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Ficus is considered one of the most common and favorite potted plants around the world. Why was he so loved? And is it easy to grow this evergreen handsome in your apartment?
- Brief characteristics of the plant
- Rules for the care and cultivation of rubbery ficus
- The main diseases that ficus is susceptible to
- Falling and yellowing of foliage
- Causes of the appearance of white spots on the leaves
- Reasons for the appearance of dark spots on the leaves
Brief characteristics of the plant
The tree has another name - elastic (Ficus Elastica), belongs to the Mulberry family. In the 19th century, it was grown for the production of rubber. The homeland is India and the southern part of Indonesia from the islands of Sumatra and Java, where it grows into a tall tree, up to almost 30 meters, and is revered by local Buddhists as sacred, and in indoor conditions it rarely grows above 2 meters.
In its natural environment it can grow in the Mediterranean, in more northern latitudes it is grown only indoors, since it does not have resistance to low temperatures.
The most famous species found in the homes of florists include:
- Belize. They have light pink or white patterns along the edge.
- Variegata. The sheets are thin, feathery, streaks on the sheets are light ..
- Robusta. The most common species with large leathery green leaves.
It is a tree with one trunk, without side branches, but in the process of growth, branches and aerial roots appear on it, which, under the influence of warm and humid climatic conditions, reach the soil and form new trunks.
The leaves are rather large, reaching 30 cm, leathery, elongated, dark green, alternating. Very young leaves are brown.
The flowers are unimportant, inconspicuous and pollinated by insects - pollinators, but flowers do not appear at home.
On the surface of the crown or stems, sometimes you can see light specks with milky juice. If you touch open areas of the skin to them, you may experience dermatitis, allergic reactions, therefore, when working with the plant, you need to be careful and put the pot out of the reach of children and pets.
Rules for the care and cultivation of rubbery ficus
To obtain a strong, strong tree does not require large cash and labor costs, it is enough to follow the rules of care and provide the tree with optimal conditions.
The optimum temperature ranges from + 20 to +25 degrees in summer, and not lower than +15 degrees in winter.
Loves fertile, loose soil. Such soil can be made by yourself by mixing sod soil, coarse river sand and humus in equal proportions, or by adding sand and humus to the purchased soil mixture. The tree loves replanting as the roots grow quickly and require more space. Therefore, annually in spring or early summer, it is transplanted into a larger container by transshipment.
Top dressing is carried out from the beginning of spring to mid-autumn, 2 times a month, alternating liquid organic and mineral fertilizers.
When growing indoor ficus, it is necessary to provide it with full-fledged lighting: bright, but diffused and sometimes shaded light will be an ideal option. Due to the lack of light, the lower foliage turns yellow and falls off. In winter, with insufficient illumination, the number of irrigations is reduced and the temperature in the room is lowered, preferably up to +17 +18 degrees.
From cold drafts, dark brown spots may appear on the leaves of the ficus; it cannot withstand hypothermia.
It needs constant but moderate. After watering, you need to wait for the soil to dry by 1-2 cm. It also responds well to spraying with water at room temperature, not lower than 15 degrees, especially in the cold season with constant battery operation.
The tree, as it gets dirty, is wiped with a damp sponge from the outside and inside.
The plant requires moderate pruning for crown formation. As it grows, the lower leaves fall off and a bare trunk remains. Pruning is carried out at the end of winter and not only the top of the head is cut off, but also 4-6 internodes in the upper part of the tree.
The evergreen tropical guest reproduces in several ways.
After pruning, the resulting cuttings take root and grow into young ficuses. Before the planting procedure, the resulting cuttings are kept in clean water until the end of the flow of milky juice. And after that they are planted in moistened and heated soil from below.
To obtain layering on the tree, a longitudinal incision is made from top to bottom about 0.5-0.8 cm and a match processed in Kornevin or another similar preparation is inserted into the incision. A piece of wet sphagnum is wrapped on top with a plastic wrap for a long time. After 40-70 days, the roots that have appeared will become noticeable under the film, and you need to cut off the layers and plant in a prepared container.
With proper and timely care, this is a long-lived plant that can live for half a century. Ficus is little susceptible to attack by pests and diseases, and brown or white spots on the leaves, their drying are indicators of improper care: improper watering, cold drafts, lack of lighting.
The main diseases that ficus is susceptible to
The most common diseases of rubber ficus include:
As a result of the defeat of this fungal disease, small black spots appear on the leaf plates, they turn completely yellow only with severe damage. Treatment consists in removing the affected foliage and treating it with special agents - fungicides.
This fungal disease results in rusty stains. Treatment also focuses on getting rid of the affected parts and treating them with a fungicide.
Fungal disease, with this disease, the leaf plates begin to fade and rusty spots appear on them, increasing over time. They get rid of the disease by removing damaged leaves and spray with fungicides.
Falling and yellowing of foliage
Why do ficus leaves turn black?
This may be due to the following factors:
- improper watering: too abundant or insufficient. Rubbery ficus reacts sharply to excess or lack of moisture, so try to revise the watering rates;
- lack of light. If the pot is in a dark place, try moving it to a brighter place, but not in direct sunlight. The tree should resume foliage growth. But the option of a new reset of foliage is possible due to the stress of rearranging to a new place;
- unsuitable pot. Too small or, conversely, a large pot can also cause yellowing. This problem is solved by selecting a suitable capacity;
- diseases of the root system. Such diseases are determined by the smell from an earthen coma. If this smell is unpleasant, then the roots have begun to rot or are affected by disease.
Carefully remove all excess soil, rotting roots, dry them slightly and transplant them into a new pot.
Causes of the appearance of white spots on the leaves
Diseases appear mainly due to too abundant watering, hypothermia and inappropriate temperature conditions. The reasons for such formations on the crown may be.
Lack of sunlight or low room temperature
This reason is eliminated by changing the growing conditions: moving the pot to a more illuminated place and increasing the temperature.
Spider mite damage
These small arthropods live and develop in plant tissues and feed on cell sap. The signal for the undertaking of actions is small white spots on the entire surface of the leaves and described by their thin web. If you find pests, wash the entire crown, stems and trunk with soapy water, isolate it from the rest of the plants and treat the tree with special targeted preparations: Borneo, Floromite, Kleschevit, Akarin.
Defeat by thrips
Small insects lay clutches with eggs inside the leaf plates, and the larvae emerging from them gnaw the surface of the plate with powerful jaws. On the surface, motley small white spots begin to appear, and at the same time, black dots are visible next to the white spots - insect excrement.
It’s not easy to get rid of it, since these pests have a fast speed and spread through indoor plants, therefore, complex and systemic treatment of plants with drugs such as Aktara, Vertimek, Mospilan is important for the fight.
Treatments are carried out according to the instructions until the thrips completely disappear in the apartment.
Reasons for the appearance of dark spots on the leaves
There are many reasons for the appearance of various dark spots, and the main ones are.
You are probably keeping him in inappropriate conditions.
Common care mistakes are:
- placement near batteries and heating devices. As a result of exposure to hot air, the foliage suffers, dries up and brownish specks appear on it;
- the use of inappropriate feedings or their excessive use. It is preferable to use fertilizers with a high nitrogen content, and feed no more than once every 15 days. Large amounts of such substances contribute to the development of many diseases and the formation of some deviations in the growth and development of the flower;
- excessive watering. When flooded, the tree reacts with the appearance of brown dark spots. In this case, the grower will be tedious to transplant the flower into a container with new soil. When transplanting, carefully check the root system and remove the spoiled rotten roots and sprinkle with activated carbon on the sections;
- exposure to drafts leads to the appearance of darkening. The tree should be placed in places protected from drafts.
If the darkening is not associated with errors in care, then the flower may be affected by diseases, such as:
- Gray rot. It is not common, but sometimes it affects some types of indoor plants, including ficus. Due to the occurrence of mold, the crown begins to fade, and then dies off. To fight, the damaged parts are removed and treated with special preparations.
- Fungal lesions are formed with improper care or an unfavorable position of the pot. To get rid of the disease, all infected parts are removed from the tree and no moisturizing spraying is carried out for some time.
- Shield or false shield. The presence of these pests leads to a slowdown in growth, brown spots appear on the leaf plates, in some places they are covered with a sticky bloom, which quickly spreads throughout the plant, therefore, the fight against the pest begins immediately after detection.
- Decay of the root system. It occurs due to the constant flooding of the roots, and it will be quite difficult to save the tree. Transplanting into another pot and removing damaged roots can help in this case.
If you find at least one speck on your evergreen indoor inhabitant, immediately start fighting the disease. Reconsider your care system, purchase a high-quality insecticide that can quickly deal with the problem. Or, for these purposes, you can use folk remedies.
Such means include a copper-soap solution or a fungicide solution. To prepare a copper-soap mixture, grate 20 grams of laundry soap and dilute it in 1 liter of clean warm water.
Dissolve 3 g of copper sulfate separately in water and then mix the resulting liquids. The solution is treated with the tree daily from the outside and inside until the dark spots disappear completely.
Ficus is one of the most beloved and popular indoor plants. It is easy to take care of the tree, it is quite unpretentious, but it looks very impressive and is suitable for any interior.
But sometimes even the most unpretentious plant can suffer from diseases or respond to changes in care. The main thing is not to leave it to chance, but to take action in time and you will be able to keep your evergreen indoor inhabitant in perfect condition.
Find out more about ficus, about the features of care and its cultivation in indoor conditions, as well as about the causes of various diseases, the appearance of dark spots on foliage and methods of treating a tree when watching a video: