Quick plant care: Ficus

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Ficus is a popular type of house plant, with the Ficus Lyrata (Fiddle Leaf Fig), being one of the most common  among enthusiasts and beginners alike and it’s not hard to see why. It now features heavily in interior design and pairs perfectly with a modern, neutral interior design scheme. 

What is it? 

The Ficus is a stunning plant that features large, dark green, waxy leaves with a skinny trunk leading down to the soil at the bottom. 

Where is it from?

The Ficus is native to rainforests in Western and Central Africa. 

Light conditions & location 

Every houseplant needs different levels of light to grow so it’s important to be aware of what your individual plants need before finding a spot for them in your home.

Ficus prefer bright, indirect light. You can place this plant near a window or skylight to ensure that it has what it needs to thrive but make sure you avoid direct sunlight or complete shade as this will eventually kill your plant. 

Make sure you choose a fairly big, bright room for a Ficus plant. They like plenty of light but the room should be big enough that it won’t be exposed to harsh direct sunlight through the window. These plants can eventually grow tall and bushy too if left unpruned so make sure you’ve got room for growth too! 

Watering 

The Ficus can be a little bit picky when it comes to watering and there’s a fine balance between under and overwatering. 

When customers ask us how to water any houseplant, we always recommend sticking your finger in the soil to find out whether or not it’s damp. With a Ficus, if you find the soil is dry a couple of inches down, it will need watering. However, if the soil feels damp on top, it can be left for another day or too. 

Always get to know your plant and when it needs watering as it can vary at different times of the year and on the location of your plant.

Temperature 

Ficus prefer to be kept in temperatures between 16-24℃ which is room temperature in most homes so you shouldn’t have to do anything to raise or lower the temperature. Always avoid cold draughts or doorways as your Ficus can be sensitive to this. 

Humidity 

Ficus is a tropical plant so prefers a humid environment, keeping it away from air vents and draughts will help to keep your plant looking it’s best. 

If you want to increase the humidity around your plant, you could try grouping it with other plants, misting it occasionally or placing it in a pebble tray. 

Soil 

Ficus need well-draining fertile soil to get the nutrients they need.

Size 

When grown indoors, Ficus can reach up to 3m in height but it’s extremely slow growing and can take up to 15 years to reach its full maturity. However, they will grow to a decent size to make a statement in your home within three to four years. 

Good to know

  • Air purifying - this plant filters airborne toxins so, not only will it look good in your home, it will also help to clean the air in your home. 

  • Poisonous - Ficus is considered to be poisonous so it best kept out of the way of children and plants. 

 

  • Sensitive to environmental changes - Ficus take a while to adjust to their environment so, once you’ve found the perfect spot for your plant, we recommend that you leave it there if possible! 

Common problems to look out for

  • Dropping leaves - if your plant starts to drop leaves, it could be a sign of stress. If you’ve just moved the plant or bought it and it drops a few leaves, don’t worry too much, it should recover as it gets used to its environment.

  • Yellow leaves - this can be a sign of overwatering or not enough sunlight so adjust the conditions accordingly until this rights itself.

  • Leaf tips browning - this can be a sign of low humidity or under watering so try giving it slightly more water or mist the leaves regularly.  

  • Plant leaning to one side - this is usually because the plant is gravitating to wherever the sun is. Rotating the plant every now and again can help to solve this problem. 

 

If you want to know more about the common problems with houseplants and how to solve them, please read our guide 

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