Ficus: its features
Ficus is a simple plant, but it is necessary to observe its features and requirements in the growing process. This group of plants differ in appearance, and has features in cultivation. In nature, there are many varieties of this plant. Among domestic the most popular is rubber-bearing ficus and Benjamin’s ficus.
Ficus rubbery or elastic – with large dark green leaves that grow on short cuttings. It is a popular species both for growing as a houseplant and in the garden.
]Another popular species among ficuses is Benjamin, which looks like a small tree with variegated, small leaves and thin branches. The conditions and methods of breeding these species are the same, but the breeding process itself has its own characteristics.
How to propagate rubber ficus? Ficus rubber reproduces in 3 ways: cuttings, leaf planting, air layering. When propagated by cuttings, the features of the mother plant are preserved.
How to propagate Ficus Benjamin? Ficus reproduces vegetatively: cuttings, layering, leaf.
Ficus propagates vegetatively by cuttings
Planting an Elastica leaf is much easier than a Benjamin leaf. For the latter type, you need to properly tear off the material and prepare it for planting.
The main methods of propagation of ficus
Reproduction of ficus is a simple process, and even a beginner can easily handle it. There are two main methods – leaf and stem propagation. How to propagate ficus? The optimal time for the procedure is during the warm period: spring – summer.
Reproduction of ficus cuttings at home
Note! Propagation of ficus cuttings is considered the simplest and most productive method to obtain specimens identical to the mother plant. Propagated by cuttings cut from semi-lignified branches.
For this method, sufficiently mature plants of at least 2 years are suitable. If the plant is young, then you should not injure it, so as not to slow down its growth.
When cuttings, the processes are not able to take root quickly. Rooting time depends on the method of reproduction. As a rule, rooting takes place within 6 weeks in the ground, and 4 weeks in water.
Cuttings 15 cm long, with 3-4 leaves are cut from the tops of the shoots of the mother plant. For a small-leaved variety, you need to cut a stem 10 cm long. The cut is made with a well-ground and disinfected knife, at an angle of 1 cm below the internode. The leaves at the node are removed or shortened by half if the leaf blades are large.
Rooting in the substrate
The sections are washed with water to remove the milky juice that has appeared. The cuttings are kept in the air for several hours to dry the injured areas. To facilitate the engraftment of the roots, sprinkle the cut with root formation powder.
It is worth preparing the ground in advance. You can buy it in specialized stores or cook it yourself. In the drainage layer, fine expanded clay or ceramic chips are used. The soil mixture should consist of peat and sand in equal parts, which is fried in a dryer for half an hour.
The cuttings are placed in the soil substrate along the second node. Many experts recommend creating a greenhouse effect. To do this, cover the container with a glass jar. Also use a mini-greenhouse made of polyethylene film.
The emergence of new shoots will indicate the successful rooting of the cuttings. When the ficus sprouts become strong, they can be transplanted into separate containers. It is better to use pots with a diameter of 7-9 cm.
Ficus should be planted in well-moistened and loose soil. To keep the top layer of soil from drying out, you can use needles or small sawdust. When placing young plants, direct sunlight is not allowed. Continue to water, keeping the soil constantly moist.
Some ficuses root very easily in water:
- cut off from the ends of the stems a cutting 15 – 20 cm with 4 -5 leaves;
- put in a glass of water, change the water regularly;
- put a piece of charcoal into the water, it will stay clean longer.
Water should be changed periodically. Use settled water at room temperature.
Rooting in water
After a month, the cuttings should take root. The shoots are transplanted into separate pots with soil.
Reproduction with a leaf
No less effective is leaf propagation. To propagate a ficus leaf, it must be carefully removed from the plant. Choose a healthy, large leaf without damage. Place it in a transparent glass of water, and place it in a well-lit place, avoiding direct sunlight.
In this case, you can use special preparations for the formation of roots. This tool lubricates the cut or enriches the water in which the sheet is located.
Additional Information! In a day, the first root will appear, and after 30-45 days the root system will be sufficiently developed, and the shoot can be planted in a pot. After a while, buds will appear and begin to develop.
At Benjamin, a branch is cut from a tree, but not from the top of the trunk, but from the bottom, along the innermost node. The shoot with leaves is cut off and immediately planted in the ground.
After the planting material takes root, it must be properly looked after. The first 3-4 weeks it is necessary to ensure the temperature regime within + 22-25 ° C, and the air humidity should not be lower than 70-80%. In the future, you can take care of a young plant, as well as adult bushes.
Breeding ficus with air layering
This method is best used on mature and well grown plants. Almost all types of ficuses can be propagated in this way, but in order to carry out this process correctly, you must have certain knowledge and experience.
Breeding with air layers
A fairly stiff plant is taken. The area on which the layering will be located is cleared of greenery. This must be done carefully, without touching the bark. In the center of the prepared area, just below the kidney, with a sharp knife, make two circular cuts along the circumference of the branch, and carefully bend and remove the bark. The bare place is sprinkled with a powdered rooting agent.
Moss is put in place of the incision, which should be well moistened, and wrapped with cling film on top. Instead of moss, peat-rich soil is used. After a few months, the formation of young root shoots can be seen through the film. When this happens, you need to cut the branch and plant it in a pre-prepared individual pot.
Important! It is worth taking care of young sprouts carefully. They do not tolerate drought and direct sunlight. Further care at home is carried out as usual.
Proper care of young ficus plants
At first, they should be protected from direct sunlight and prevent the soil from drying out. All ficuses love timely watering, but they do not tolerate dampness and moisture stagnation in the root system.
Keep out of direct sunlight
For a healthy and long life of a flower, the following rules must be observed:
- choose the right place for a flower pot;
- it is important to take into account the necessary lighting;
- regular watering;
- compliance with the temperature regime;
- maintaining the required level of humidity in the room.
Which pot to choose for ficus? The best option is a ceramic pot with a drainage layer. It can be expanded clay, ceramic chips. After transplanting, the soil should be well compacted so that there are no empty spaces and the roots are not damaged. It is better to buy soil specially designed for ficus. The substrate can be prepared independently from peat and sand. 1-2 months after planting, the ficus does not need fertilizer. A young plant should be transplanted once a year, and an adult – once every 3-4 years.