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How to Propagate a Ficus Plant

ficus benjamina image by Unclesam from

Many plants belong to the genus Ficus. Two of the most recognizable members are Ficus elastica (rubber tree ), and Ficus benjaminia (weeping fig). The Ficus benjamina is commonly referred to as simply ficus tree or ficus plant. The ficus plant is an evergreen plant that is grown as a small tree, shrub or indoor plant. It's leaves are dark green, glossy, and football-shaped. Propagation of a ficus plant is done through stem cuttings.

Examine a healthy ficus plant. Find a branch that has at least two leaves at the tip. The branch must be new growth, not woody. New growth is green to light grayish-tan and bends easily. Old growth is woody, gray and rigid.

Use gardening shears to cut a piece of branch that is between 3 and 6 inches long. Texas A&M University Agricultural Extension Service advises that you remove all but the two leaves that are farthest from the wound end. This enables the plant to use its energy to develop a new root system rather than supporting the life of several leaves.

Fill a clear glass or jar with 3 inches of filtered water. Place the ficus stem cutting in the water, wound end down.

Check the ficus stem cutting at least once a week; look through the glass to see if roots have sprouted from the wound. Change the water weekly.

Prepare a 4-inch flower pot after the ficus stem cutting's roots are 2 inches long. Fill a 4-inch flower pot with potting soil. Water the soil thoroughly, and allow the excess water to drain away.

Poke a 3-inch-deep hole in the soil with your finger. Wiggle your finger back and forth, to give the hole a slightly wider diameter. Place the ficus stem cutting into the hole in the soil. Use your fingers to brush the soil back into the hole, and gently tamp the soil down around the cutting. Thereafter, water the ficus sapling when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

Repot the ficus cutting into a pot that is 2 inches wider in diameter every spring.

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