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Ficus lyrata

Common name: Fiddle Leaf Fig

Family: Moraceae

Synonymous: Ficus pandurata

Ficus lyrata

Ficus lyrata

Distribution and habitat: Ficus lyrata is a species of fig tree, native to western Africa. It grows in lowland tropical rainforest.
It is a banyan fig meaning that commonly starts life as an epiphyte high in the crown of another tree; it then sends roots down to the ground which envelop the trunk of the host tree and slowly strangle it. It can also grow as a free-standing tree on its own, growing up to 12–15m (39–49 feet) tall. The leaves are variable in shape, but often with a broad apex and narrow middle, resembling a lyre or fiddle; they are up to 45cm (18 inch) long and 30cm (12 inch) broad, though usually smaller, with a leathery texture, prominent veins and a wavy margin. The fruit is a green fig 3cm (1 inch) diameter.

Description: Ficus lyrata is the fiddle leaf fig – so called because of its violin-shaped, puckered leaves. For the indoor plant, the leaves can be as much as 38cm (15 inch) long and 22cm (9 inch) wide with wavy edges. The plant tends to remain single stemmed. It can be forced to divide, however, by removing the growing tip.

Houseplant care: Ficus lyrata grown as a houseplant in temperate areas, it usually stays shorter and fails to flower or fruit.

To control its height keep the fig in a small size container (an applicable size container, see potting and repotting section) and prune off the top of young plants.  By pruning the top will encourage them to promote branching and enable the control over its growth and its shape in the same time.
Trimming or pruning the fig will cause bleeding milky sap that can leave stains. Also the sap is mild toxic and can cause skin irritations in same cases. Use caution when handling the figs.

During the warm season the houseplant fig can be relocated outdoors into a shady, brightly lit patio. Accommodate the plant to brighter position and avoid the direct sun light, that can cause leaf scalding.

The Ficus lyrata can tolerate a great deal of abuse but will drop foliage if not minimally maintained.

Light: This fig will need bright indirect light year-round. Move it a quarter turn every week or so to expose all sides to light for a natural upright growth.

Temperature: Ficus lyrata likes constant warmth – not less than 16°C (60°F) in winter. It prefer humid atmosphere, which will be partially provided by other plants if it is growing in a group, but sinking the pot in damp peat will also be of benefit to the plant.

Mist frequently to increase humidity and wipe the leaves occasionally with a damp sponge. In warm temperature provide plenty of ventilation.

Water: Water freely during the active growth period, but avoid water-logging, allowing the potting mixture to dry out slightly in between waterings. Water sparingly during the resting period. Always use tepid soft water.

Drooping yellow lower leaves are a sign of overwatering.

Fertilising: Feed with a liquid fertiliser every two weeks during the active growth period only.

Potting and repotting: Use a soil based potting mixture. Do not overpot; these plants like slightly cramped root conditions. Move plants into pots one size larger when repotting is clearly necessary – as indicated by the emergence of a lot of root through the drainage holes and probably by the appearance of a network of fine roots on the surface. Repoting is best carried out in spring. When the maximum convinient pot size has been reached, top-dress the plants annually – in spring – with fresh potting mixture.

Garden Culture: Ficus lyrata is a popular ornamental tree in subtropical and tropical gardens. It is frost tender. If planted in the ground the Ficus lyrata will grow into a large tree however if contained in a pot in a protected shady position its growth can be easily contained.
To encourage lush new growth or more branching, prune branch tips in late winter just before new leaves emerge and temperatures warm. When pruning large outdoor fig trees, wear eye goggles, long sleeves and gloves to prevent sap from dripping onto face or mixing with sweat and reaching sensitive skin, wounds or eyes and mouth.

In big Ficus lyrata trees there are some aerial roots produced from the branches.

Position: A full to partial sun exposure is ideal, where sunlight reaches the plant at least 6 hours daily.
It will grow moderately fast in full sun or partial shade.

Soil: Plant the Ficus lyrata in a fertile, well-drained soil that is moist in the warm months of the year.

Water: Irrigate the tree’s root system to supplement natural rainfall, especially in the warm months from spring to fall when the tree actively grows new leaves and lengthens stems.
Mulch the soil under the tree’s canopy to conserves soil moisture, reduces weeds, moderates soil temperatures and as the mulch decomposes, supplies trace nutrients to the roots.

Fertiliser: Use a slow release granule fertiliser in spring and mid-summer.

Propagation: Ficus lyrata is usually slow to root from cuttings because water loss in very great throughout its big leaves.
Another possible method of propagation is air layering, that will take a great deal of time and care.

Problems:
Red spider mite, scales and mealy bug attack the Ficus lyrata.
Webbing between branches and leaves is a sign of a spider mite invasion.
Treatment: These pests thrives in hot, dry air. Daily mist-praying may help ward off attacks. Cut away badly infested leaves and adjoining stems and spray plants with an appropriate pesticide. Repeat the treatment after 3 days and again 10 days later. If mites persists, tray a different pesticide.
Scale are small brown insects that cling to stems and leaves, secreting a sticky residue on the plant.
Treatment: Mix a little mild dishwashing detergent with water and spray the infected plants. The soap will coat and suffocate the insects. Rinse the plants off with clean water to make sure the pores on the leaves are open so the plant can breathe.
Mealy bug will look like a white cottony patch.
Treatment: Use same treatment as for scales: Spray the infected plants with mix of a little mild dishwashing detergent and water. The soap will coat and suffocate the insects. Rinse the plants off with clean water to make sure the pores on the leaves are open so the plant can breathe.

The plants are also susceptible to various leaf-spotting and fungal diseases, which are typically caused by lack of air flow and too much moisture sitting on the leaves.
Treatment: Prevent this kind of attack by keeping the plant well-trimmed, removing dead leaves and twigs.

Spots on the leaves which are especially noticeable in such a large-leaved plant. This spotting is usually caused by mechanical injury to the leaf. The Ficus lyrata has mildly caustic sap that causes these brown spots when exposed to air.

Sudden leaf loss may be the result of an atmosphere which is too dry, underwatering or exposure to direct sun.

These plants are also more sensitive to high salt levels, so make sure to flush the potting medium very thoroughly, to prevent the build-up of fertilizer salts.

Uses: Ficus lyrata is one of the figs used in indoors landscaping. With its large, dramatic leaves that cluster at the top of narrow trunks, is perfect for filling a bright light corner. Ficus lyrata is most effective when growing in group with smaller-leaved specimens.

Ficus lyrata can be used in containers or planter when young or can be planted to make a striking specimen tree. They create quite an accent by a patio or in shrub bed because of the coarse leaf texture. It can be trained to grow in a variety of shapes like single stemmed, standard tree or bush form or even can be trained on espalier.

In subtropical and tropical zones, Ficus lyrata can be used as highway median or for street without sidewalk planting. As adult, it is effective tree for creating shade area.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Shape – upright

PROPER CARE:
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bright filtered
Temperature in active growth period – min 16°C max 27°C (60-81°F)
Humidity – high
Height indoors: 90cm – 3m (3-10 ft)

Height outdoors: 8-12m (25-40 feet)
Spread outdoors: 8-11m (25-35 feet)

Hardiness zone: 10a-11

Ficus lyrata

 

 

 

 

 



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Ficus maclellandii Alii

Common name: Alii Fig, Banana-Leaf Fig, Alii Ficus, Alii

Family: Moraceae

Ficus maclellandii Alii

Ficus maclellandii Alii

Distribution and habitat: Ficus maclellandii is a species of fig plant native to India, Southeast Asia and China. The leaves are 8-13cm (3-5 inch) and uniquely dimorphic; with narrow leaves on the lower, sterile branches and broader leaves on the higher branches.

Description: The most common cultivar of Ficus maclellandii is ‘Alii’ which was originally introduced in Hawaii. Ficus maclellandii ‘Alii’ is an evergreen grown as a houseplant being suitable for growing in large containers. It can be found in many forms, including bushes, braids, standards and spiraled trunks. Its olive-colored, slender foliage makes it an extremely interesting and attractive plant. The leaves grow to be 8 to 25cm (3-10 inch) long and create a drooping affect on its branches.
In the ground it can also grow to be 3m (10 feet) tall.

Houseplant care: Ficus maclellandii ‘Alii’ is more durable and easier to grow than other varieties of the same genus. Ficus maclellandii ‘Alii’ has not an accentuated tendency to shed leaves.

Trim the Ficus maclellandii ‘Alii’ with pruning shears any time to control the size of the plant. Cut the stems just above a leaf or stem. Remove any dead branches or weak growth.

Light: Provide filtered sunlight or bright indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight from hot windows, which may scorch the plant.

When Ficus maclellandii ‘Alii’ is situated against a wall, it is best to rotate the plant every few days to prevent the back of the plant from losing its leaves.

Temperature: Ficus maclellandii Alii prefers a temperature range of 13 to 24°C (55-75°F), although exposure to lower temperatures above 7°C (45°F) is tolerated for short periods of time.

Keep the Ficus maclellandii Alii out of cold drafts.

Water: Allow the top centimetre (0.4 inch) or so of potting mixture to dry out between waterings. When watering, water thoroughly giving enough water to make the potting mixture moist.  Use tepid water, as cold water may cause leaf loss. Do not allow the plant to stand in water or do not allow the potting mixture to dry out.

Fertilising: During the active growth period  (spring and summer), feed the Ficus maclellandii Alii once every two weeks with standard liquid fertiliser. Decrease fertiliser gradually in autumn and withhold fertiliser completely during the winter.

Potting and repotting: The roots of Ficus maclellandii Alii are very slow growing so repotting is rarely needed. When the roots fill the pot – normally every two years – pot on in spring. Move the plant in one size larger pot, using a soil based potting mixture. When maximum convenient pot size have been reached, top-dress the plants annually (in spring) with fresh potting mixture.

Propagation: Ficus maclellandii Alii can be propagated from cuttings. Cut in an angle of 45-degree a healthy branch (including the tip) of 10cm (4 inch) length. Pinch off the leaves from the bottom of the cutting, leaving two at the tip. Dip the cut end of the cutting into water and then into the rooting hormone until the bottom 3cm  (1 inch) of the cutting is coated in the powder. Pot the cutting into a 8cm (3 inch) pot size filled with moistened equal parts mixture of peat moss and sand or perlite. Make a hole in the middle of the pot and insert the cutting 3cm (1 inch) below the leaves, then press the potting mixture around the cutting. Seal the pot into a plastic bag and place it in a warm environment at 24°C (75°F) with indirect sunlight. Check the cutting in 8 weeks to see if it has rooted. New growth indicate that the rooting has occurred. At this moment remove the bag and water the cuttings enough to keep the potting mixture just moist.
When the new plant is well established – in about four months – move it into one pot size larger containing the same potting mixture used for adult plant. Thereafter treat it in same way as a mature Ficus maclellandii Alii.

Ficus maclellandii Alii can be also propagated air layering, process that takes a good deal of time and require special care.

Problems: Ficus maclellandii Alii is relatively resistant to pests.

Over watering will cause leaf drop and leaf spotting.
Treatment: Do not allow the plant to stand in water.

Dry shrivelled leaves are caused by underwatering, insufficient humidity or exposure to sun.
Treatment: Treat underwatering as following: water the plant thoroughly and completely. This may mean watering once and then again an hour later as the dry soil begins to absorb water. Pour out any water remaining in the drainage saucer after five to 10 minutes. The amount of water needed by Ficus maclellandii ‘Alii’  is predicated on the amount of light the plant is exposed to, the more light, the more water the plant will need.
Increase humidity by placing the pot on a tray or saucer with moist pebbles.

Watch for scale.
Treatment: Examine every crevice for scale and wipe them off with a damp cloth or a fairly stiff brush dipped in soapy water or an appropriate pesticide solution. Then apply the pesticide to the whole plant.

Spider mite and Mealy bug may become a problem for Ficus maclellandii ‘Alii’.
Treatment: Use an adequate spray pesticide and follow the instructions written on the label.

Uses: Ficus maclellandii ‘Alii’ is a plant that looks attractive as a stand-alone specimen or as part of a mixed display. Larger specimens are especially useful as feature plants in warm, well-lit atria, shopping malls and offices.

Ficus maclellandii ‘Alii’ aid to be a great overall air purifier.

Toxicity: Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction. Gloves are required when handling the Ficus maclellandii Alii.

Notes: Sometimes Ficus maclellandii Alii is often misidentified as Ficus binnendijkii or under the spurious name Ficus longifolia or Ficus alii, though strictly speaking neither is botanically correct.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Shape – upright
Height: 3m (10 feet)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bright filtered
Temperature in active growth period – min 16°C max 27°C (61-81°F)
Humidity – high

Hardiness zone: 9a-11

Ficus maclellandii Alii leaves

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Ficus sagittata

Common Names: Variegated Rooting Fig

Synonyms: Ficus radicans
Ficus compressicaulis

Family: Moraceae

Ficus sagittata

Ficus sagittata

Distribution and habitat: Ficus sagittata is native to warm temperate and tropical regions of Asia. It is a root climber with thin, young green shoots that become brown when older, lance-shaped leaves with slightly rippled through to the edge and slightly curved between the leaf veins. Young leaves are light green, full elder to dark green (depending on humidity), in the wild, the young leaves of the great old plants are colored orange.

Description: Ficus sagittata is a useful indoor plant that thrives with moderate care. It is grown for its glossy and interesting foliage.

Ficus sagittata is a sturdy trailer with 5-8cm (2-3 inch) long, leathery, lanced-shaped, green leaves and wiry stems.

Houseplant care: Ficus sagittata require some special conditions and is unlikely to thrive without them.

Light: Ficus sagittata will do well either in medium light or in a position where they can get some sun each day. The kinds of Ficus sagittata which have plain green foliage tolerate grater amounts of shade than the ones with variegated foliage which require brighter light with a few hours a day of direct sunlight. Otherwise the leaves are unlikely to retain their colouring and the sharp contrast that make them so decorative indoors.

Temperature: Ficus sagittata do best in normally warm room temperature, they can be acclimatised gradually to a wide range of temperatures.

Water: Keep moist, but not wet.Water Ficus sagittata moderately, giving enough to make the potting mixture thoroughly moist at each  watering and allowing only the top centimeter (0.40 inch) or so of the mixture to dry out before watering again.

Ficus sagittata demands medium to high humidity (for purely epiphytic culture), up to 85% room humidity. The higher the humidity, the brighter the leaves will be.

Fertilise: Apply regularly a standard liquid fertiliser every two weeks to actively growing plants only.

Potting and repotting: Ficus sagittata is best grown in a peat-based mixture. Do not overpot; these plants like slightly cramped root conditions. Use pots that look as if they are a size too small for the plant. Move the plants into pots just one size larger when reppoting becomes clearly necessary – as indicated by emergence of a lot of root through the drainage hole and possible by the appearance of a network of fine roots on the surface. Repotting is best carried out in spring.

When maximum convenient pot size has been reached, top-dress the plants annually with fresh potting mixture in spring.

Propagation: Ficus sagittata root easily from tip cuttings above 15cm (6 inch) long, taken in spring and potted in 8cm (3 inch) pots of moistened equal-parts mixture of peat moss and sand or perlite. Take the cuttings immediately bellow a node and carefully remove the lower pair of leaves before potting the cuttings in rooting mixture. Enclose each potted cutting in a plastic bag and keep it moist at normal room temperature in bright light filtered through a translucent blind or curtain. As soon as new growth appears, indicating that rooting has occured, remove the bag and water the cuttings enough to keep the potting mixture just moist.

When the new plant is well established – in about four months – move it in a pot one size larger containing the standard peat based potting mixture. Thereafter treat it in the same way as mature Ficus sagittata.

Problems: In very hot rooms a careful watch should be kept for red spider mites which thrive in dry heat.
Treatment: Daily spay mist may help ward off attack. If an attack is suspected, cut away badly infested leaves and adjoining stems and spay plants with appropriate pesticide.  Repeat the treatment after 3 days and again 10 days later. If the mites persist, try a different pesticide.

Overwatering will cause their lower leaves to fall.
Treatment: Allow the top half of the mixture to dry out before waterings.

Recommended varieties:
Ficus sagittata ‘Variegata’ is the most popular of Ficus sagittata varieties being more attractive with its variegated leaves: greyish green leaves which are marked with ivory-white.

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Shape – trailing

PROPER CARE:
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bright filtered
Temperature in active growth period – min 16°C max 27°C (61-81°F)
Humidity – low

Hardiness zone: 10b-11

Ficus sagittata 'Variegata'



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Ficus Benjamina ‘Exotica’

Common name: Weeping Fig

Ficus Benjamina 'Exotica'

Ficus Benjamina ‘Exotica’

Ficus Benjamina ‘Exotica’ is Evergreen a tree looking plant that grows to around 1 metre tall (when in a pot). Has shiny, bright green leaves and semi-pendulous brances. Ficus Benjamina ‘Exotica’ is an excellent indoor plant in cooler climates or outdoors on patios and verandahs in frost free areas. Indoors place in well lit positions, keep soil moist but not wet. Drier during the winter. Feed regularly with liquid fertiliser. Use premium potting mix if planting in containers. Outdoors plant in a partly shaded, sheltered position in humus rich, well drained soil.

Uses: Ficus Benjamina is known to remove common airborn toxins and increase oxygen levels.

Ficus Benjamina ‘Exotica’ characteristics:

  • Part shade
  • Indoors filtered light
  • Suitable for pots
  • Tolerates light frost


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Ficus elastica Decora

Common name: Rubber Plant

Ficus elastica Decora

Ficus elastica Decora

Ficus elastica Decora is a robust plan and has long been used as a reliable decorative houseplant. Large, fleshy, burgundy leaves with a high glossy finish are carried on a stout trunk.

Add beauty and style to courtyards, patio and verandahs with Ficus elastica Decora easy to care feature plants. Provides green life to your indoors and helps to refreshen the air of your home.

For best results, regularly feed Ficus elastica Decora with a liquid fertilizer during the growing season.

When used as houseplant is useful because Ficus elastica cleans the air by emitting high oxygen content, and purifies indoor air by removing chemicals, such as formaldahyde or other toxins.

 



Ficus, Foliage Plants, Top Anti-Pollutant Houseplants ,

Ficus microcarpa

Common Names: The Pot Belly Fig, Ginseng Plant, Banyan Fig, Taiwan Ficus, Indian Laurel, Curtain fig, Small-fruited Fig, Chinese Banyan

Family: Moraceae

Synonymous: Ficus aggregata
Ficus cairnsii
Ficus condoravia
Ficus dahlii
Ficus dyctiophleba
Ficus littoralis
Ficus naumannii
Ficus nitida
Ficus regnans
Ficus retusa
Ficus retusiformis
Ficus rubra
Ficus thynneana
Urostigma accedens
Urostigma amblyphyllum

Ficus microcarpa

Ficus microcarpa

Distribution and habitat: Ficus microcarpa is native in the range from Sri Lanka to India, Taiwan, the Malay Archipelago, the Ryukyu Islands, Australia, and New Caledonia. It is a rapidly-growing, rounded, broad-headed, evergreen shrub or tree that can reach 15m (49 feet) or more in height with an equal spread. The smooth, light grey trunk is quite striking, can grow to around 1m (3.3 feet) in diameter, and it firmly supports the massively spreading canopy.

The glossy, dark green, leathery leaves are densely clothed on large, somewhat weeping branches. New growth, produced all year long, is a light rose to chartreuse color, giving the tree a lovely two-toned effect.

Description: Ficus microcarpa has deep green, elliptic shiny, smooth, 8cm (3 inch) long leaves on short, erect much-branching stems. It also bears small incredible fruit occasionally. Because this plant can withstand quite a lot of nipping out of shoots, it is often trained into specific shapes, such as standards and pyramids.

The root system swells and stores water and nutrients to allow the plant to survive in harsh environments without food and water for long time, making it an excellent indoor plant. Roots will continue to swell as the plat gets older and with some training can be grown into amazing Bonsai.

Houseplant care: If grown in large pots the Ficus microcarpa will grow rapidly, if kept in small pots they can be kept miniature for life, final size depends on watering, feeding and trimming given to the plant; you are in complete control.

Every Ficus microcarpa grown indoors should have its leaves sprayed clean regularly to free them of accumulating dust.

Light: Ficus microcarpa does well either in medium light or in a position where they can get some sun each day.

Temperature: Ficus microcarpa require normally warm room temperatures. It can be acclimatised gradually to a wide range of temperature. In very hot rooms a careful watch should be kept for red spider mites which thrives in dry heat.

The Ficus microcarpa can be grown well in any outdoor positions and will tolerate any frost free climate. In frost areas leave plant under light cover or indoors when severe frosts are predicted. When temperatures drop below 13°C (55°F) Ficus microcarpa may suffer long-term damage, especially when the plant is young.

Watering: Ficus microcarpa appreciate some moisture at the roots. Allow the top half of the potting mixture to dry before watering again. This plants can dry out for long periods, but prefer to stay moist.

Fertilising: Use a standard liquid fertiliser at half strength every week while Ficus microcarpa is in active growth. Once the fig rests in the fall allow it to go without fertilizer. Never fertilize a sick or dry Ficus microcarpa.

Potting and repotting: Repotting is best carried out in spring. Use a soil based potting mixture for Ficus microcarpa. Do not overpot; these plants like slightly cramped root conditions. Use pots that look as if they are a size too small for the plant. Move plants into pots just one size larger when repotting becomes clearly necessary – as indicated by the emergence of lots of roots through the drainage holes and possibly by the appearance of a network of fine roots on the surface.
When maximum convenient pot size has been reached, top-dress the plants annually with fresh potting mixture, in spring.
Water carefully until Ficus microcarpa re-establishes. Less water will be needed in the first two weeks after repotting. Do not put the newly repotted fig into sunlight but place it two weeks in partial shade for adaptation.

Propagation: Ficus microcarpa can easily be propagated from cutting of stems, above 15cm (6 inch) long, taken in spring and inserted in 8cm (3inch) pots of moistened equal parts mixture of peat moss and sand or perlite. Take the cuttings immediately below a node and carefully remove the lower pair of leaves before potting the cuttings in the rooting mixture. Enclose each potted cutting in a plastic bag and keep it at normal room temperature in bright light filtered through a translucent curtain. As soon as new growth appears, indicating that  rooting was occurred, remove the bag and water the cuttings enough to keep the potting mixture just moist. When the new plant is well established (in about four months) move the plant into a pot one size larger containing same potting mixture as adult plants.

Air layers are also quite easy to accomplish, but takes a good deal of time. Fertile seeds are available from some tropical seed sources.

Uses: The Ficus microcarpa is very widespread and found in landscapes and as a container tree in many countries of the world. It is used for boulevard trees in many frost free cities.

The Ficus microcarpa can be treated like any normal indoor plant, a bright sunny position is recommended, in darker positions stems will elongate. Cut back branches as they get too long or train branches with wire to form shapes. Ficus microcarpa is one the finest trees for indoor bonsai and tolerates a wide range of indoor conditions. It has good bonsai character, lovely gray bark, and superb basal root flare. It tolerates the beginner’s efforts and still makes a superb addition to the advanced bonsai grower’s collection. This plant is used extensively in Feng Shui planning.

Problems:
Ficus microcarpa are usually infested with thrips. Mealy bugs may also be an occasional invader.
Treatment: These insects attacks can be treated with appropriate pesticide. Follow the instruction on pesticide label.

Overwatering may cause root rot.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Shape – upright
Height & Width: over 12m (40 feet) or bonsai sizes

PROPER CARE:
Watering in active growth period – sparingly
Light – bright filtered
Temperature in active growth period – min 16°C max 27°C (61-81°F)
Humidity – low

Hardiness Zone: 9b-11



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