How to care for Bengal ficus
“Ficus benghalensis” - this is how the name “Ficus Bengal” sounds in Latin. This tree is a vivid representative of one of the largest families - mulberry. It grows in the monsoon forests of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Burma, China, Malaysia and India. The uniqueness of the plant is that in the wild it takes on very large sizes, as it grows not individually, but in small clusters, which over time create a fairly large and dense forest.
How to care for Bengal ficus
This form of life of Bengal ficus is called "banyan".
If the florist wants to replenish his collection of plants with just such a tree, he just needs to go to the store and name “Andrey” - this is another name for the plant.
- Ficus Bengal species of banyan tree grows from seeds. This tree differs from the rest in its parameters: its height is 35-40 m. The foliage circumference can be more than 600 m.
- One leaf is 20-25 cm long. They have a somewhat elongated oval shape. On the back (leathery) side of the surface, veins of a light green hue are quite clearly visible.
- The size of the fruits of ficus bengal does not correspond to the general characteristic: they are small.
- The fact that Ficus Bengal can form a banyan tree is its feature, which is obtained solely due to the biological properties characteristic of the tree. Airy and fairly thick roots begin to form on horizontal branches. Over time, some of them disappear, others, on the contrary, develop, fall to the ground, where they quickly take root, after which the transformation begins, and these roots become similar to other trunks. As a result, the rooting process does not end, but is constantly repeated, creating new trees. This plant in a minimum amount of time in the wild can grow to incredible areas. Caring for Bengal ficus at home is somewhat different. Since the main goal of the grower is to grow a beautiful plant.
- The tree grows extremely intensively. If you provide normal care, on average for 1 year, it can add 45-100 cm in growth. In order to restrain the growth intensity, it is necessary to cultivate or prune the root system on time.
Maintenance and care
The decision to buy and grow ficus Bengal (ficus benghalensis) at home takes a small number of people. Since this plant has special characteristics, it needs a large open space, so those who live in small apartments are unlikely to buy it.
For home care to be carried out efficiently, you need to know the basic nuances of growing: how to plant, grow, feed, irrigate and replant a tree.
Ficus Bengal is undemanding in terms of lighting. It normally develops in artificial light, the main thing is that there should be a sufficient amount of space.
The correct and uniform development of the crown can be obtained only if you alternately rotate the flower pot towards the sun around the axis. So the plant and leaves will receive an even amount of light.
The tree loves a lot of space
Another important point regarding the care of Bengal ficus is the ambient temperature. The acceptable minimum is 18-19 ° C, the maximum is 25-26 ° C. Professionals strongly recommend protecting the tree from strong temperature fluctuations and drafts: they can adversely affect the condition of the plant.
Ficus Bengal is a large plant, so there are small nuances regarding the humidity in the room where it is located. If you have a battery or other devices to heat the room, you should take care of additional irrigation: these devices make the air very dry. From time to time, a wet sponge should be walked over the foliage to remove dust particles that have collected.
Regarding ground characteristics, there are some nuances. Bengal ficus will feel good in neutral soil. It may include:
Another substrate should have a low level of acidity. If the indicator exceeds the norm, the ficus will not develop and multiply, but will eventually dry out completely. In order to be sure of the soil, it can be purchased at the store. A drainage layer must be present at the bottom of the pot.
Feeding and Irrigation
It is necessary to water ficus regularly and abundantly, because this species of plant does not have a resting phase. Top dressing is carried out as carefully as possible so as not to harm the plant. Professionals say that you can apply fertilizer using ready-made complexes. This is recommended once every 2 weeks.
Reproduction of Bengal ficus is carried out in two ways. The first is seed. The second is cuttings (vegetative propagation), during which the top of the branches, on which there are several internodes, is cut off. Then they are transplanted into a special mixture consisting of peat and sand. Ficus can be left in the water, but in such an environment, cuttings take root much more slowly.
Transplant at home
You need to transplant the plant regularly
Young plants need an annual transplant. If the ficus is more than 5 years old, the procedure can be performed once every several years. Each subsequent transplant involves a change in capacity. The pot should be several centimeters higher in height and width than the previous one. To avoid making a mistake when choosing, you can turn to a professional florist-consultant for help: he will help you make a choice.
If the tree is already large, it makes sense to replace the top ball of soil. During transshipment, you can adjust the growth rate by performing a small cropping of the root system. Another solution to this problem is not to transplant ficus, but leave it in a tight pot.
This procedure should be carried out in warm time. There are two types of cropping:
- Formative, after which the tree takes on a more well-groomed appearance.
- Sanitary, which involves the removal of dried and weak sprouts.
Ficus is a plant rarely susceptible to disease. There are situations when parasitic insects appear on it: ticks, scale insects, thrips. If the plant is small, the problem is solved very simply: a stream of warm water is directed to the pests, after they fall, they are removed. If the tree is large and has a thick massive crown, it is additionally treated with specialized means - insecticides.
A plant is sick only when a person violates the basic rules of care:
- If the temperature drops much, the lower leaves begin to fade.
- If the soil is heavily flooded with water, yellowish spots will appear on the leaves.
- If the plant needs additional fertilizing with fertilizer, the signal will be a slowed growth rate and a loss of color saturation of the leaves.
- If the room has improper lighting or the ficus is in the shade, the stems are very elongated, and the leaves lose their shape and length.
- If it is too hot or the florist has applied too much fertilizer, small brown spots appear on the edge.
The shape of a banyan tree is characteristic of ficuses grown in the wild. If you buy a plant and grow it at home, such a form is impossible, because it requires special conditions and sufficient space. Florists can choose a bonsai shape for trimming: it will look no worse, and if you choose the right place and compose a composition with some small decorative flowers, bonsai bushes will effectively complement the overall picture. A similar flower can be grown even in a small room or purchase a special stand for windowsill.
Ficus Bengal is a wonderful gift even for a beginner grower. It is able to become a wonderful decoration for any room.