We care for the ficus of Microcarp correctly
Growing ficuses does not take much time and effort: they need minimal care, so recently these plants have been appearing more and more on store shelves. Today we will talk about the ficus Microcarp (ficus moclame), which in appearance resembles a miniature tree. Consider how to care for ficus Microcarp at home, propagate it if necessary or transplant, get rid of diseases and pests.
If we talk about the wild ficus of Microcarp, whose homeland is Asia, China and Australia, it reaches impressive size. Some specimens grow to a height of 25 m, but an indoor plant is just a miniature copy of wild ficus. Its height rarely exceeds 150 cm. Yes, and when forming a crown, you can always adjust the height of the tree.
The decoration of ficus Microcarpus is by no means a magnificent crown or flowers of extraordinary beauty, but a part of the root system located above the surface of the earth. It is difficult to find 2 plants, the bare part of the root system of which takes the same shape. Accordingly, in the house you can keep several Ficus Microcarpus, which will not be similar to each other.
The leaves of the plant are small, resembling an ellipse in shape, in which one part is slightly pointed, and the second remains rounded. Leaf sizes do not exceed 10 cm in length and 5 cm in width. This is the maximum performance. If we talk about average indicators, the leaf length is 7 cm, and the width is 3 cm. Like many ficuses, the leaves of this flower have a glossy surface. Light green leaves are arranged on the stem alternately, forming a beautiful and dense crown.
Growing Ficus at Home
Ficus microcarp cannot be called a problem plant. Home care involves timely watering, top dressing, transplanting, providing a certain temperature and light regime. But begins to grow any flower with a choice of place.
Ficus Microcarpus does not belong to photophilous plants, and direct sunlight has a detrimental effect on it. Accordingly, for him should choose a shaded corner. However, an excessive shadow will also not benefit the plant, so you need to try to find a place where the ficus of Microcarp will be in partial shade.
In the cold season, one should take into account the fact that the ficus of Microcarp should not be placed near heating appliances.
This variety of ficus is quite thermophilic. The flowerpot feels comfortable at a temperature of 26-27 ° C. Slight deviations from the norm will not affect the state of the plant, but a strong deviation from these indicators leads to yellowing and falling of leaves, the appearance of dark spots.
A feature of the plant is that not only the aerial part of the ficus of the microcarp needs heat, but also its root system. Accordingly, in the cold season, the flowerpot should not be placed on a cold tile or keep a flower on the windowsill. It is advisable to install the pot on a stand made of wood or any other natural material.
Watering rules and air humidity requirements
Ficus Mikrokarp is a water-loving plant, so it needs to be watered all year round, the land in the pot should never be completely dry. As for the frequency of watering, it all depends on the time of year and the temperature of the air in the room. You need to focus on the state of the earthen coma in the pot. As it dries, pour the flowerpot. In summer, water the flower at least 2 times a week. In winter, the frequency of watering decreases.
Despite the fact that the ficus of Microcarp is a water-loving plant, you should not be zealous with watering. If the plant is poured, the root system begins to rot, which ultimately leads to the death of the flower. An excess of moisture can be judged by the appearance of dark spots on the leaves of the ficus.
It is worth noting that the ficus of Microcarp is sensitive to the chemical composition of water, so it is undesirable to water the plant with running water. Use exclusively irrigation water for irrigation. It must be defended for at least 12 hours.
The ficus of Microcarp is also demanding for air humidity. In this case, normal humidity does not suit him, he needs increased. This slightly complicates the care of the plant, but this does not mean at all that you need to change the microclimate in the apartment. It is enough to carry out the spraying procedure. This must be done every day. In addition to spraying the flowerpot, it is not superfluous to wipe its leaves with a damp cloth.
Any plant, and Ficus Microcarpus is no exception, feeding is needed. Organics and mineral fertilizers can be added to the soil separately, alternating them with foliar top dressings, or special formulations can be used. Experts recommend stopping the choice of the latter, especially if the goal is to get a beautiful decorative bonsai tree.
Before applying fertilizer to the soil, you must carefully read the instructions and clearly follow them. Do not abuse dressings. An excess of any substance can have no less harmful effect on ficus than a deficiency.
In order for the fertilizer to be absorbed as much as possible by the roots of the plant, it is introduced into the soil after watering the pot.
Transplant the pot as needed. Ficus is growing at a slow pace, so often you don’t have to deal with transplantation. If we are talking about a young tree, it will need to be replanted about once a year. The matured flowerpot is transplanted no more than 1 time in 2 years.
Immediately it is worth mentioning that the ficus microcarpus is experiencing a painful transplant. If the root system is damaged, it discards the leaves, so you need to transplant the pot very carefully. First, they take out a plant with an earthen lump. The root system of the plant is not particularly powerful. Carefully clean the entire old substrate. If part of the earth remains between the roots, then there is nothing wrong with that. Do not be zealous at this stage of work.
Drainage is poured into a prepared pot. It is advisable to use expanded clay and charcoal as drainage. When choosing a pot, you need to consider that it should be slightly larger than the previous one. Since the root system is shallow, you can opt for low pots of an interesting shape. A tree is placed on the drainage layer and the voids are filled with soil.
The plant needs loose soil. It is best to purchase a substrate in a specialized store. You can do it yourself. To do this, you need turf, peat and leaf land, sand. All components are taken in equal quantities. You can not add peat land, but in this case, turf and peat land need to take 1 part, and sand - ½. A little charcoal will be added to such a mixture.
Cropping and shaping the crown
Pruning must be done so that a beautiful crown is formed at the ficus. But crown formation is not the only goal pursued by pruning. At the same time, the tree rejuvenates. Trimming twice a year: in spring and autumn.
There are no specific pruning rules. It all depends on how each tree grows, and what shape I would like to see. During the formation of the crown, it is necessary to ensure that the length of the branches does not differ much. Otherwise, the tree will look sloppy. If some branches grow at a fast pace, then you can perform pruning unscheduled. It should be noted that the more often the branches are cut, the leaves that grow on them will be smaller.
If the trimming is not done in time, there will be no thickening of the trunk, which should also be periodically trimmed. They do this so that its lower part thickens faster.
Reproduction of ficus Microcarpus is a rather difficult task. It is easiest to get a plant with a well-developed system from seeds. But it’s quite difficult to find plant seeds even in specialized stores. And the climatic conditions of our country are significantly different from the climatic conditions in the homeland of the tree, so growing from seeds does not always end successfully.
The easiest way to propagate ficus is cuttings. The cuttings are taken from any branch, cut with a sharp blade or knife, while making an oblique cut. It is advisable to simultaneously prepare several cuttings. Despite the fact that the survival rate of the ficus shank is quite high, sometimes the shoots do not give the root system or are poorly rooted. For harvesting cuttings, only strong and fully formed shoots are used.
After trimming the handle, put it in a container of water and wait until the roots appear. The formation of roots takes 2 to 3 weeks. Accordingly, water during this time needs to be changed several times. After the appearance of the root system, the stem is transplanted into the ground. The same soil is suitable for planting shoots as for plant transplantation. After planting, it is advisable to cover the shoot for some time with plastic wrap: this will accelerate the rooting process. And so that roots form on the handle faster, you can treat the cut edge with special compounds that are sold in stores.
You can also try to propagate the ficus of Microcarp by layering or using part of the root system of an existing plant. But you should not expect that reproduction in this way will help to obtain ficus with the same powerful root system as the mother plant grown by specialists.
Diseases and their treatment
In general, a decorative tree is resistant to various diseases and pests. However, sometimes it is attacked by aphids, spider mites, scutes or mealybugs. Often, weak plants are attacked by pests, and the plant becomes vulnerable when improper care and non-compliance with temperature conditions, excess moisture. Accordingly, if you properly care for the tree, it will be resistant to disease.
If harmful insects are detected, you need to act immediately. First of all, it is necessary to wash off all parasitic insects with water. Just holding ficus under running water will not be enough. Small insects will remain on the leaves. It is necessary to clean the crown of ficus from parasites with a wet sponge, apply a soap solution to the leaves, which can be easily prepared at home.
When preparing the solution, in addition to soap, it is advisable to add alcohol to the water. For 1 liter of water, it will be enough to add 1 tablespoon of alcohol. Under the resulting soap film, those pests that could not be washed off with water will die. After a few days, a soapy solution is washed off the leaves, which prevents them from breathing properly. An alternative to a soap solution is special tools.
As for diseases, the ficus is susceptible to fungal diseases. When treating them, it is necessary first of all to get rid of damaged leaves and shoots, then all the trees are treated with special means. It is advisable to replace the entire soil. This must be done because fungal infections can live in the soil. An alternative to soil replacement is disinfection.
Signs of Disease
As with an attack of pests, and with the appearance of a particular disease, similar symptoms are observed:
- leaves turn yellow or curl in the plant;
- dark spots of unknown origin appear on the leaves;
- even with sufficient watering, the leaves are constantly lowered down.
With advanced diseases, the tree discards leaves. Such a symptom suggests that the plant no longer needs to be treated, but resuscitated.
And finally, it is worth noting that there are several varieties of ficus microcarp, each of which deserves attention. So, for example, the ficus variety Microcarp, called albumarginata, has a specific leaf color. This form of the plant is variegated, that is, the leaves are painted in different colors. Along with green, white is present in the color. This variety propagates at home like any other, by cuttings. Ficus ginseng also attracts attention.
When buying a plant, you need to pay attention to its appearance. The plant should have a thick trunk and intact bark. It is especially important to pay attention to the thickness of the trunk to those who are fond of bonsai culture. Exceptional thick stem is characteristic of bonsai. It doesn’t matter how big and magnificent the ficus crown will be. If we talk about signs and superstition, the ficus of Microcarpus has positive energy. Therefore, to keep it in the house is not only possible, but also necessary.