Ficus Melany is one of the varieties of Ficus Elastica, which has established itself as an exotic ornamental plant, which is not required in care. But in contrast to its congeners, it has smaller leaves and trunk sizes. You see, Ficus Melany Elastica is the result of a mutation of Ficus Decora, which was grown in orangeries in the Netherlands and South Holland. The actual appearance is its miniature copy. Leaves of Melany in length reach 15 cm, while the ancestor’s leaves – up to 25 cm; in width only to 7 cm. The upper leaf plate is dark green in color, smooth and glossy, with a lighter vein, from which the thin “vascular” depart. The lower part of the leaf has a brown olive color, a little rough feel, the middle vein is red-orange. Leaves have an elliptical shape with a sharpening at the top. The trunk grows small, as the size of each node reaches 2 cm. This Ficus Elastica branch well, unlike other varieties.
The photo shows Ficus Melany Elastica:
We have already mentioned more than once that Ficus Elastica does not require ultra-complicated care at home, and Melany is no exception.
- Lighting: Ficus Melany prefers bright diffuse light that will not burn the leaves. It can also safely bear the penumbra, but it slows down growth.
If left in the shade for a long time, the lower leaves may dry out and even fall off.
- Temperature: The temperature limits of this ficus variety are very wide – from +13 °C to +30 °C. Temperatures above or below these extremes can have a negative impact on your plant’s health.
Protect Ficus Melany from drafts, which can also lead to death.
- Watering: Water every time the earth dries up. At the same time, there should be so much water that the ground gets wet half a finger deep.
- Air humidity: When the room is dry, increase the humidity by spraying or rubbing the leaves of the plant with a wet sponge.
- Transplantation: Unlike other Ficus Melany species, it does not need to be transplanted annually. But if you bought a plant in a tiny pot, you should change it to a larger one a few days after purchase. Also ficus need to be transplanted, if the root system has already occupied the entire earth lump. In the case of an adult plant – you need to clean the roots of the old soil, washed them carefully and planted in a new substrate, but if the ficus is still young, it just need to transfer to a larger pot, ie, leave the roots in the old ground and a little sprinkle with new. Transplantation is better done in spring or early summer.
- Feeding: fertilize from spring to autumn with a universal substrate, approximately once in 2 weeks. In winter, once a month.
- Reproduction: Reproduction is carried out in two ways: by cuttings and by air. In the first case, it is necessary to separate the beautiful and healthy cuttings and place them in a glass of water until the milk juice stops leaking. After that, we move it into a new glass with a diluted stimulant for about a couple of weeks. Then, when the roots have already appeared, the plant can be transplanted into a pot with a layer of drainage and a mixture of peat and sand.
- Pruning: Pruning is done at the end of winter or in early spring, so that the ficus is beautifully branched. To do this, you need to trim to 6 internodes from the tops. You should do this with a sharp knife in gloves. Leaking juice will need to be wiped with a damp sponge or a rag, cuts are not treated with anything.
Diseases and pests
Among the most popular pests for this species of ficus are spider mite, thrips and shield. To control them, you can use special solutions, including Fitofarm, and remove them manually.
The diseases of Ficus Melany occur mainly due to improper care. Thus, the cause of leaf fall may be both excessive and insufficient watering. And the appearance of brownish spots may indicate that the plant is burned by direct sunlight, or over-fed with fertilizers.