Indoor plants

Ficus elastica

When and how much to water ficus elastica plants

The evergreen plants of Ficus elastica are native to India and in areas where the climate is continental, they are grown as houseplants. In this case, watering is regular in spring and during the summer season. To regulate itself, avoiding the onset of water stagnation, it is advisable to wait until the soil is dry, before giving more water again. It is important to always ensure the correct degree of ambient humidity by placing expanded clay in the saucer. In the southern regions, the specimens of Ficus elastica can live outdoors and should be irrigated especially during the hot summer months, such as July and August. With the arrival of autumn, the irrigations are gradually reduced and suspended completely during the cold season.

How to take care of ficus plants

The plants of Ficus elastica easily adapt to different environmental contexts, but prefer humid and temperate places. The ideal summer temperature does not exceed 24 ° C, while in winter the climatic conditions must never be below 10 ° C. They prefer very soft and well-drained soils, the most suitable substrate is composed of a good soil mixed with chopped bark or coarse sand. In this way, the correct drainage of irrigation is guaranteed, a fundamental aspect for the cultivation of Ficus elastica plants. Pruning interventions become necessary only when the development of overgrown plants must be contained. Furthermore, it is possible to have new specimens through the apical cuttings to root in spring.

When and how to fertilize the plant

Ficus elastica plants that grow in pots need periodic fertilization to grow continuously and luxuriantly. In fact, it is advisable to administer a good liquid fertilizer, to be diluted directly to the irrigation water, starting from the vegetative restart in spring. It is important to choose the most suitable product for this type of plants, the ideal is to opt for a solution that contains a high level of nitrogen, an essential macro-element for leaf development. The administrations should be repeated approximately every 15-20 days, until the arrival of autumn. The specimens of Ficus elastica that are grown outdoors can be fertilized through a slow release granular fertilizer to be dispensed in March, with the arrival of summer.

Ficus elastica: Exposure, diseases and remedies

Ficus elastica prefer very bright locations, preferably away from direct contact with the sun’s rays during the hottest hours. In fact, excessive exposure can cause obvious leaf burns. If the Ficus elastica are grown indoors, the ideal is to opt for an exposure facing east, while if they grow outdoors it is important to choose a cool, humid and well-ventilated place. When dark spots appear on the foliage, watering may not be sufficient. In this case, it is essential to provide a more frequent and regular water supply. In addition, they can suffer from rust, which affects large leaves causing them to gradually deteriorate. To combat the disease it is useful to use special fungicides based on copper or zinc.

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