Ficus has more than 600 varieties, but few of them are grown indoors. The plant is native to tropical areas, and it has been one of the most popular plants for a long time. In a few years, it grows beautiful foliage, and brings nature to our homes.
In spite of its popularity, a ficus is a fairly picky and delicate plant. Therefore, if you choose to grow one, you need to prepare yourself to meet its needs.
The plant likes indirect, filtered sunlight. If you place a ficus in direct sunlight, it quickly drops its leaves. It doesn’t like low temperatures either, so after summer is over, you need to take it indoors. It can’t survive in temperatures colder than 16 degrees, and it thrives over 21 degrees.
How to take care of a ficus
Indoors, a ficus needs relatively high humidity. This can be provided by regular spraying or by mixing gravel into the soil. However, don’t forget that while the plant prefers moist air, dampness around its roots may cause rotting. Before watering, always check the top layer of the soil and water only if it feels dry.
A ficus grows fast, but it still needs nutrients in abundance. In the spring and summer add fertilizer once a month, and in autumn and winter every two months.
The most common problems
Almost every ficus owner had the experience that the plant simply dropped its leaves. This is how the plant responds to stress it suffers for one of the following reasons:
- dehydration or overwatering
- low humidity
- too little light
- relocation or transplanting
- temperature change
If your ficus begins to drop its leaves, check for the above factors.
Ficus is not very sensitive to pests, but if undergoes some stress and loses its leaves, small insects can attack it more easily. If this is the case, use neem oil to solve the situation.