Ficus trees encompass a large group of tropical plants. They are some of the best-known and easiest-to-grow houseplants. These durable plants can be trees, shrubs or woody vines. They have thick, glossy, leathery leaves and come in varying heights. Ficus trees do not require a lot of maintenance and are not susceptible to many pests. Ficus trees are better known as figs, rubber plants and weeping figs.
Ficus trees need medium to high light. Avoid relocating your ficus from a high-light source to a low-light source, whichcan cause leaves to shed. Ficus grows vigorously in full sunlight but will do well in bright light indoors. Ficus will survive in a north-facing window that never receives any direct sunlight. Ficus trees grow quickly when located in an area with lots of light.
Keep creeping types of ficus trees damp and do not let the soil dry out. Keep it evenly moist. All other ficus trees can be allowed to dry out in between watering. When watering, pour enough water through the plant so that it comes out the bottom. Remove the ficus tree from the excess water after five minutes. Use room temperature water to irrigate your ficus to avoid shocking their roots. Do not use water softened by chemicals that can harm your ficus. When allowing your ficus to dry out, do not allow the plant to become bone dry. Make sure the ficus is retaining moisture at the root ball.
Ficus trees can become quite large and need to be pruned to control their growth. Pruning also encourages a ficus to branch out and grow fuller. Cut your branches just above a leaf node or where a branch begins. A branch can be pruned just above a leaf scar. Even though there is not a leaf in that space any more, it should grow another leaf once pruned.
Use your plant's growth cycle to determine your fertilizing routine. Start feeding your ficus tree when it starts to produce new leaves and growth. Mix your fertilizer to half strength to prevent chemical buildup in the container soil. Feed your ficus every three to four weeks while actively growing. Ease off on the fertilizer as the growth slows down in the autumn. Stop once winter arrives unless your ficus tree is still growing strong.
Keep your ficus tree pot bound. It likes its roots cramped. Transplant into a larger container every three to four years. Use a rich soil mixture amended with compost. Pasteurize the soil by baking it in the oven at 250 degrees F for until the soil temperature reaches 180 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Keep the indoor room temperature constant. The lower leaves will drop if the temperature changes too quickly or if positioned in drafts. If the indoor air is hot and dry, spider mites and scale will attack your ficus tree. Clean your large-leaved ficus trees by wiping them down with a damp sponge.