The extremely beautiful Weeping fig of Moraceae family. It got its name in honor of the Spanish scientist Benjamin Daydon Jackson. This plant is very popular. In care, it is undemanding, but requires special attention for the first few months of life. If the flower does not die during the specified period, it will not be difficult to take care of it further.
Origins and Distribution
Weeping fig is an evergreen shrub or tree with aerial roots. Its dimensions are mostly determined by the variety, the growing environment. In the wild, there are plants up to thirty meters high. At home, shrubs are usually miniature (about 50 cm), only occasionally reaching 3 m. Below is a photo of indoor Weeping fig.
The small leaves of the plant are thin, oval, slightly pointed. Their color can be different: exclusively green, with all kinds of inclusions, stripes of light colors.
In the house, the small-leaved ficus does not bloom. You can admire its flowering in greenhouses: spherical syconia flowers form on the plant. Outwardly, they resemble reddish berries.
Homeland ficus Benjamin – India, East Asian countries. In addition, it is common in northern Australia. This plant grows at the foot of the mountains, in humid forests.
Potting and Repotting
The first couple of years Weeping fig has been developing quite intensively. Therefore, it needs to be transplanted annually. Older plants only need to update the surface soil layer. But if the bush is cramped, it should certainly be transplanted into a large container. This is indicated by the following signs:
- the roots tightly braided the soil lump;
- the soil dries quickly;
- roots emerged from the drainage holes.
On average, Ficus is transplanted every 2 to 3 years into a new larger pot.
It is highly recommended to transplant the diseased Weeping fig at home. It is desirable to carry it out in the following sequence:
- A couple of days before repotting, it is good to water the soil.
- Prepare a larger pot.
- Lay drainage at the bottom (about 2 cm).
- Fill the container halfway with earth.
- Move the plant along with the soil.
- Add the required amount of soil, lightly tamp.
After transplanting the bush into a new container, watering should not be done, and the fertilizer should not be used for half a month.
Advice! Repotting Weeping fig is important using the transshipment method, because its roots are too fragile.
Caring for a weeping fig
It is easy to take care of a tropical plant if you have special knowledge and certain skills. At the same time, it is important to monitor the soil moisture, the amount of light, the temperature in the room, and to carry out top dressing in a timely manner.
Weeping fig does not need a container made of a specific material. He feels good in plastic, metal, clay pots. However, preference should be given to the latter. It is desirable that they are not covered with glossy glaze: clay has a porous structure, it allows air to pass to the roots.
It is best that the container has the correct shape, the same height and width. After transplanting the plant, about 2 cm of free space should remain in it. Drainage holes are a must. The latter will not allow stagnation of liquid in the soil.
Temperature and light
Caring for Weeping fig requires creating an optimal temperature regime for it. In summer, he is comfortable at 18-25 ° C. Variegated varieties prefer higher temperatures. In winter, it is advisable to keep the shrub in a cool room with a minimum temperature of 16 ° C.
Weeping fig requires a huge amount of light. However, the incoming sunlight should be scattered. In case of prolonged cloudy weather, it is recommended to use special phytolamps.
Ficus can grow in any soil. But in order to get a luxurious shrub with a lush crown and shiny leaves, it is important to use a fertile, loose, permeable, neutral or slightly acidic soil mixture.
The soil for indoor Weeping fig can be made independently: you will need peat, sand, two types of soil (deciduous and sod). The listed components should be taken in the ratio 1:1:2:2. It is desirable to add crushed charcoal to the finished mixture.
If it is not possible to prepare the soil yourself, it is recommended to purchase ready-made soil in the store.
Weeping fig does not tolerate drought, excessive soil moisture. Therefore, it must be watered moderately, using long-term settled or cooled boiled water.
The soil between successive waterings should dry out by at least 3 cm. In this case, the plant will receive the optimal amount of moisture. In autumn and spring, watering is done once a week. Excess fluid from the pan must be removed.
Ficus thrives well in high humidity conditions. Therefore, the leaves of the plant need to be irrigated periodically. This is especially important to do in the cold season, when heating equipment is in operation, as well as in hot summers.
If it is not possible to regularly spray the shrub, it is allowed to humidify the air with wet stones placed on a pallet.
Caring for the heat-loving Weeping fig at home involves various top dressings. For the most part, they are needed during the growing season (from March to October). Shrubs are fed twice a month by applying liquid nutrients to the soil. At the same time, mineral compositions alternate with organic ones. Often used foliar method of fertilization. For it, less concentrated solutions are used.
Attention! Weeping fig is undesirable to overfeed with nitrogen, so that its foliage does not change its attractive variegated color to the usual green.
Most Ficuses lack warmth and light in late autumn and winter. Therefore, from October to February, they have a dormant period. To prevent the latter from occurring, the plant needs to provide sufficient lighting, create the proper temperature conditions.
In the natural environment, Weeping fig blooms tiny flowers in pastel shades (beige, blue, white, pink). If the climatic conditions for the shrub are favorable, then a lot of inflorescences appear. The flowering of the plant practically does not depend on the season: the buds on the bushes can be seen at any time of the year. The probability of the formation of flowers on a domesticated ficus is minimal.
It is extremely important for beginner growers to know how to properly propagate Weeping fig at home.
On the eve of planting, the seed material should be kept in water for a day.
- Prepare a container with a moistened peat-sand composition.
- Sow prepared seeds half a centimeter deep.
- Close the crops with a film, put in a warm place.
- Periodically ventilate the container, moisten the soil.
The first shoots can be observed in one to two months.
Weeping fig can be propagated by cuttings. This method is considered the simplest, quite effective.
- Using a sharp knife, cut off the stiff shoots.
- At the base of each cutting, make a superficial incision.
- Place the blanks in a container with water, cover with transparent polyethylene.
- After about two weeks, the segments will have roots.
- Plant the cuttings in separate pots.
Young plants should be watered moderately until they finally get stronger.
Advice! So that the adult plant does not suffer, the cut point must be treated with garden pitch or coal.
Reproduction of Weeping fig will not be particularly difficult if all work is carried out consistently, using properly prepared material.
Pests and diseases
It is possible to understand that Weeping fig is ill by external signs. The most common of them are a slowdown in the growth of a flower, a sudden fall of leaves. In such cases, it is important to start treatment on time to prevent the death of the plant.
Most often, ficuses suffer from such diseases:
- Root rot. It develops on the roots of the plant. It is possible to determine the presence of pathology by a characteristic plaque on the soil – in the form of a crust. Secondary signs are lethargy, leaf fall, slow growth. How to deal: remove the plant from the container, remove the diseased roots, sprinkle the slices with crushed charcoal. Then the ficus should be transplanted into the updated soil. In addition, it is important to treat a diseased flower with a fungicide.
- Anthracnose. This disease is characterized by the appearance of dark brown spots on the leaves. Over time, they turn into ulcers. Treatment is carried out with appropriate drugs. With untimely action, the flower dies.
- Cercosporosis. On the reverse side of the leaf blades, dark spots with black dots form. Severely affected leaves quickly turn yellow and fall off. It is possible to save a diseased plant only in the case of timely treatment with effective drugs.
As soon as the initial pathological signs appear on Weeping fig, it is necessary to limit the watering of the plant, move it to a well-ventilated area. Next, antifungal therapy is carried out with appropriate means.
Weeping fig is sometimes attacked by the following pests:
- Shchitovka. Most often it parasitizes on the plastic sheet of the plant, forming small convex growths of dark color. Affected leaves turn pale, fade over time, fall off. Control measures: remove severely damaged parts of the flower, treat the culture with Actellik.
- Spider mite. A whitish coating forms on the leaves. Soon they turn yellow, fade, begin to fall off. How to fight: treat the ficus with a soap solution, then apply the following drugs: Fitoverm, Sunmite.
- Aphid. Small insects settle at the base of the stem, on the back of the leaves. Due to the huge number, it is not difficult to find them. Aktara insecticide will help to destroy such pests.
- Mealybug. It affects any part of the plant, after which it begins to dry. Control measures: brush off insects with a soft brush, treat the flower with soapy water, apply Actellik.
Compliance with the proper watering and nutrition regimen will help prevent ficus diseases and grow a beautiful plant.
Tips placing at home
It is best to put a pot with Weeping fig on the western or eastern windowsill. On the lighter south side, it should be shaded with light tulle or kept at a distance from the window. The northern direction is considered the least suitable for the location of a light-loving flower: insufficient illumination can provoke a slowdown in the development of culture.
Weeping fig is an attractive ornamental plant. It has unusual, very beautiful (often variegated) leaves. Such a flower loves warmth and moisture, therefore in the house it is necessary to create a certain temperature regime, high humidity for it. In order to grow a healthy plant, it is important to know how to properly care for Weeping fig at different times of the year.