A Ficus plant is extremely popular as a houseplant and for indoor gardening. This is mainly because of the lush green, rich foliage that makes it look very attractive. There is a wide variety of its species that can be grown indoors. Some of them are very delicate and sensitive in nature and others are quite sturdy.
This plant does not require direct sunlight and prefers indirect sunlight. This is because its leaves are very delicate, and can get burned in severe heat. Place the plant in an area where it can receive direct sunlight of the morning hours, and gets filtered sunlight through an opaque curtain for half of the day. It should not be exposed to freezing temperatures as well.
The soil should not remain dry for a long period. At the same time, providing them excess water should be avoided, as it can cause damage to their roots. An excellent way of checking whether the plant needs water is by putting a finger one inch deep into the soil. If you do not feel any moisture on your finger, then it's time to water the plant.
Basically, a ficus plant grows well in tropical and temperate climate zones. Therefore, it needs warm temperatures which should be around 70 degree Fahrenheit. It cannot tolerate frost and freezing temperatures. If it is exposed to extreme cold, then its leaves start dropping at a rapid pace. Keep the plant away from air conditioning vents. In cold weather, it should be kept away from any leaky windows during the night.
The plant should be fertilized regularly throughout its growing season which starts in spring and ends in fall. During winter, the plant is in a dormant state and does not need any fertilizing. Organic liquid fertilizer is ideal and should be added once or twice a month. Those who wish to add chemical fertilizer should dilute it to half its strength, before adding it to the soil. Else it can affect the roots to a great extent.
The foliage of ficus plant tends to grow very rapidly. Therefore, pruning is important to maintain the desired shape and size. It also helps to get rid of dead branches, thus keeping its attractive look intact. Heavy pruning should be done once a year, during spring. Rest of the year, light pruning will be enough.
Protection from Insects and Diseases
Inspect the plant carefully, after regular intervals, to check infestation by pests like white flies, scale, and spider mites. Washing the leaves by a strong stream of water can eliminate most of the bugs, except scale which is quite stubborn in nature. If you notice scale infestation, then usage of an appropriate insecticide is recommended.