Ficus Benjamina is a beautiful plant, which will become a symbol of happiness and well-being in any home. It has long been believed that this flower gives love and wealth, and in the family will reign of understanding. But how to properly care for it, what conditions must be provided, and what to do if the ficus leaves fall off?
Ficus Benjamina grows to 30-40 cm, leaves – to 10 cm. Its appearance is similar to that of a small tree. Quite common is the question of how this species blooms, but growing it at home, you can not see the flowers – only in wildlife. Flowering, as well as the shape of the leaf, can be different – monochrome green is found no less than chaotic white veins. The edges can be straight or wavy.
The plant came from America and is characterized by whimsicality – it immediately drops the leaves in case of improper care. Therefore, the owners should take care of ensuring comfortable conditions for the flower.
First of all, it is necessary to provide a suitable place for the flower. It should be away from direct sunlight, taking into account that heat as well as drafts can seriously harm the flower. After purchase, the leaves should be wiped with a soft, slightly damp cloth or at least refreshed with a sprayer, as they are often treated with special sprays for shine.
Important! Squeezing is not allowed. The room must be kept at a certain temperature, otherwise the ficus will start dropping the leaves very quickly.
Proper care of the Ficus Benjamina involves ensuring a constant supply of fresh air into the room. The humidity should not be below 50%, otherwise the plant will need additional watering. The sprayer is the main helper in the care of this room tree.
Despite the fact that this plant will be uncomfortable on the window sill, it is not desirable to place it on the floor either. For a thermophilic ficus, a special stand is best, on which it will be protected from drafts and the sun.
Taking care of Ficus Benjamina at home
In order for Ficus Benjamina to please its owners for a long time, it is important to provide the necessary care to this plant with a wilful character that needs constant care.
- Watering: The intensity and frequency of watering depends on the season, as well as the temperature in the apartment. In summer it is more difficult to provide the necessary level of humidity and not to flood the soil with water. To achieve an optimal balance, it is necessary to focus on the state of the soil – if the soil is about 2-3 cm dry, it is time for humidification. This plant should be watered from above, not in a tray.
Important: Water from the water supply system is not suitable because of the high content of lime, which causes serious damage to green areas. You should use only filtered liquid, which was defended for at least several days.
The watering intensity is reduced in winter. It is better to refill the water gradually, in several consecutive steps – once the first portion is absorbed, you can start the next one. This will ensure optimum soil humidity.
It is important to consider that if the ground dries for a long period of time, the room tree begins to get sick and can die.
- Feeding: Ficus requires special care – it is better to choose a special dressing. Mineral concentrates alternate with organic ones. They should be added once in 2 weeks, during the growth period – more often. The fertilizer is diluted in water according to the instructions – the resulting liquid is used for irrigation.
In winter, the use of supplementary feeding is not required, but if necessary you can dilute half or even a third of the usual dose. Not relevant fertilizers and after transplanting – most often the finished nutrient medium (substrate) already contains all the elements necessary for the plant.
- Formation: When trimming and crown formation, you need to consider a few simple rules. Namely:
- First, pruning is performed, after it – transplantation.
- The form is created in February, before the active period of growth begins.
- Disinfect the secateurs with alcohol or manganese (the solution should be pink)
- On the main bush should remain at least 5 sheets, side shoots are removed.
Ficus Benjamina can be given almost any shape – it is a great opportunity to embody any design ideas. And some of its varieties can be cut at any time of year. It is better to buy a “support” in advance, which will help the tree to get stronger quickly. Or you can even combine several flowers in one pot, binding them together.
- Transplanting: The most important rule is not to damage the roots of the plant, so Ficus Benjamina transplanting requires maximum care. Spring is the best period for this procedure. To determine that the ficus needs a new pot is quite easy – if the roots have already appeared from the drainage holes, it is time to start transplanting.
For young plants, the pot is renewed every year – a capacity of 2 fingers wider than the previous one is purchased. Choosing as a weave trunks of several colors, it is important to take into account that they will need a spacious pod – in the future it is enough to update the top layer of soil. The older the plant, the less frequently it needs to be replanted. The soil should be able to transmit moisture and air well.
When choosing the soil, you should give preference to a substrate that is saturated with the necessary fertilizers and allows good penetration of moisture and air. In a standard mixture, you can add a small amount of sand, turf and peregnoya.
- Reproduction: As well as transplanting, reproduction of Ficus Benjamina is carried out with the advent of spring. This is a period of active growth, which greatly simplifies the task. The procedure is quite simple:
- Cut off the upper stem with several leaves
- Place it in a water jar
- Regularly renew water
- Put it in the pot (after the appearance of roots, after about 3 weeks).
During growth, the cuttings should be in a place that is well lit. After the appearance of the roots should be planted in separate pots, covered with each can – you get the effect of a greenhouse, so the stem will begin to move quickly upwards.
For pruning it is important to choose cuttings that are half woody – the distance from the bottom cut to the nearest node should be at least 2-3 cm.
Diseases and pests Ficus
The flower has a capricious character, so the question of why the ficus leaves fall off and yellow, is one of the most common among its owners. You should not ignore this problem in any case – it can lead to the death of the plant. What are its causes?
Balance of humidity and temperature
The room should maintain an optimal balance of temperatures – if the thermometer column fell below +17C or rose above +25C, then instead of a beautiful tree remain bare cuttings. A similar situation with a lack of moisture – if the air in the room is too dry, it is important to use a few times a day a sprayer or a humidifier.
Fertilizer and irrigation
It is a common question why Ficus Benjamina does not grow and why its leaves fall off. When such a problem occurs, it is important to change the usual care. The reason may be not only the lack, but also an excess of nutrients, so it is very important to stick to a certain schedule of feeding.
Watering should be moderate – if the top layer of soil is not dried by 2-3 centimeters, it is better not to rush to refill the water. No liquid is poured into the tray. If you continue to water the plant in winter with the same intensity as in summer, it will lose leaves very quickly.
What if the ficus leaves fall off
Often Ficus Benjamina drops its leaves due to the fact that it is weakened by pests, control of which is important to start as soon as possible. The most important enemy is the “spider mite”. These are miniature red bugs, which are very difficult to notice, because they are on the inner surface of the leaf. The disease spreads almost instantaneously, the leaves lose the brightness of colors, white spots appear, which increase rapidly.
Important: If a dust mite is detected, it is important to treat not only the ficus, but also the flowers standing nearby. Otherwise, the disease will return again in a short time.
To eliminate the pest, it is important to gently wipe the leaves with a mild soap or alcohol solution and then rinse them with clean water. After that, the plant is treated with one of the special preparations, which greatly simplifies the treatment. With other pests that appear on the leaves, such as shields or powdery worms, it is common to fight with similar methods.
Diseases that lead to leaf fall
There is a whole list of diseases that can cause white spots on the leaves, as well as their subsequent fall. The most common diseases and treatments:
- Intracnose is a dangerous fungus, which is important to eliminate as soon as possible, otherwise the plant will die. At first, spots appear, which turn into ulcers very quickly. For treatment, the damaged areas are removed, after which treatment with special sprays is performed. It is necessary to ensure an inflow of air into the room, reducing irrigation and humidity.
- Cerkosporosis – black spots on the back side of the sheet. The disease is well advanced in a humid environment. Since it is also a fungal disease, the treatment is similar to that of anthracnose.
- Sooty fungus – often remains on the surface of the plant even after the final removal of all pests. This prevents the air flows, and as a result, the flower will not develop as actively as it could. To eliminate this disease, it will be necessary to completely remove the black plaque that appeared on the surface.
To estimate all the beauty of Ficus Benjamina, you can see on the photo – this plant is not for nothing enjoys worldwide popularity. Providing proper care, you can grow your own miniature tree, always pleasing to the eye. Ficus Benjamina is a beautiful and unusual plant, but it needs special care. If the leaves fall off or the trunk does not grow higher, it is important to review the watering and fertilizer regime, as well as to make sure that there are no possible diseases – and the problem will be solved.