A Guide To Ficus Alii Care
The Ficus Alii is a relatively new tree in the Ficus family and has been bred exclusively for indoor growing. This makes it one of the easiest Ficus plants to look after as it isn’t as sensitive to fluctuating conditions. The long, narrow leaves of this plant taper to a fine point, and as it grows it will take on a palm tree-like look as it’s stem becomes more prominent. Whilst this plant is a lot easier to look after than other ficus trees it does have some specific requirements, so this guide will go through everything you need to make this plant thrive.
What kind of soil does my Ficus Alii need?
The Ficus Alii is tolerant of most basic potting soils. You may want to add some sand or grit to the mix to help with drainage and aeration. The only soil you should avoid are those specifically made for roses and azaleas since they are more acidic and will damage the roots of your plants.
How much light does my Ficus Alii need?
The Ficus Alii will thrive in bright, but indirect light, but is more tolerant of shadier spots than other ficus trees. You should avoid direct sunlight as it may burn the leaves. This plant is much more tolerant to changes in light, but if put in too shady a position may begin to shed its leaves.
How often should I water my Ficus Alii ?
Allow the top inch of the soil to dry out before watering. When you water, do so lightly and use lukewarm water to reduce shock to the roots. Keep to a consistent routine when you water since all ficus plants will naturally shed their leaves and go dormant during periods of drought.
Do I need to fertilize my Ficus Alii ?
Feed your Ficus Alii once every other month in the spring and summer with a half-diluted liquid fertilizer.
Pruning Ficus Alii
It is best to prune your Ficus Alii when it is in a more dormant phase in late autumn to winter. You can choose to just prune to keep the plant neat or do a more thorough pruning to increase and encourage new growth. Remove any fading leaves as you see them and prune away any branches that begin to look messy, usually these will begin at the bottom of the stem.
How much humidity and heat does my Ficus Alii need?
The Ficus should be kept at an ideal temperature between 18 and 21 degrees celsius. They can survive slightly higher temperatures, but will decline quickly in colder temperatures. You should do your best to maintain a constant temperature in your room so avoid placing it near radiators or cold draughts.
The Ficus is a tropical houseplant that is native to the more humid areas on the planet. It has adapted to thrive in high humidity environments so would make an ideal houseplant for the kitchen or bathroom. Low humidity can cause the leaves to shrivel up and drop off. If your plant is not in a naturally humid room you should mist the leaves regularly with water or place your plant on a pebble tray.
What diseases or pests affect Ficus Alii ?
Root rot - root rot is caused when the soil is too wet for a long period of time. The first sign of root rot in your Ficus is that it drops its leaves without any warning. This may be caused by other reasons, so if you suspect root rot you can check by gently listing the plant from the soil to check the roots. Healthy roots are white and stiff, but infected roots will be black, discolored and smell rotten. To fix this issue you will need to prune away any affected roots and repot the plant into new soil. If you catch the problem in time it is easy to fix, but may cause some stress to your plant.
Fungal disease - The Ficus is prone to fungal infections and diseases when being pruned. You will first notice this as white, sometimes hairy, spots on the stems. To solve this issue you should immediately remove any part of the plant that has been affected with sterilized shears. If the disease continues to spread you may have to spray your plant with a houseplant friendly fungicide.
White fly - Whiteflies are sap-drinking flies that infest the leaves of plants. They are easily identified as they will climb over and lay their eggs on the leaves. If not dealt with, these plants can quickly slow down the growth of your plant and cause damage to the leaves. To remove a whitefly infestation, spray the plant with water or a houseplant friendly insecticide until they disappear.
How often should I repot my Ficus Alii ?
If given good growing conditions, the ficus is a fast-growing houseplant that will outgrow its pot quicker than some other plants. On average you will need to repot your ficus every two to three years when your pot grows too small for your plant. You can tell that your plant has outgrown its pot when its growth slows. Choose a pot that is one to two inches wider than your current one.
Fill the bottom of the new pot with soil with a small mound in the middle. Remove the Ficus from the old pot and loosen the soil around the roots. Place the plant in the new pot with the roots down the side of the mound. Pack new soil around the roots and water the plant well. In the first few weeks after repotting, the plant may droop slightly as it gets used to its new environment.