Ficus Elastica: Tips For Care, Reproduction and Transplantation

Ficus Elastica seems to be the most common ficus in home floriculture. Today it can be seen at home almost every second acquaintance, who understands something in the cultivation of ornamental flowers. It is an eternally green, exotic plant, which in domestic terms is intended for landscaping office or residential premises, and for production purposes ficus was grown for rubber. The fact that this plant produces a thick white juice, which can be used to create rubber, and itself – to heal scratches and fractures left by animals and people. Today, many people can already answer the question whether this juice is poisonous or not, because, perhaps, every owner of this plant has experienced its action. When it gets on the skin of an animal or a person, it causes irritation, allergic reaction and even dermatitis.

Ficus Elastica
Ficus Elastica photo

He began to cultivate in European floriculture quite a long time ago. Back in 1815, when he arrived here from faraway India and Indonesia, Ficus Elastica became one of the main decorations of the fancy living rooms, where the owners of the estate welcomed their friends. So the fashion for growing foreign plants at home was gaining momentum.

What did many professional and not very florists like Ficus Elastica? Well, first of all, these are its external characteristics: massive leathery leaves of dark green color, up to 30 cm long, elliptical shape, pointed at the end, with a light middle vein. The young leaf has a red pristle that dries out and falls away only when the leaf blossoms.

By the way, with quality care Ficus Elastica can grow one leaf per week.

In natural conditions, this species of ficus may blossom and bear fruit by inedible sycophanisms, and pollination occurs only by certain insects. In view of the fact that in domestic conditions, this method of pollination is impossible, then there will be no fruit. Although it sometimes happens that Ficus Elastica blooms in adulthood, provided that it has enough space, for example in a winter garden.

Ficus Elastica, variety - Tineke
Ficus Elastica, variety – Tineke photo

In addition, another pleasant circumstance is that Ficus Elastica does not require any special care for itself – and this is very important, especially for beginners.

Taking care of Ficus Elastica at home

  • Lighting: like other ficuses, Elastica prefers bright diffuse light. Direct sunlight can damage the plant, such as leaving burns on leaves. It can also withstand shadowing, but in this case it slows down its growth.
  • Temperature: the best option for this ficus in summer is +20 ºC – +25 ºC, a higher temperature can lead to unpleasant consequences. In winter, the best option will be at least + 15 ºC.
  • Watering: Ficus Elastica likes moderate watering when the soil is already a little dry, in the warm season twice a week, and in winter one.
  • Humidity: This indoor plant will be very grateful to you for frequent spraying and wiping of leaves with a wet sponge, as well as for a warm shower, which can be arranged once a month. In winter, it is best to wipe the leaves and put the ficus away from the radiator.

When carrying out a warm shower, it is recommended to cover the ground with a package, so that there would be no overwetting.

  • Transplanting: young ficus should be transplanted every year, increasing the diameter and depth of the new pot. For more mature plants, transplanting may only be necessary when the root system will fill the entire earthy lump.

When is it better to transplant? – you ask. The most favorable period for this is spring or early summer. To do this you should carefully remove the plant together with the ground from the old pot and transplant it into a new one, on a thick drainage layer. Fill the remaining place with fresh earth.

  • Dressing: Ficus Elastica is fertilized twice a month from spring until autumn. For this purpose, use liquid fertilizers, alternating organic and mineral.
  • Reproduction: breeding with cuttings is the best option for breeding Ficus Elastica at home. This method is called shredding. To do this, you will need small spurs (cuttings) of 10 cm – 15 cm cut aslant and cleanse of the milk juice under running water. Then you should remove all the leaves except the upper pair.

How to root the petiole? This can be done both in water and immediately in the substrate. After that, it is necessary to build a small greenhouse of polyethylene.  In addition, Ficus Elastica can also reproduce with the help of moss.

But how to plant a single leaf and grow out of it a shrub or a tree is already a task. The fact that the reproduction of a leaf does not give any results, except that the leaf just takes roots.

  • Pruning: Ficus Elastica is trimmed in order to keep the plant in the size that is most comfortable for your home. How do I trim Ficus Elastica? – It won’t be a big problem. If you cut only the tip, you can “stop” the growth, but how to make it branch? For this purpose, it is best to cut a few internodes, as well as pinch the top bud, which will provide a good branching.

It is best to trim the ficus in early spring with a sterile blade.

Diseases and pests

Leaf diseases or pest attacks are not so common with Ficus Elastica, but even without this can not do. For example, among insects, a shield and a spider mite can become dangerous, and you can get rid of them with a solution of tobacco dust. Only, the shield will need to be cleaned manually with a cotton swab.

But if your flower starts dropping leaves, there may be several reasons for this:

  • Excess moisture in the soil.
  • Lack of moisture.
  • Clotting or temperature changes.
  • Poor lighting.

By the way, this can also lead to black spots.

If the leaves are yellow, then you should pay attention:

  • Excessive fertilizer.
  • There are too many salts in the ground.
  • The pot is more than necessary for the plant.
  • Rot rotting.

And if the ficus does not grow, you should correct its lighting, improve nutrition or transplant into a bigger pot.

Damage and benefit from Ficus Elastica

Like any other plant, Ficus Elastica can bring both benefit and harm to its owners. For example, it very well cleans the air in the room from benzene, phenol and trichloroethylene, while forming amino acids and sugar.

Some believe that in addition to the external environment, Ficus Elastica is able to clean the energy at home, to get rid of depression and bad mood, and will help a young family to have a child. Also, this ficus reacts well to conversations with him.

But for people suffering from respiratory diseases, Ficus Elastica can cause exacerbation of the disease or even choking.