Ficus Benjamin (60 photos): varieties and features of care
Among the capricious domestic plants, a special place is occupied by Benjamin's ficus. Indeed, in any incomprehensible situation, a beautiful and lush tree instantly drops its leaves. But believe that if you carefully treat a sensitive guest, the ficus will certainly bring happiness and health to the house! So why not give it a try?
If you see a beautiful evergreen ficus in the house - this is probably Benjamin's ficus, because it is he who is the most popular in our latitudes. In warm countries and on islands, he lives in the wild and grows up to 20 m. From all sides, a huge plant produces aerial roots, which become an additional support.
Even at home, Benjamin's ficus easily grows to the ceiling, so it is better to trim and shape it. Leathery leaves can be plain or spotty. They are relatively small, as for ficus - up to 10 cm, but there are a lot of them. Several cuttings are planted in one pot at once, which are then intertwined into one large and beautiful plant.
Varieties of Ficus Benjamin
Between themselves, the varieties differ in the shape and color of the leaves, so you can collect a variegated and varied green corner from different ficuses of Benjamin. Certain species are used in landscape design, but only in warm regions.
Ficus Benjamin's Starlight
The popular decorative variety is notable for its very variegated and slightly curved leaves. Large creamy and white spots are scattered on the green plates, and sometimes completely white leaves are found.
Ficus Benjamin "Exotic"
A very decorative and neat weeping variety with green on warm islands is used for urban landscaping. In the apartment, he is extremely unpretentious and grows even on the northern windows.
Ficus Benjamin "Kinks"
This is a compact variety that grows on average up to 40 cm on the windowsill. It has motley small leaves, bizarrely bordered around the entire contour. As they grow older, a small bush is pulled into a neat tree.
Ficus Benjamin "Curly"
Each shoot is dotted with completely different leaves: straight, wavy and corrugated. There are dark and light, green and colorful, whitish and yellowish plates - very unusual.
Ficus Benjamin "Baft"
If you need beautiful monophonic leaves up to 8 cm - grade Baft for you. The saturated green color with a shiny surface looks interesting in contrast to the yellowish edging. In summer, such a ficus Benjamin grows even faster than usual.
Ficus Benjamin "Wyandi"
The peculiarity of the variety is a bizarre curved trunk, but it is very fragile and requires careful handling. But if you wish, you can even twist it into a loop dotted with small green leaves up to 3 cm.
Benjamin Ficus Care
Any tropical plant needs appropriate conditions. In the first place, warmth and humidity, because without them the leaves fade, dry and fall off. Variegated varieties are especially capricious in this regard.
In the summer, the thermophilic plant feels good at 18-25 degrees, although some variegated varieties like temperatures higher. You can take the pot out into the yard or onto the balcony. In winter, choose a cool corner in the room, but make sure that the temperature is not below 16 degrees.
Ficus needs a lot of diffused light from the east or west windows. Otherwise, it will have to shade or set aside further into the room. In winter or just as you wish, you can use phytolamps.
Take a couple of days of settled water, be sure to warm it at least to temperature. The frequency depends on the drying rate of the substrate, because Benjamin's ficus does not respond well to overflow and underfilling. Check with a stick so that the soil has time to dry by 3-4 cm. In summer, add a moisturizer, wet expanded clay, spraying and a warm shower.
Ficus grows better in neutral soil, although composition may vary. For example, add peat and coal to the shop universal primer for the structure. The pot must have drainage holes and a good layer of expanded clay, so that the roots do not rot.
Fertilizers and fertilizing
Ficus is actively growing, so it needs nitrogen and complex fertilizers. You can alternate organic and mineral mixtures, watering with additives, root and foliar top dressing. Start in March and finish the procedure completely until October with an interval of up to three weeks.
Transplantation and reproduction
Young ficus will have to be transplanted annually because it is growing rapidly. Choose a flowerpot a couple of centimeters more and transfer the plant by transshipment. Ficuses from 7 years old live in the same pot for 2-3 years, until the roots begin to peek from above or into the drainage holes. And from 12 years it is enough to change a couple of centimeters of substrate from above so that the soil does not deplete.
Benjamin's ficus is propagated by cuttings from adult semi-lignified branches with 4-6 leaves. Wash the slice, treat it from the fungus and leave it in water or a light substrate under the film for a couple of weeks. As soon as the roots get stronger, transplant the stalk into a pot and gradually remove it from the “greenhouse”.
Old ficuses can be propagated by layering from strong lignified shoots. Make a small cut on the bark with a ring and slightly remove the top layer. Treat with a growth stimulant, wrap with sphagnum and hide under a film until the roots appear.
Benjamin's ficus is growing very fast, so it needs to be regularly shortened and thinned out. In early spring, remove the longest branches, weak shoots and everything that grows inward. If desired, the plant can be formed into a ball or cone. Separate small branches can be removed or pinched until September.
Pest and Disease Control
Due to regular waterlogging of the soil and lack of oxygen, root rot develops and ficus quickly turns yellow, and then it darkens and dies. The plant must be removed from the pot, carefully inspect the roots, cut off the damaged parts, dry and transplant.
If the leaves are covered with chaotic and uneven spots - treat the ficus with fungicides and adjust the care. It can be anthracnose, cercosporosis and some more unpleasant fungal diseases.
The main pests of the ficus are the scab, which feeds on juice, and the spider mite, as if leaving a white coating. There is still a mealybug, but it is easiest to spot in the early stages. The body of the parasite seems to be covered with cotton, so that it stands out on green leaves. In all cases, you need to thoroughly wash the leaves with soap and water, and if this is not enough, use insecticides.
Ficus Benjamin - photo
Benjamin's indoor ficus can be completely different - from a small neat pot on the windowsill to a huge sprawling tree. Look, what a beauty!