To the genus ficus belong many plants, including the ficus carica, of which we enjoy the sweet fruits; there are many Asian species, which in Italy and Europe are mainly used as ornamental plants for apartment. The f. elastica in the wild develops in Asia, in particular in India, where it reaches the 9-10 metres of height, becoming a big evergreen tree, with ample foliage.
In Italy, on the contrary, it is cultivated in pot, where it does not exceed the 180-210 cm of height, usually producing scarce ramifications. It has a woody stem, of brown colour, which carries big oval leaves, often pointed, with a leathery, evergreen consistency; the leaves are of dark green colour, glossy and rigid; however, there are many hybrid varieties of this plant: with pale or variegated foliage, or with small leaves, at times with bronze shades.
How to cultivate
The success of ficus as indoor plants comes from the fact that these plants tend to adapt even in suboptimal conditions; to have a healthy and lush plant let’s place it in a nice large pot, filled with excellent universal soil, well rich and fairly drained; then place the pot in a bright place, possibly where the passage of people does not lead to continuous stresses of the foliage, which could ruin it irreparably: let’s look for a corner where the plant can enjoy a good amount of space.
If we place the plant against the wall, we must remember to turn the pot often, in order to avoid that some areas empty due to the lack of light and air.
- In nature, the ficus elastica is a large tree, which reaches 25-30 meters and grows in the tropical forests of Asia, in pot has erect habit, poorly branched, and reaches 200-300 meters.
- I have some wonderful elastic ficus that I put out in spring – in a sheltered spot near a wall and under a small canopy – and put back in the house in autumn: over the years they have become huge …
- Good morning. I’ve had an elastic ficus for about three years.
In summer I keep it out on the balcony and in winter I put it in the house, near the window where there is more light. He enjoyed excellent health and was full of enthusiasm.
- I would like to know if the Variegated Ficus Elastic fits per apartment and if I can put it in a location not too bright….
From March to September we water our ficus regularly, always waiting for the soil to dry between one watering and the other; every 12-15 days we mix the water of the watering of the fertilizer for green plants. During the cold months we water the plant only sporadically, avoiding that the water stagnates in the ground.
These plants can withstand fairly cold temperatures, and even sporadic frosts, so in the southern regions could be grown outdoors, but it is good to grow them in a pot, so that we can shelter them in a sheltered place in case of particularly harsh winters. In the central-northern areas, on the contrary, it is cultivated only as an apartment plant, even if in winter we can easily position it in a place where it is not particularly heated, with minimum temperatures close to 8-10°C.
Ficus – Elastic Ficus: A tree in a pot
Let’s remember that in the wild this plant becomes a tree, well wide and ramified; if we grow a ficus for many years in our house it can also happen that it reaches considerable dimensions.
To avoid that its dimensions exceed those allowed by our apartment we can contain them pruning the plant every year, in spring or autumn, this practice, in addition to maintaining the ficus of dimensions better manageable at home, which also allows to obtain a plant more densely developed, with leaves even in the lower part of the stem.
In September or April let’s shorten the external branches of our shrub, without fearing to ruin it; a good pruning usually leads the plant to quickly emit new shoots, which will enlarge its foliage. Potted plants often tend to be placed in the house in a corner where they will remain for the rest of their lives; in this place they tend to develop in a less harmonious way and to accumulate the dust present in the house.
To avoid this sad fate to our ficus let’s remember to move it to the open in the spring, in a well ventilated and bright place, even if not exposed directly to the warm sun rays. Periodically, with the help of a microfiber cloth, we clean the large leaves from dust and dirt that easily lurks there.
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visit : ficus robusta