We grow ficus rubbery at home
In any apartment it becomes more comfortable in the presence of fresh flowers. But any plant requires attention and proper maintenance. Therefore, people prefer those plants that are the least demanding in care. One of these flowers is rubbery ficus (ficus elastica). It will not only become a decoration at home, but, according to experts in the field of Feng Shui, will bring positive energy to the family.
Appearance of rubber ficus
Immediately make a reservation that you can meet with different names of this plant: rubber-bearing, rubber or elastic. Both names may apply and are true. Theoretically, rubber ficus, native to India and Indonesia, can grow to a height of 30 m. Since it is not possible to keep a plant of this size at home, it will take time to do procedures such as pruning and shaping. Rubber ficus grows not only in height, but also in width. On its trunk and branches appear the so-called aerial roots, which, reaching the earth, begin to receive nutrients from it.
The leaves of the rubber ficus are large, have the shape of an ellipse with pointed ends. Each leaf is painted in a deep and deep green color. A feature of the plant is that the leaves have a glossy surface. Often, near young leaves that are folded into a tube, there is a stipule of a reddish color. But as soon as the young leaf is revealed, the stipule falls off.
Many people are interested in the question of how rubber ficus blooms, and whether it blooms in general. This plant blooms, but only if certain insects have pollinated it. Accordingly, with room content, flowering is almost impossible. But this is also a small loss, since the flower that appears after pollination does not have unusual beauty, as can be seen from its photo.
A feature of rubber ficus is the chemical composition of its milky juice. It contains rubber that can be used to make rubber. As a matter of fact, it was thanks to this feature that at one time this plant gained wide popularity. Now it is kept mainly for beauty.
It is also worth noting that in ficus rubber-bearing milky juice in its composition contains substances that can cause irritation on the skin or even an allergic reaction. Therefore, such a procedure as trimming ficus or transplanting it should be carried out extremely carefully. It is advisable to wear gloves on hand. Despite the fact that milky juice is dangerous to humans, it is necessary for plants to heal the wounds inflicted by humans.
Despite the fact that in the wild, the height of the rubbery ficus reaches 30 meters, in the apartment it rarely grows above 200 cm. To get a taller plant that will decorate a greenhouse or winter garden, you need to properly monitor it and create ficus certain conditions .
Care at home for rubber ficus involves maintaining a certain temperature and light conditions. You also need to properly organize watering. When choosing a place for a plant, we take into account that the flower is photophilous. But, at the same time, direct sunlight is negatively affecting his state of health. If the ficus of the rubbery-bearing leaves turns yellow or brown spots appear, then first of all, see if direct sunlight falls on them.
A shaded area that is too sunny is not the best for rubbery ficus. With a lack of light, its leaves will begin to fade and fall off. In addition, the flower in partial shade will grow very slowly. Ideally, the plant should not fall into a diffused solar set.
As for the temperature regime, neither heat nor cold is critical for a ficus rubber bearing. True, we are not talking about prolonged heat or cold. The optimum temperature is considered to be 230C. In winter, the air temperature can drop to 15-180C. This does not harm the plant. But below 150C the thermometer should not fall.
Features of watering
Care for rubbery ficus involves watering the flower. The plant is not hydrophilic. Water the ficus as needed. Topsoil should not be constantly wet. After the top 2-4 cm of soil has dried, we water. On average, watering in the hot period of time is carried out no more than 2 times a week, in the cold - 1 time per week. If the rubber ficus has begun to drop leaves, then most likely you have overdone it with watering.
In addition to watering, care for rubber ficus involves spraying the flowerpot and rubbing the leaves. In summer, due to the low humidity, this should be done at least once every 2 weeks. In winter, this procedure can not be performed.
It is also advisable to periodically arrange bath procedures, namely showers. To do this, put the plant in the bathroom, cover the soil with a plastic bag, and turn on the water. The water temperature should be 18-200C.
The plant does not tolerate neighborhood with heating appliances.
In a conversation about how to care for rubber ficus at home, you can not help but make a reservation about feeding. Even if the soil is selected correctly, and what soil is needed for ficus, we will talk later, the plant needs to be fertilized periodically.
It needs a flower of mineral and organic fertilizers, the purchase of which is best done in specialized stores. When choosing organic fertilizers, attention should be paid to those in which nitrogen is present. At the same time, we do not use organic fertilizers and mineral fertilizers to feed the ficus rubbery. Just alternate these 2 types of fertilizer. We feed 2 times a month, regardless of the time of year.
It is advisable to use compounds that are sold in specialized stores to feed the rubber ficus. The seller consultant will help to make a choice.
In order for the leaves of the rubber ficus to shine, it is not necessary to use any chemistry. It is enough to wipe them with a cotton swab previously moistened in non-alcoholic beer.
The rubber ficus transplant should be carried out annually if it is a young plant, and at least once every 3 years if it is an adult plant. It is necessary to transplant ficus as it grows. If the roots become cramped in the pot, then this is negatively displayed on the appearance of the flowerpot. Also, ficus should be transplanted if the soil is excessively depleted and cannot give the plant all the substances necessary for life. And soil depletion can be judged by the way it absorbs water during irrigation. If a few moments after watering, all the water is in the pan, then the soil must be replaced with a new one.
To make the plant feel comfortable, you need to choose the right soil. You can purchase a finished substrate in a specialized store, or you can make it yourself. To prepare the soil at home, we need river sand, turf and peat land. All components are taken in equal quantities. During the transplantation of rubber ficus, it is important not to damage its root system. It is necessary to carefully remove the plant, without shaking the old soil from its roots. Carefully transfer the flower to a new pot, on the bottom of which a drainage layer is already installed. Then, fill all the voids with new soil and water the plant. The new pot should be 5-6 cm larger both in width and in height.
Before transplanting rubber ficus, assess its condition. If the flowerpot is old and the transplant can adversely affect its condition, it is advisable to simply partially replace the soil. To do this, remove the top layer 5-7 cm thick, and fill the plant with new soil.
The flower propagates quite simply, so it makes no sense to look for photos or video instructions on this topic. It can be bred at home, rather than buying in a store. Reproduction of rubbery ficus can be done in several ways:
- propagation by layering;
- propagation by leaf.
Let us consider how it is possible to propagate the ficus rubber-bearing in each way the sex of individuality.
For propagation of rubber ficus by cuttings, it is necessary to take part of the stem from an existing plant. It’s best to pinch the top. Nipping is done with a sharp object (knife, blade). A part of the stem is taken, on average, 12 cm long. After trimming, and you need to do it obliquely, we remove almost all the leaves. You need to pinch part of the stem, on which there are at least 2 leaves. If there are more leaves, then we leave only a couple of leaves located on top of the handle. Trimming should be done carefully so that the milky juice does not get on the skin. Then, thoroughly rinse the place of the cut under running water. After the milky juice has ceased to stand out, put the stalk in a container of water. A glass or any other similar container is perfect.
To make the water evaporate as slowly as possible, we turn the leaves that remained on the top of the handle into a tube. You can fix the leaves with thin rubber bands. After the appearance of the roots, we plant the stem in the ground. You can plant a stalk immediately after trimming. In this case, it is faster to take root. But, in the soil it is difficult to see whether the root system appeared on the cuttings or not. When rooting in the soil from above, the handle needs to be stretched. The rooting of the cuttings occurs quite quickly.
Before planting the cuttings in the soil, it is possible to treat the lower cut with preparations that stimulate root regrowth. Cutting ficus is better in the spring.
Propagation by layering
Regardless of the type of rubber ficus, it can be propagated by layering. But the easiest way to propagate this way is a variegated variety of rubber ficus. We do in the place where the aerial roots should grow, an incision. The notch depth should be one third of the trunk volume. In order to prevent the stem from growing, we insert a piece of toothpick or match into the place of the incision. Then, wrap this place with moss and close it with a piece of package. The whole structure can be fixed with tape. It remains to wait until the flowerpot takes root, and plant it in the soil.
In this case, not only the leaf should be cut, but also a small part of the stem with it. It turns out as if small cuttings. You need to choose a healthy looking, preferably a young leaf. Whatever kind of rubber ficus you are trying to propagate, only one leaf will never shoot, even though it gives roots and there is an opportunity to root it.
By and large, leaf propagation is not much different from cuttings. The sheet, as with the cuttings, we plant it in the ground, and then turn it into a tube. We equip the mini greenhouse by closing the container with a film, and wait for the shoots to appear.
Cropping and shaping the crown
In order for the plant to truly become a decoration of the house, you need to take time to form the crown of the rubber ficus. But before you talk about the formation of rubber ficus, you should learn about its trim. Pruning is done to restrain plant growth. It is also needed to rejuvenate the plant. In addition, pruning contributes to the formation of a thicker ficus crown. At the desired height, cut off the top of the plant, which is fashionable to use as a stalk for its propagation.
In order to give the ficus the shape of a shrub, we plant the top that has taken root in a pot to the parent plant. But we arrange it so that the plants grow beautifully, and do not crowd out each other. As a rule, 5 internodes are cut off. Therefore, before you cut off the top of a ficus rubber bearing top, count 5 internodes and see how this plant height suits you. Ficus pruning is done exclusively in early spring. If you do this at another time, not the lateral shoots begin to grow, but the top.
Before forming the crown of a plant, you need to imagine what shape you would like to see. If a lush bush is expected, then at least 2 ficus should be planted in one pot. Do not be afraid that the bush will be too large. In addition, plants can always be planted. We form a bush during growth. To do this, turn the pot so that the plants grow in all directions equally. We periodically trim to branch the flowerpot. As the ficus begins to cluster, we adjust the shape of the crown.
You can force ficus to branch in different ways. One of the ways to achieve the appearance of lateral processes, involves bending the top of the ficus to the ground. In this case, the kidney, which is at the highest point, gives an escape. After the shoot appears, return the trunk to its original position. If necessary, the trunk must be tied up.
Diseases and Pests
Ficus cannot be called painful plants. It resists both diseases and pests. However, from time to time, problems may arise for the solution of which you need to be prepared.
Ficus can be attacked by pests such as scale insects or spider mites. Leaves at the same time dry and twist. If the sheet is curled, then you need to unfold it and carefully inspect. Parasites are visible to the naked eye. When they appear, you must immediately take measures so that later you do not have to reanimate the flower.
In addition to insecticides, which are in specialized stores, you can use tobacco dust diluted with soapy water to control pests. Add 4 tablespoons of tobacco dust per liter of soapy water. Soaked in this liquid with a cotton swab, wash all the leaves. After 2 hours, wash off the solution from the leaves of the ficus. Make sure that no leaves remain on the leaves of the plant after flushing the parasites.
An adult bush is less susceptible to attack by pests than a young bush.
We will not deal with the description of diseases in detail. We will only say that the most susceptible to ficus fungal diseases. Step by step treatment is as follows:
- remove all damaged parts of the flowerpot (you need to inspect and, if necessary, prune the roots);
- process ficus with fungicide.
Since the fungus can live in the ground, it will not be superfluous to transplant the plant, completely replacing the soil.
Improper Care Issues
Signs of disease are yellowing and dropping of leaves. Often the plant is sick due to improper care. It is impossible to unequivocally answer the question why the leaves turn yellow in the ficus rubber-bearing. The reason can be either excessive watering, or a lack of moisture, a lack of light or an improper mode. Also, leaves may turn yellow due to an excess of fertilizers or an excessive amount of salt in the soil, an improper pot size and rotting of the roots. And the presence of drafts leads to the fact that the leaves first appear dark spots, and then they blacken. Ficus leaves also darken at low temperature.
It often happens that the ficus looks quite healthy, its leaves do not curl and do not change color to yellow, brown or brown spots do not appear and there are no other signs of the disease, but the flower has stopped growing. The reason that the ficus does not grow may be a lack of light or minerals. Also, too tight a pot can restrain growth.
If the ficus has dropped its leaves or other symptoms of the disease are found, you need to respond without delay. Moreover, most of the problems at home will not be difficult to eliminate. First of all, you need to change the conditions of detention. If the vase does not improve, you should look for pests or determine the disease, and proceed to its treatment. If you delay with treatment, then it will be difficult to save the pot.
Useful properties and harm of ficus
If we talk about the dangers and benefits of rubber ficus, we can conclude that the plant is not dangerous if handled properly. Despite the fact that ficus is poisonous and can cause allergies, in the absence of contact with the juice of the plant, there will be no problems. There are various signs and superstitions that say, for example, that ficus is able to drive men away from women. Therefore, in a house where there is an unmarried girl, planting is undesirable. But only the Slavs had a negative attitude to this flower. The rest of the peoples have long kept ficuses of different varieties in apartments, which absolutely did not prevent the girls from getting married and building happy families.
Regardless of what kind of ficus species we are talking about, and today there are so many of them that the contents of a book on varieties of ficus plants take several pages, this flower deserves attention. The useful properties of ficus, and it does not matter whether it is Belize or Abidjan, can be used in the treatment of certain diseases. This is not to say that a houseplant is actively used in traditional medicine, but folk healers often resort to its help. There is an opinion that the medicinal properties of the plant help get rid of mastopathy, and reduce benign tumors. Применение настоек фикуса оправдано при лечении гематом, остеохондроза, радикулита, геморроя и артрита.