The ficus tree grows in the tropical and temperate climates, and so, it is widely found in the regions of South and Southeast Asia and Australia. Ficus is a favorite houseplant, and is occasionally used for landscaping purposes as well.
This tree is known for its elegant, drooping foliage of light or dark green color. Though it prefers bright sunlight, it is not suitable for places exposed to full sun. If grown properly, this tree can truly add beauty to your house and its surrounding.
Care and Maintenance
The tree is very sensitive to even the slightest changes in the environment, like changes in the temperature and humidity. Therefore, one has to take care of everything, right from the place selected for planting the tree, to the level of humidity and the amount of watering and pruning.
Planting a Ficus Tree
While planting this tree, one should keep in mind that it develops an aggressive and extensive root system. So, if you are growing the tree in a small pot or container, then replant it in a larger pot, once its starts spreading its vigorous root. This will provide enough space to the tree to thrive properly.
Another important factor is the amount of light the tree receives. Though ficus tree can be grown in shade, it is preferable to keep the tree in a place that gets enough bright and filtered sunlight. But make sure not to place it in an area exposed to full sun. Also keep the tree away from heaters or vents, as well as from large windows, as it is very sensitive to temperature changes. The ideal temperature range for growing this tree is 65 to 75°F.
Moderate watering is enough to ensure the proper growth of this tree. Both over and under-watering should be avoided, as the tree requires moist and not wet soil to flourish. So, be sure to check the moisture level of the soil before watering the tree.
You can do this by inserting your finger a few inches deep into the soil. If the soil is still moist, then watering is not required. But, if you feel that the soil is dry, then water the tree immediately. Generally, the amount of water the tree requires depends on the amount of sunlight it receives. If the tree gets a lot of sunlight, then its water requirement will be more.
To ensure proper drainage, you can use a humidity tray, which helps collect the extra water from the container. Moreover, the evaporated water from the tray increases the level of humidity. You should also moist the plant occasionally, especially in the early stages. If the leaves of your ficus tree are turning yellow, it means that you are over-watering the tree.
Pruning is an essential part of ficus care. It not only helps maintain the shape and size of the tree, but also promotes its growth. So, if you observe any dead and diseased or insect-infected leaf, remove it immediately. The common insects that can attack this tree are mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites.
Like diseased leaves, the dead twigs should also be removed. Such twigs will be more commonly found on the inner branches, as they do not receive adequate sunlight. But, be careful not to tear the branches of the tree while pruning; instead cut them smoothly. Tearing will make the plant more susceptible to diseases and infections.
To sum up, a lot of patience, diligence, and attention are required for maintaining a ficus tree. Sometimes, you may observe that the tree is losing some of its foliage. However, it is not a major problem. It can be caused by a change in the climate or environment. To avoid this problem, be sure to take proper care of this tree, and maintain the right level of humidity and temperature. In winter, the tree may lose some foliage, which however, will return during the rainy season.