid”. Previously, it could be seen in almost any apartment. He has not lost its popularity now. Read all the secrets of cultivation in this article.
Description and features
The second name of the flower is elastic ficus. In nature, some specimens reach 30 meters in height. The branches allow long air roots, reaching to the ground - due to them additional food is provided. The people called him "the tree of the snake", in a scientific way this form is called "banyan".
The ficus rubber owes its popularity to beautiful large leaves. Flowering plant is extremely rare. Flowers nondescript, decorative values do not carry. Sometimes the ficus blooms, but in a mature state and only when creating the necessary conditions for this. After flowering, fruits are formed - small sycony of spherical shape. In appearance resemble figs. Fruits are not edible.
Leaves of dark saturated green color, leathery, with a point at the end, in the form of an ellipse. Young leaves are rolled up, hiding in brownish-red stipules. After deploying the leaf, the stipules dry up and fall off.
Varieties and varieties
Breeders bred a lot of interesting varieties. The main differences between them are in the size and color of the leaves.
- Ficus Robusta. It is considered one of the easiest to grow. The leaves are large, uniform dark green.
- Ficus Belize. Variegated variety. Requires increased attention. Interesting combination of three colors - the middle of the sheet is colored green, the edges - white and pink.
- Black Prince. Differs in expressive burgundy leaves. Unpretentious care.
- Tineke. Variegated variety with white and pistachio specks on the edges. It is considered capricious. Grows only when creating favorable conditions.
- Melanie. The main feature is compact size. The leaves are relatively small - no more than 20 cm in length, dark. Creating special conditions does not require. Easy to bush, forms a beautiful crown.
Creating some special conditions is not required. But competently organized care for ficus rubber at home increases the decorative effect and the life of the plant.
- Lighting. In inexperienced amateur growers is considered a shade-tolerant plant. It is customary to put in a corner. Prolonged stay in a shaded place leads to the stem stretching, leaf chopping, loss of characteristic color in variegated varieties. For all grades recommend diffused bright light. Set next to the window, protecting the tulle from the sun. The windows facing the north side grow poorly.
- Temperature. Loves warmth. Easily adapts to the average temperature of the apartment. In the summer - 20-30 ° C, in the winter - 18-20 ° C. Severe cooling does not stand. For variegated varieties, the minimum temperature is 15 ° C, species with monophonic leaves - 10 ° C. Suffering from drafts and sudden changes in temperature.
- Watering. Water carefully, avoiding excessive waterlogging. Short-term drought tolerates more easily than excess moisture. Land in a pot between watering should be completely dry.
- Humidity. Normally adapts to dry air. In conditions of high humidity grows better. Spraying with warm soft water is beneficial.
- Hygiene. Because of the large size dust accumulates on the leaves of ficus. At least 1-2 times a week they are wiped with a damp soft cloth. Young small plants are washed in the shower. To increase the decorative use of leaf polishes. Often use them is not recommended.
- Feeding. To stimulate flower growth, fertilizers are applied twice a month. Adult specimens are fed less frequently. Prefer means with a high content of nitrogen. Responds well to organics.
- The soil. The ground for the ficus rubber should be light and loose. Adult plants are transplanted into denser soil for resistance. Optimal composition - turf, leaf soil, sand and peat. Add pieces of birch coal.
- Transfer. At a young age, transplantation is often carried out, as the roots grow. The need for regular transplantation is indicated by the rapid drying of the soil or the appearance of roots from drainage holes. Adult plants are trying to grow without replanting, so as not to stimulate their further growth. Instead of transplanting, replace the top 5 cm of soil.
Two methods of reproduction are practiced - cutting and air layering. Both methods are simple and effective.
- Cuttings. Cuttings cut obliquely. Tops and parts of stems root well. Cut the cuttings washed with water until the termination of the selection of white juice. Prepared cuttings are kept in wet sand or water. Classic varieties rooted faster. Cuttings of variegated varieties are recommended to be treated with "Heteroauxin" or "Kornevin". Rooting is accelerated by lower heated greenhouses.
- Air layering. The method is suitable for variegated varieties. On the trunk make an incision in the third, insert a match into the incision. The section of the stem with a slit is wrapped with wet sphagnum and plastic wrap. Moss is regularly moisturized. When the roots appear, the branch is cut off and planted.
Reproduction of ficus rubber seeds is a laborious, painstaking process. Sowing seeds justified only to obtain a new variety.
Diseases and pests
The ficus is subject to attacks of scythos, mealybug, spider mite. When they are detected, the plant is bathed in the shower and treated with insecticides. The remaining problems are associated with errors in care.
- The leaves curl and wither. Temperature too low. The plant is rearranged in a warm place, protected from drafts.
- Dry the tips of the leaves. Low humidity in the apartment. It is recommended to spray the plant.
- Leaf fall. There are many reasons - excessive, poor irrigation, lack of light, cold, drafts. The fall of the lower leaves in adult plants is the norm.
- Shredding leaves and slow growth. Signs of lack of trace elements in the soil. It is recommended to transplant the plant into fresh soil or increase the frequency of fertilizer application.
- White bloom on the leaves. Powdery mildew. Appears at high humidity and poor airing of the room. Damaged leaves are removed, the flower is treated with fungicides.
In the daytime, large leaves of ficus actively absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. The plant contributes to the natural purification of the air in the apartment.
Planting and care for ficus rubber (in short)
- Bloom: grown as a decorative leafy plant.
- Lighting: bright diffused light, partial shade.
- Temperature: during the growing season - 20-25 ˚C, in winter - not less than 15 ˚C.
- Watering: in the summer - 1-2 times a week, in the winter - once a week.
- Air humidity: increased. In the warm season it is recommended to spray the plant and wash its leaves with a damp sponge.
- Top dressing: from April to September, 2 times a month alternately with organic and mineral solutions with a predominance of nitrogen.
- Rest period: from October to March.
- Transfer: young ficuses are transplanted annually in spring or early summer, mature ones once every 2-3 years. Older plants simply change the top layer of the substrate in a pot.
- Breeding: cuttings and layering.
- Pests: aphids, nematodes, scale insects, thrips, mealybugs, yellow and red spider mites.
- Diseases: root rot, soot fungus, cercosporosis, anthracnose, botrytis.
- Properties: ficus juice is poisonous.
Rubber plant - features
In nature, the rubber plant grows sometimes up to 30 meters in height. It grows in breadth due to air roots, which, falling from the trunk and branches of the tree to the ground, grow into the soil, supplying the plant with nutrition and giving the tree a shape called “banyan”. Because of the many writhing aerial roots, the locals call this species a “snake tree”.
Large leathery dark green leaves of ficus, which are located sequentially, have an elliptical shape, pointed at the top. Young leaves are wrapped with reddish-brown stipules, quickly drying and falling as soon as the leaves unfold.
The flowers of the ficus rubber plant do not represent an aesthetic value, and they appear only when the plant is pollinated by certain insects, which is problematic in conditions of growing in a dwelling. Therefore, ficus can bloom only in adulthood, provided that it is grown in a spacious winter garden. Fruits - spherical sikony about 1 cm in diameter, resembling small inedible figs.
The milky juice of the ficus rubber plant in the recent past was the reason for the mass cultivation of plants to produce rubber. With skin contact, juice can cause irritation, allergic reaction and dermatitis, as it contains, in addition to latex, enzymes and alkaloids. But for the plant itself, juice is a means to heal wounds and cuts made by people or animals.
The rubber ficus at home rarely grows above two meters, but this does not mean that it grows slowly - with the right care and favorable conditions, it can add 40-45 cm in height a year, and if the plant begins to rest on the ceiling, you can always trim it. The trunk of the ficus rubber plant in home-grown conditions rarely produces side shoots.
How to care for ficus rubber.
Ficus rubber care is easy to organize. The ficus, like most plants, loves bright diffused light, but direct sunlight is harmful to it. The growth in the penumbra is not critical for him, but in this case its growth will be neither fast nor intensive, moreover, the lower leaves will soon fall down. The optimum temperature for a ficus rubber plant in the warm season is 20-25 ºC, although it can take out the thirty-degree heat without consequences if it does not last for a long time. In winter, the room where the ficus is located should be cool, but not colder than 15 ºC.
Water the ficus need when the top layer of soil in a pot dries out for a couple of fingers. Approximately: in the summer - once or twice a week, in the winter - once. If you overdo it with moisture, ficus leaves may fall off. Humidity in the warm season is increased due to regular spraying with water and washing the leaves with a damp sponge every two weeks. Once a month it would be nice to arrange a warm shower for a plant, covering the soil in a pot with foil. In winter, it is better not to spray the plant, but to wipe the leaves with a wet swab and keep the ficus rubber away from the heating devices.
From April to September for normal growth and development of the Ficus rubber plant twice a month, additional fertilizing is needed alternately with liquid mineral and organic fertilizers with a predominance of nitrogen. For example, pour a pre-moistened soil in a pot with a solution of a full teaspoon of nitrophoska in one liter of water, and after two weeks — also on wet soil — infusion of mullein. Avoid fertilizing leaves and growth buds.
For those who like to add shine to the glossy leaves of the ficus rubber plant, we recommend not to use chemical compounds for this, but use non-alcoholic beer as a polish.
Transplantation of ficus rubber.
Young plants are transplanted annually, and the best time for this is spring or early summer. Older plants are transplanted when the roots of the rubber ficus fill the entire pot - once every 2-3 years. The first sign that the substrate in the pot is depleted and needs to be replaced if the water flows into the pan too quickly when watering. Each subsequent pot for the ficus rubber plant should be 4-5 centimeters larger in diameter and 5-6 centimeters deeper than the previous one. If the ficus is too old and disturbance with a transplant can destroy it, replace the top 3 cm of the substrate with fresh one every year in a pot. Soil for home ficus should consist of equal parts of river sand, leaf, peat and turf land. The stores sold ready soil for ficuses. You can use the universal soil, adding to it a little river sand. How to transplant rubber plant rubber? Carefully removing it together with a lump of earth from an old pot and transferring it to a new one on a thick layer of drainage material. The voids are filled with fresh soil until the pot is full.
Pruning of ficus rubber.
Ficus pruning is done in order to contain the plant in certain, convenient for you dimensions and for more dense growth of leaves, which eventually die off in the lower part of the trunk. How to cut the rubber plant rubber? If you, wanting to provoke the growth of lateral shoots, as is usually done, cut a rubber-bearing tip of a ficus, it will not branch - at best, one of the upper buds on the trunk is activated. The best result can give cropping five to six internodes. You can cut the top too quickly stretched plants, root it and plant in the same pot. Once the shoots reach the maximum height you defined, trim them again. It is possible to cut off plants only in early spring, otherwise not awakened lateral buds will go into growth, but again the highest point of growth. Cutting is made with a sharp sterile blade. The milky juice which is released at the same time is washed off with water.
How to form the crown of ficus rubber.
If you want the ficus to grow in a lush bush, plant several plants in one pot and hold the pot in partial shade, turning it from time to time around the axis so that the ficus shoots do not stretch in one direction - to the light source. If you have one plant in a pot, and you do not know how to form a beautiful crown of rubber-planting ficus from a single stem, try to provoke the growth of side shoots by pruning, as described in the previous section. The formation of rubber-ficus can also be carried out by piercing the trunk to a depth of one-third of its thickness, and this stimulation must begin from the upper part of the trunk, and then gradually pierce the trunk below. You can also use this method: the tip of a young flexible ficus is tilted down as far as possible, and fixed in that position. That bud, which turned out to be taller than all the others, starts to grow, and after that it is possible to return the stem to its usual position.
Reproduction of rubber ficus cuttings.
Ficus rubber cutting is one of the most reliable ways to reproduce it. How to root a ficus rubbery? Stem or apical stalk length of 10-15 cm is cut obliquely, leaves are removed from it, leaving only one or two upper leaves, kept under running water until the milky juice ceases to stand out, and put in water for root cultivation. Leave the remaining leaves on the handle into a tube to reduce the evaporation area, and fix them in this position with an elastic band. But it is better to root the ficus rubber stalk in the soil, pulling on top of a transparent plastic bag. Rooting varieties with green leaves passes without problems, but the lower cut of cuttings of variegated varieties is better before planting in the ground to treat with root or heteroauxin, using the lower heated greenhouse as a result, although this does not guarantee rooting of the cuttings of variegated forms of ficus rubber-bearing.
Reproduction of rubber ficus layering.
How can you propagate the ficus rubber with motley leaf color? Air layering. To do this, an incision is made on the trunk of the ficus to a depth of one third of the thickness of the trunk, into which a match is inserted in order to avoid the closing of the edges of the incision. This part of the trunk is wrapped in wet sphagnum moss, then polyethylene for tightness, which is fixed on the trunk with scotch tape. As soon as you see through the transparent film that the ficus has formed roots, cut off the shoot below the slides with the roots and plant it in the ground.
Reproduction of rubber ficus leaf.
This type of reproduction exists only in other people's stories. That is, if you put a ficus rubber sheet in water, it will most likely give roots, but that, believe me, is all that it can do. Even if you plant it in the ground and will royally look after him, the more you will wait for, this is a pot filled with roots, but the leaf will not sprout. Alas.
Pests and diseases of the ficus rubber plant
Ficus rubber-resistant to pests and diseases is quite resistant, but sometimes it has problems due to the invasion of scabs or spider mites, which can be fought by washing the leaves with extracts of tobacco dust (4 tablespoons per liter of water) with the addition of soap and the subsequent washing off of this solution with leaves after two hours. In case of defeat with shields, try to remove all shields from the leaves with a swab. And remember: clean leaves - the guarantee of health and invulnerability of the ficus.
Rubber plant ficus sheds leaves.
If only lower leaves of a rubber plant are dropped, then this is a natural process for any plant. But if not only old leaves fall, then there may be several reasons:
- - excessive soil moisture,
- - dried earthen room,
- – холодный сквозняк или резкий перепад температур,
- – плохое освещение.
The rubber plant ficus yellow leaves.
Why does yellow rubber plant rubber? Because it violated the conditions of its maintenance and rules of care. Actually, usually the leaves turn yellow first, and then fall off, and the reasons for the sudden leaf fall are given in the previous section. But there are other factors that cause the plant to change the color of the leaves:
- - excess fertilizer in the soil - this can be remedied by rinsing the substrate by means of top irrigation with a quantity of water equal to three times the volume of the ficus pot. After this procedure, do not feed the plant for two months,
- - too much salt in the substrate. In this case, only a transplant in a new soil will save
- - the pot is too big for the plant - transplant the plant into a smaller container,
- - root decay - if it smells of rot from the soil, you will have to remove the plant from the pot, remove the rotten roots and transplant into fresh soil. If it's not too late.
Rubber Ficus - harm and benefit
The rubber plant effectively cleans the indoor air from phenol, trichlorethylene and benzene, processing these poisons into amino acids and sugars. In addition, adherents of Ayurveda argue that the ficus cleans the energy of the room in which it grows, absorbing fluids of anger and anxiety. For spouses who have long dreamed of having children, it is also a good idea to have a ficus first, and he says, the Indians will contribute to the birth of a baby. In addition to these mythical qualities, the rubber plant has scientifically based healing properties: preparations made from its leaves and juice treat mastopathy and are used both for the prevention of cancer and for the treatment of uterine fibroids and fibroids. Compresses with sap plants treat arthritis, sciatica, osteochondrosis and hemorrhoids.
Ficus rubber is contraindicated only to asthmatics: rubber released by the plant into the air can provoke an attack of asphyxiation.
Types of ficus rubber
The rubber plant ficus has many different varieties that are more compact than the natural variety. The most common are the following types:
- Robusta - an unpretentious look, has wide leaves of green color,
- Belize - has a three-color leaf color (white-pink edges with a green center), picky about lighting compared to the variety Robusta,
- Abidjan - leaves of maroon color, the plant is unpretentious,
- Tineke - leaves have irregular patches of white and green. The plant is more capricious, therefore care for the ficus rubber care at home should be observed so that brown spots do not appear on the bright areas of the leaves,
- Melanie - the variety has small (up to 20 cm) leaves of dark green color, it often hides and is unpretentious in care,
- Variegata - has light and feathery leaves with light divorces,
- Black Prince - unpretentious plant with dark leaves.
Care at home for rubber-ficus
Behind a plant such as ficus elastica, home care is not very complicated. The temperature should not exceed 23ºC in summer and not less than 12ºC in winter.
It is not necessary to water the plant abundantly, but at the same time the layer of the earth should be moist.
And what if the rubber-ficus sheds leaves? The reason may be a lack or excess of moisture, so you need to create good drainage.
In addition to watering, the plant should be sprayed with water, the temperature of which should not be less than 15ºC. Plants with large leaves are less whimsical to moisture, and small-leaved ficus should often be sprayed.
Under central heating conditions, you can place a container with water near the plant and periodically wipe the leaves with a damp sponge.
To the plant did not reach a great height, it requires pruning. The crown should be formed in the spring, when ficus is boosted, and it tolerates circumcision or pinching better.
Once the plant reaches the optimum height, you can pinch the top of the main shoot. If it has grown longer than the required length, then you first need to cut it 5-7 cm above the desired sheet, and then make a pinching.
Pruning with pinching the main shoot will stop the growth of the plant in height and form a crown.
If you remove the top in the spring, then there is an activation of the lateral buds, the growth of shoots and uniform formation of the crown. In the autumn and winter, it is better not to cut the plants, as they lose nutrients.
Transplantation of rubber ficus
Ficus transplantation is an easy task. The only rule is performance of such works in the spring. It is better if in one year to perform transplantation, and in the other - pruning. Ficus is difficult to adapt to both procedures immediately and recover.
The pot is taken 5–6 cm deeper and 3–5 cm larger in diameter than the previous one. A drainage layer of 3–4 cm is poured into the bottom of the tank. Before transplanting the ficus rubber, you need to prepare the soil.
Planting ground should consist of turfy and peaty soil, river sand and leaf humus in proportion 1/1/1/1. You can use a special soil for ficuses or universal soil with the addition of sand.
Transplantation of young plants perform transshipment with the least impact on the root system. In large plants, which are impossible to cross into the pot, they change the surface layer.
If the plant does not suit the method of transfer, then the ficus should be transplanted, protecting the roots from damage, leaving it at the same level as in the past pot.
Pests and Diseases of Rubber Ficus
Ficus are resistant to pests and diseases. When complying with the basic rules of care, appropriate watering, the rubber ficus disease will not be disturbed.
It is necessary to carry out frequent spraying and proper watering. Similar symptoms occur when sunburns and for plants need to choose the right place, protecting it from the sun.
Experts, answering the question why the leaves of the ficus rubber plant, turn yellow, see the main reason in overmoistening or drying out the soil, cold drafts or lack of lighting.
That is, the disease may be related with the conditions of the plant. Therefore, before using chemicals can change the conditions of care (reduce the frequency of irrigation, change the location and lighting, do transplant).
Fungal diseases they are manifested by various stains that occur during sunburns and insect damage.
With a massive lesion of ficus, it can be treated with a fungicide, while the root system and the crown must be treated.
Leaf disease can occur due to various pests. They appear in rooms with high humidity (fungal infections) or with low humidity (nematode, aphid, scythe, spider mite). So that pests do not appear on the plant, it is necessary to conduct periodic preventive examinations.
If small spiders appeared on the bottom of the leaves - this spider mitewhich in dry conditions and at high temperatures multiplies rapidly.
- To destroy it mite, you need to wash the plant with a weak solution of tobacco dust with the addition of soap.
- In order to get rid of shield aphidYou can use soap and tobacco infusion with the addition of kerosene or alcohol.
When creating the necessary conditions for growth and life, the ficus will be healthy and strong, all pests and diseases will be bypassed.
Growing culture at home, should take into account a number of features of the ficus:
- Growth and development. In the residential environment, the height of the ficus varies within 2 m, and the trunk rarely pleases florist side shoots. The rapid pace of development determines the annual culture growth of 40–45 cm.
- Leaves. The decorativeness of an exotic representative lies in large, glossy sheet plates, colored monotonously or with a motley pattern.
- Bloom. The phase occurs only when the plant is pollinated by certain insects, therefore, it is almost impossible to become the owner of a flowering ficus in a residential environment.
A representative of the exotic flora prefers a large amount of diffused light, negatively relating to the open sun, which can harm the plant. In the absence of the possibility to place a flower near the windows of east or west directions, it is allowed to set the pot in partial shade, where the growth of ficus will differ in average intensity, and the lower part of the stem will quickly become bare.
Caution! When landscaping an apartment you should not place the flower in places where there are drafts.
Ficus rubber fully develops on well-drained soil with a loose structure. A florist can prepare his own from leaf, turf and peat soils with the addition of coarse sand in equal shares. If desired, the substrate for growing ficus can be purchased at a flower shop.
Watering and humidity
The soil is moistened as the earthen coma dries: in the summer, the procedure is carried out three times a week, and in the winter - weekly. With excessive watering there is a risk of flower discharge of leaves. The increased air humidity is organized by regular spraying, which in winter is replaced by wiping the leaf plates with a damp sponge. All water procedures are carried out by separated water at room temperature.
To admire a healthy, spectacular ficus, twice a month, during the period of active growth, additional fertilizers are fed with complex fertilizers, which necessarily include nitrogen.
Trimming and design of the crown
Pruning of ficus rubber is carried out in early spring to keep the plant in dimensions acceptable to the grower. Cutting the top in order to ensure branching is not carried out, because, as a rule, one of the upper points of growth awakens. To stimulate the awakening of the lateral buds, the stem must be cut to a height of 5-6 internodes.
Also for the formation of a dense crown can be used one of these techniques:
- Piercing the stem by ⅓ of diameter - the central shoot begins to prick from above, gradually moving lower.
- Ficus bending down - the top of the plant bends down and fixed until the bud that is on top is not activated.
In the spring and summer season when transplanting:
- A pot is selected, the diameter and depth of which is 5 cm larger than the size of the previous one.
- A thick drainage layer is placed on the bottom of the dish.
- Above, by transshipment, a flower falls.
- The resulting voids are carefully filled with the prepared substrate.
Tip! If the copy is too old, it is better to upgrade the substrate layer to a depth of 4 cm instead of transplanting.
Pests and diseases - how to treat?
The culture has good resistance to the development of pathogens and the colonization of harmful insects. However, sometimes on the leaves of ficus there are scutes and spider mites, which must be treated with soapy water at early stages, and with a strong lesion - an insecticide.
The procedure is carried out in the spring:
- Stem cuttings are cut 10–15 cm long.
- All leaves are removed, except for 2-3 pieces in the upper part, which are rolled up.
- Each stalk is washed under running water until the milky juice excretion stops.
- Planting material is planted in the prepared substrate and covered with polyethylene for early rooting.
- During the rooting period, plantings are moistened and ventilated.
The variegated forms of the rubber plant are multiplied by layering. To make the procedure successful:
- The stem is incised by ⅓ thickness.
- The damaged area is wrapped in moss, which is fixed with polyethylene with adhesive tape.
- After the formation of roots, the layers are cut and planted in an individual pot.
If the ficus has ceased to develop, then three reasons stand out:
- lack of lighting,
- lack of nutrients
- too cramped pot.
Spectacular rubber plant rubber with large, shiny leaves, fits perfectly into any interior and cleans the air from various toxins. He is considered to be one of the best indoor plants used for landscaping, and therefore familiarity with him always turns out to be pleasant even for an inexperienced grower.
Care for ficus rubber at home
Since the time of our grandmothers, the ficus has gained the fame of a plant that feels good in any conditions, be it southern windows, from where the sun does not go most of the day, or the northern side, deprived of light. Indeed, the rubber-ficus, as in the photo, is very hardy. But the excess of light and its deficiency act on the plant depressingly.
It is much better for a tropical guest to find a place on a windowsill that is well lit but protected from direct rays:
- If the pot is in the dark, do not avoid pulling the internodes, chopping the foliage. Ficus variegated forms become evenly green.
- In the sun, the foliage suffers from burns, brightens and can fall off, baring even young shoots.
The maintenance of a flower in a warm dry room leads to similar consequences. To maintain high humidity and hygiene of rubber plant ficus at home in the care of a plant include:
- irrigation of leaves with a shower or a spray gun,
- wiping large leathery sheet plates with a damp cloth.
To humidify the air also used household specialized devices.
Use synthetic substances for polishing foliage is not worth it. This will briefly prevent the build-up of dust and improve the appearance of the plant, but it will firmly clog the stomata, disrupting the breathing of a large ornamental culture.
The ficus easily adapts to the content in room conditions at a temperature:
- from 20 to 30 ° C in the summer,
- 5–7 ° C cooler in winter.
The minimum temperature allowed for the plant is 10 ° C, and the variegated rubber-bearing ficus, as in the photo, can withstand a stay at 15 ° C.
The most important stage of care for ficus rubber at home is watering. The plant is actively drinking, especially his need for moisture in the summer. Between irrigation, the surface of a loose, well-permeable to water and air substrate should dry out. And the excess moisture flowing into the pan, half an hour after the procedure, must be drained. In winter, the ficus, which slows growth, needs less water, so it is enough to water it only once a week.
From spring to early autumn, complex feedings are made under the ficus. It is more convenient to do this using ready-made products with a predominance of nitrogen for deciduous crops. The interval between feedings is 10-14 days. If the plant has been transplanted in the spring, fertilizer need be applied only a month after the transfer to a new pot.
Transplantation and crown formation of rubber plant
It is impossible to imagine caring for rubber-rubber ficus at home without a procedure such as plant transplantation. It is extremely important to choose the right substrate and not to forget about the powerful drainage layer at the bottom of the pot.
The younger the instance, the looser and lighter the ground should be. It is optimal to mix equal amounts of turfy and leafy ground, peat and sand cleaned for planting the rubber-ficus pictured on the photo. It is useful to add to the substrate a little charcoal, which will be a natural prevention from root rot and bacterial infections.
Young ficuses are transplanted annually, but then the frequency of the procedure is reduced, and the transshipment with partial trimming of the root system is carried out when the roots appear from a hole in the bottom of the pot. Large specimens to repot too laborious, and in this case are limited only to the replacement of the 5-centimeter top layer of the substrate.
A characteristic feature and problem for plant owners is its rapid growth and loss of form. When and how a rubber ficus, in the photo, to form a crown?
Ficus branch very reluctantly. Spring pruning helps not only to give the crown a shape, but also to make the stems give side shoots.
For the first time it is carried out when the main stem does not exceed a meter height. Formed for the season shoots next year are shortened, forcing again to branch, and the entire root growth is removed. Having provided the support and rubber care required at home for the ficus, after a few years you can get a beautiful stem tree.
What is a ficus rubbery
Under natural conditions, the height of an adult specimen can reach 30 meters, and its aerial roots, which descend to the ground and root, provide a rapid expansion of the crown.
Note: Home cultures are not so high, but still quite large compared to ordinary houseplants, so an adult specimen will be an excellent decoration of the room.
Rubbery ficus has large, leathery, oval-shaped leaves (Figure 1). Home blooming is almost impossible, since it requires pollination by certain insects. But in any case, the flowers do not represent a special aesthetic value. It is important to take into account that the juice may cause irritation and allergic reactions on the skin, therefore all cutting activities should be carried out with gloves.
What does a rubber plant look like?
Rubber plant rubber plants, which grow in the wild, are also called banyan because of the numerous side shoots, which gradually take root in the soil and expand the crown.
Figure 1. External features of rubber-ficus
В домашних условиях культура практически не выбрасывает боковые побеги, но зато достаточно быстро растет в высоту, прибавляя по 40-50 см ежегодно. As a rule, the height of home-grown varieties rarely exceeds two meters, but if you have provided the plant with good conditions, it can grow higher. In this case, the crown will have to thin out, and the shoots - shortened so that the culture does not rest on the ceiling.
This species is found in subtropical regions of Asia. There are many varieties of this crop, but most of them are not tall. For all its unpretentiousness to the soil and irrigation regime, the small-leaved ficus requires quite intensive illumination, without which the plant will lose its unusual leaf color.
Variegated varieties can be formed in the form of a tree or a small shrub. Kauchukonosny - only one of the varieties of variegated ficus.
All varieties of this culture require intensive lighting. In addition, it can not be rearranged from place to place, as this plant does not tolerate a change of scenery and drafts, so the area for its placement should be determined in advance. In the rest of variegated variety does not require special care, and its leaves of unusual color will be an excellent decoration for the house.
This variety is considered one of the youngest, as it is relatively recently bred in Holland.
Unlike other varieties of rubber ficus, Melanie has a compact size, so it is perfect for placement in rooms with limited space.
This variety is more grown in Europe, and in our country it has not yet received sufficient distribution. Differs in rather high exactingness to conditions of detention. Thus, the plant must be warm and intensive enough watering, but with an overabundance of moisture the leaves may begin to fall off and curl.
All varieties of culture are quite demanding of lighting and location, so it’s better to install them on window sills or near southern windows so that the plant gets enough sunlight.
At the same time cultures are very sensitive to drafts and temperature changes, therefore the room should be warm enough. In addition, the location for placing the flower should be chosen immediately and try not to rearrange the plant in the future, as it does not tolerate a change of scenery.
The main requirement for growing - bright lighting. It is important that the leaves are not affected by direct sunlight, and the light was diffused. Otherwise, sunburn may appear on the crop.
You can grow a culture in the penumbra, but in this case it will not develop so quickly and intensively. If the light is very little, the flower may begin to fall off the lower leaves.
Most varieties require sufficiently abundant watering, but over-wetting the ground is still not recommended, as this can cause root rot (Figure 3).
Note: Checking the need for watering is quite simple: you need to dip several fingers into the substrate, and if it turns out to be dry already at a depth of two to three centimeters, it is necessary to water it.
In addition, the intensity of irrigation depends on the season. In the summer, moisture is applied once or twice a week, and in winter they reduce the frequency of watering to once a week. It is undesirable to water the flower heavily and often, as the plant can start to shed its leaves. Additionally, it is necessary to maintain the humidity in the room by spraying and washing the plant with clean water at room temperature.
Ficus, as well as other indoor species, require regular feeding, because the indoor soil of the pot quickly loses nutrients.
Figure 3. Placement and care of the plant at home
The most active feeding is carried out from April to September, when the plant begins to grow rapidly. During this period, it is desirable to alternate liquid mineral and organic fertilizers, and it is desirable to apply them no more than twice a month. The advantage should be given to nitrogen fertilizers.
Make a top-dressing preferably under the root, not allowing the ingress of funds on the leaves and stems. In order to give foliage extra shine, it is undesirable to use special chemicals: ordinary nonalcoholic beer can quite successfully cope with this task.
Young seedlings require an annual transplant, and it is better to carry out it in spring or early summer. Adult specimens do not need such frequent transplantation: it is enough to move the plant to a new pot every 2-3 years, and only if the roots fill the entire space of the pot (Figure 4).
Note: If your ficus is too old and you are afraid that he will not tolerate the transplant, it is enough to replace several upper centimeters of soil annually. Figure 4. Plant transplant features
The best soil is a mixture of river sand, peat, leaf and sod land in the same proportions. Culture transplantation is carried out by a method of rolling over, that is, the culture is removed from the old pot and immediately transferred to a new one, filling the free space with fresh substrate until the container is completely filled.