Rubbery Ficus Robusta
Ficus Robusta is a tropical plant representing the mulberry family. Its homeland is the countries of southeast Asia and the southern islands of Indonesia. The plant is unpretentious, care and breeding for the strength even for beginners. Experienced flower growers recommend starting his own collection of indoor flowers from him.
Ficus Elastika Robusta is found in Malaysia, Burma, Nepal, the Indonesian islands, and China. Under natural conditions, it grows to 40-60 m. The thickness of the trunk reaches 2 m. The plant takes up air roots, but does not form a real crown of banyan trees.
The leaves are hard, thick, oval in shape, with pointed tips and a flat edge. The length of one plate can be up to 45 cm and the width up to 25 cm. The color of the leaves is dark green, the same on both sides. In the middle is a plump central vein. It can be red, yellow-orange or dark green. Young leaves that develop at the top are red. Flowers form yellow-green small inflorescences, almost inconspicuous against the background of lush foliage. The berries are small, up to 1 cm in diameter.
At home, ficus Robusta or Al Robusta (short name) grows up to 2 m. The trunk diameter is 5-10 cm. Leaflets are 15-20 cm long and 5-10 cm wide. A room flower is often called simply rubber-bearing. This is not entirely true, since Robusta is only one of the varieties of this plant.
Normal care for Ficus Robusta at home does not cause difficulties. The rules are quite simple, even a beginner can follow them.
All ficuses are photophilous. The peculiarity of the Robusta variety is that it tolerates the shadow well and it is not necessary to put it on the windowsill. However, he reacts to too much light deficiency by dropping leaves. The windows are suitable for the plant, turned to the west and east, but the north side will not be destructive for it.
Like all tropical species, rubber ficus loves warmth. In summer, the temperature in the room should be 25-30 ° C. In winter, it is undesirable for it to fall below 15 ° C, the optimal indicator is 16-18 ° C. If a tree is frozen, its leaves fall.
Often in an apartment, especially in winter, the humidity drops to 35-40%. This is fatal for a plant; it is right for it to maintain a moisture index of 60-70%, therefore it is necessary to spray ficus leaves periodically with water or put a special humidifier in the room. They recommend ficus bathing in the shower once a month. Leaves should be wiped with a cloth, as they accumulate dust.
Indoor flower should be regularly and abundantly watered, otherwise it turns yellow and discards foliage. However, rotting of the root system must not be allowed. Between watering, the soil should dry to a depth of 2-3 cm. In summer, the bush is watered 2-3 times a week, in winter - once every 7-10 days. The water should be settled or boiled.
Fertilizing should be done when the plant is developing intensively, from March to October. Feeding for ficuses or those that contain a large amount of nitrogen are chosen: this element stimulates the growth of deciduous mass. Fertilize should be done twice a week, well moistened before this soil, so as not to burn the roots. With a visible lack of mineral elements, it is recommended to feed the flower in winter, but not more than once a month.
Ficus transplant and pruning
In the process of growth, any plant requires the correct formation of the crown and periodic transplantation. If such care is ignored, the bush grows to exorbitant heights, becomes ugly. In a cramped pot, growth stops altogether and the bush may dry out.
When Ficus rubbery Robusta is young, it should be transferred from pot to pot annually. After 4 years, the procedure is repeated every two years, but the top layer of the earth is periodically changed. Transplantation is carried out in early spring, before the start of the growing season. To do this, prepare a new pot, the diameter of which is 2-3 cm larger than the old one. If you transplant the bush into a too voluminous pot, it will stop growing. To make it easier to pull a tree from an old vessel, it is first watered well.
You can buy soil for transplanting; special land for ficuses is sold in flower shops. If this is not possible, a mixture of sheet soil, sand and peat in equal parts will do. You can add a little humus there. Expanded clay drainage is placed at the bottom of the pot. Then they pour a third of the soil, put a ficus with an old earthen lump and sprinkle with new soil. The transplant is completed, it remains only to compact the earth, water and fertilize a little.
It is very important at least once a year to trim the ficus Elastika so that it does not grow rapidly up. Crown formation can be difficult, since the rubbery appearance may not allow lateral shoots after cutting off the apex. But the height of the cropping allows you to control.
By type of trimming happens:
Any kind is carried out using a sterile sharp knife. When milky juice comes out on the cut, it is lightly wet and sprinkled with crushed charcoal. In the standard method, the top is cut off and the side shoots are shortened if necessary. Sanitary pruning involves the removal of dry or diseased shoots.
Anti-aging pruning is carried out when the flower is frozen, dropped leaves or withered. The crown and trunk are almost completely cut off, leaving only 3-4 cm above the ground. After a couple of months, the plant will grow back and will be like new. In the summer, instead of trimming, a pinch is performed. Gently, with sharp scissors, cut off the top by 1-1.5 cm. Pinching stimulates the growth of the bush in width.
We told you what the correct care at home for Ficus Elastica looks like. Now let’s talk how to breed this species. There are two ways to get a new plant:
It is easiest to propagate ficus Robusta by cuttings. Cuttings are carried out at the beginning of spring in the following way:
- choose a healthy apical shoot;
- cut the stalk 10-15 cm long with 3-4 nodes;
- wash off milky juice in water;
- dipped in a substrate of equal parts sand and peat or in water;
- cover with a glass cap.
A container with cuttings is placed in a warm and bright place. Rooting takes place over 2-3 weeks. It is possible to carry out propagation with a small handle with a leaf. To do this, cut a section of a branch, 2-3 cm long, with one node and a green leaf. The further rooting process proceeds in the same way as in the first case. This method is not very reliable, it is used with a lack of branch material. It is better to propagate rubber-bearing ficus with full-length long cuttings.
Propagation by layering
Reproduction by layering is carried out on old bushes to rejuvenate them. Take the lower branch, remove all leaves from it. Then, a circular incision is made on the cortex. Impose moist cotton or moss on top and wrap it with foil. After 2-3 weeks, air roots form in this place. You can also trick the escape. After rooting, the twig is cut off and put on a substrate. After 2-3 weeks, it can be transplanted into a permanent pot.
Improper care and maintenance can lead to the rubbery ficus of Robusta Elastika becoming ill. Most often, a tree begins to drop leaves. It is sometimes seen that the bush lowered the leaves, they became lethargic, withered and yellowed. The reasons for this condition are as follows:
- sunburn, when direct rays fall on the plant, appears brown or yellow spots;
- lack of light;
- dry air
- too high temperature;
- insufficient watering.
Inaccuracies in care can also cause fungal diseases. In this case, the leaves are covered with a gray coating, black dots, the roots begin to rot. The main reason for the appearance of a fungal disease is dampness and overflow. It is necessary to fight fungus with fungicides.
Not only poor care can cause illness. Often pests attack the Ficus Robusta. Most often, the bush affects aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, spider mites. Parasites can be collected manually, sprayed with infusion of tobacco, calendula, insecticides.
Signs and beliefs
Ficuses in different countries were attributed magical properties. Often this plant is used in home improvement in Feng Shui. Folk signs attribute to the plant the properties of the husbands. But for a married couple it is useful, it helps to acquire offspring and remain faithful to each other.
Ficus Robusta is recommended to be placed in the house for those who do not know how to save money. A flower is able to make any spender prudent, teach to plan a budget. He also brings good luck in business. No wonder many businessmen like to put this tree in their office.
It has rubber ficus and more practical use. Its huge leaves refresh the air in the apartment. They produce a lot of oxygen during photosynthesis. In addition, the plant is capable of absorbing unpleasant odors, harmful substances, primarily benzenes and phenols. In urban environments, air pollution is a big problem. Therefore, in any home, a flower will be of great benefit. Since reproduction and caring for it is simple, it is suitable even for those who do not understand anything in indoor plants.