Variegated Ficus Benjamin
Ficus Benjamina came to us from tropical regions, this evergreen tree carries on its short trunk with a smooth bark of gray-beige color a widely branched crown, which is supported by numerous aerial roots. There are garden forms of ficus Benjamin, including small-leaved trees. Ficus Benjamin, known to many as a houseplant, does not require special care and is quite suitable as a bonsai. About the features of growing ficus Benjamin in a room, read our article.
- Botanical description of the plant
- Benjamin Ficus Care Indoor
- Reproduction of ficus Benjamin
- Plant formation
- Diseases and pests of Ficus Benjamin
Botanical description of the plant
Ficus Benjamin (lat.Ficus benjamina) - a species of plants from the genus Ficus of the Mulberry family. An evergreen tree or shrub in the wild grows up to 20-30 m in height. Distributed in India, China, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and northern Australia.
The leaves of ficus Benjamin are glossy, smooth, thinly leathery, oblong-oval with a pointed top, 6-13 cm long and 2-6 cm wide. The location of the leaves on the branches is opposite, the leaves are formed in one plane. The edge of the leaf is whole. The venation is reticulate, the central vein is weakly expressed, with 8-12 pairs of lateral veins. Petiole is about 2 cm.
The bark is gray with rare brown touches. Crohn broad, branches drooping. The fruits of ficus Benjamin - Siconia - round or oblong, paired, up to 2 cm in diameter, red or orange, inedible.
Benjamin Ficus Care Indoor
First weeks at your home
Try to immediately find a permanent place for the ficus of Benjamin, protected from direct sunlight. Unlike ficuses with lighter leaves, Benjamin's ficus does not require maximum lighting and will feel great a few meters from a sunny window or in the immediate vicinity of a shadow window. Do not place it near batteries or in dry rooms. And also where drafts are possible.
Small-leaved ficus must be sprayed 1-2 times a day. Spraying can be started from the first day. About once a week, Benjamin's ficus is recommended to be gently shaken, giving air access to the thick foliage of the plant and freeing it from falling leaves.
If Ficus Benjamin comes to you in a plastic shipping pot, you need to transplant it in two to three weeks. Suitable universal primer or special primer for ficus. If in the first weeks of your stay at your house the ficus begins to actively drop leaves, do not be alarmed - this plant reacts to new conditions of detention. Continue to spray and water it, and pretty soon it will adapt and give new foliage. For better growth, you can spray the foliage with a weak solution of epin. In winter, the discharge of ficus to 30% of foliage is also a normal process.
Watering Ficus Benjamin
Moderate, however, an earthen coma should not be allowed to dry. It is important to remember that the frequency of watering depends on humidity, air temperature in the room where the plant is located, and a number of other factors. Therefore, we recommend that you check the soil moisture before watering at a depth of about two phalanxes of your finger, especially at first, until you in practice determine how often the ficus will need watering in your house.
Before the next watering of Benjamin's ficus, the soil should be only slightly moist. If the earth does not dry well, skip watering and thoroughly loosen the topsoil. Loosening the topsoil is recommended at least once every two weeks. Watering and daily spraying should be done only with stagnant water (it must be defended for at least 12 hours) at room temperature.
Ficus with dark foliage is not very demanding on light and can grow in partial shade. However, natural lighting is necessary, in the absence of it, the ficus must be illuminated with a phytolamp.
Feeding Ficus Benjamin
It is necessary in the period from the beginning of spring to mid-autumn once every two weeks with universal fertilizer. In the dormant period from November to February, it is enough to fertilize the ficus once a month with a half dose of universal fertilizer. Fertilizer is applied only to moist soil immediately after irrigation. Folic top dressing (spraying leaves with a weak solution of fertilizer) also has a good effect on Benjamin's ficus.
Substrate for Ficus Benjamin
A mixture of clay granulate, sand and dive ground in equal proportions. Other mixtures have also been successfully used for this plant. Planting substrate is replaced once a year. Older plants require replacement of the substrate every two years, with the composition of the substrate remaining unchanged.
The plant will need a transplant once every two to three years. A transplant of ficus Benjamin is recommended in the spring, laying a large layer of drainage in the pot. The transplant can be replaced by updating the top layer of the earth (about 3-5 cm). After transplanting, the plant can drop leaves for several weeks.
What is most dangerous for ficus Benjamin
- Low humidity, which can cause infection with a spider mite and leaf fall.
- Drafts, streams of air, both cold and warm, and sudden changes in temperature, also provoking the discharge of leaves.
- Excessive watering, causing root rot and dark spots on leaves.
- Inadequate watering, weakening the plant and provoking the discharge of leaves.
- Lack of light, watering with cold water, air temperature below 17 or above 23 degrees - all this can cause foliage dumping by ficus.
Reproduction of ficus Benjamin
Ficuses of Benjamin propagate by apical cuttings with leaves or pieces of stem with one leaf. If you put such a stalk in a jar of water on a sunny window and change the water often, then after a while roots will appear on it. The propagation of ficus can be achieved in another way: cuttings are rooted in raw sand. In this case, the stalk is washed from the milky juice, which is released from the place of the cut, allowed to dry a little and planted in small pots with wet sand, which put in a warm place, best in a greenhouse.
If Benjamin's ficus has lost the foliage, and the leaves remained only at the top, it can be renewed by resorting to propagation by air layering. In this case, make a circular incision or remove a narrow strip of bark under the layering and attach moss to this place, which is constantly moistened. After 1-2 months, roots develop around the incision. Cuttings along with the roots are cut and planted in a pot. The best time to breed ficus is summer
To obtain a beautiful and healthy plant, it is necessary to form its crown. The vertical shoots of Benjamin's ficus are weak, they quickly take a horizontal direction, and this causes an uneven growth of the ficus and is often the cause of a one-sided crown. To keep the bush upright, several plants are planted in the pot and, as they grow, they are woven together, and eventually grow together at the points of contact. Ficus Benjamin easily tolerates a haircut, and since his foliage is small, you can easily form a beautiful curly crown or, slightly raising the roots, giving them airiness, form a bonsai tree.
Diseases and pests of Ficus Benjamin
In autumn, when the days get shorter and the light falls, Benjamin's ficus often drops a lot of leaves. He loves good lighting, constant location and temperature. As soon as the leaves begin to fall, or better, at the end of September, without waiting for the leaf fall, rearrange it in the brightest place.
In this case, the crown of the plant should be facing the stream of light on the same side as before. Do not forget that in winter you need to limit the growth of young leaves by reducing watering.
If you notice small spiders on the underside of the leaves of the ficus Benjamin, this is a spider mite.
It reproduces very quickly in dry air and at high temperature. It is destroyed by thorough washing, especially the lower part of the leaves, with a weak infusion of tobacco dust (4 tablespoons per 1 liter of water), into which soap is added, or an infusion of Dalmatian chamomile with soap. After two hours, the leaves are washed with warm water. If dots and spots appear on the leaves, this may be a shield aphid. This pest is also destroyed by soap and tobacco infusion, to which it is good to add a little denatured alcohol or kerosene. In this case, it is necessary to carefully examine the plant and remove all shields from leaves and stems with a cotton swab. The purity of the leaves is the main protection of ficuses from diseases and pests.
It is believed that ficus leaves cleanse indoor air well, so they not only delight the eye, but also bring tangible benefits. We wish you success!