The Ficus neriifolia, also called f. with oleander leaves, is an evergreen shrub or small tree, native to central-southern Asia; in nature, the adult specimens are kept at a size close to 2 m in height. The stem is thick and erect, well branched, with brown-greyish bark; in the adult specimens it tends to detach showing lighter areas. The plants cultivated in very humid areas produce showy aerial roots, from the stem and also from the branches.
The leaves are light green, 4-9 cm long, lanceolate, glossy, often pointing downwards; the leaves, which have just come out, are of a pinkish-green colour. At times, also the specimens in pots produce small white-greenish flowers, followed by small round fruits. This species of ficus is very suitable to be cultivated as bonsai.
The oleander leaf ficus can develop in a balanced manner in any light condition, from complete shade to full sun; it is advisable to keep the plant in a bright place, slightly shaded during the summer months. Choose well ventilated positions, but far from windows or doors, so that the plant does not suffer sudden changes in temperature, which could cause the loss of the foliage, soon replaced by new leaves. They fear the cold, they are to be cultivated at a minimum temperature of 15-18°C.
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- It is a shrub or a small evergreen tree, native to central-southern Asia; in the wild, the adult specimens keep their dimensions close to the 2 m of height. They have thin stems and ramify…
- Evergreen tree originating in Australia and New Zealand, the ficus australe or ficus rubiginosa can reach 8-10 metres high in the wild, but in a container it can be kept within 2-3 metres of height.
Water regularly, but without exceeding, letting the soil dry well between one watering and the other; in summer water more often, especially in very hot periods; in winter water sporadically, without forgetting to vaporize the leaves with distilled water, to increase the ambient humidity, and avoid that the air is excessively dried by domestic heating.
From March to October, provide universal fertilizer every 15-20 days, mixed with the water of the watering, in a dose half that recommended on the package.
For ficuses with oleander leaves, use a soft, loose, very rich soil, mixed with pumice stone or perlite, to increase drainage; to obtain a well-developed plant it is good to repot the ficus neriifolia every two years, in autumn; the root system of these plants is very resistant, it is also possible to prune it with the maximum freedom, as it develops very quickly, without damage to the plant.
The multiplication of the Ficus neriifolia takes place by cutting in summer, utilizing semi-woody portions of the tips of the branches, which are to be immersed in the rooting hormone and then buried in a mixture of sand and peat in equal parts, which is to be kept humid until the rooting has taken place; the new small plants are then placed in a single container. Use clean and well-sharpened work tools to make the cut necessary to make the cuttings to prevent fraying of the fabric.
Ficus with oleander leaves – Ficus neriifolia: Pests and diseases
For parasites and diseases that could damage the Ficus neriifolia, be careful of the cochineal and aphids, which often lurk on the underside of the leaves.
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