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Ficus benjamina

Ficus benjamina

The plants of the ficus genus include not only the famous prickly pear, but also various ornamental species grown in apartments due to their splendid habit and the intense color of the leaves. In general, Ficus includes more than eight hundred species, divided between shrubs, vines and real trees that can reach up to thirty meters in height. Among the species of Ficus most cultivated for ornamental purposes, we remember the Ficuc Benjamina, a species native to Asia, with oval, narrow and pointed leaves, of an intense green color or streaked with white. In the apartment, the plant reaches a maximum of two meters in height, but has nothing to envy to the original species, because, even if small, it is able to replicate a tree composed of an erect stem and a sinuous and perfectly curved crown. tidy.ficus benjamina will be obtained by knowing the characteristics of this plant and its cultivation needs.


The ficus benjaminais an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia, belonging, like all species of the genus Ficus, to the Moraceae family. On a spontaneous level, the plant reaches considerable dimensions, even thirty meters, while in the nurseries its «heights» remain between two and five meters. The main characteristic of the benjamina ficub are its small, oval and pointed leaves, which are leathery green or streaked with white. The light streak occurs in the variety called starlinght, always belonging to the Ficus Benjamina. The flowers of the plant are grouped in small inflorescences called syconia. In reality, the syconia are the fruits that appear just like floral groupings. These appear in summer, because the plant grows very well at high temperatures, being a typical species of countries with a tropical climate. Flowers may not appear in apartment-grown species. The cultural characteristics of the ficus beniamina are, however, similar to the other varieties of the genus ficus, even if there may be slight variations as regards the ideal temperature for the growth of the plant. Ficus benjamina develops well at temperatures between 24 and 30 degrees, while other varieties of ficus need lower temperatures.

Exposure


Ficus benjamina, like other species of the genus ficus, loves light, but not direct sunlight, which could cause dryness or burn of the leaves. The ficus, in fact, loves the right degree of humidity and cannot stand dryness. In the warm months it is good to move the plant outdoors and expose it to partial shade. This trick will keep the leaves always healthy and luxuriant and will highlight their intense color even better. Also in the summer, when the plant is placed outdoors, care must be taken to choose places sheltered from the wind and drafts, which can damage the tightness and bearing of the leaves.

Cultivation


The ficus beniamina is grown in plastic or terracotta pots, which must be replaced when the plant has reached excessive size. The growth of the ficus benjamina is noticed when the roots come out from the bottom of the pot.

The repottingit must be done in spring. Generally, about two years pass from one repotting to another, a period in which the plant feeds on the reserve substances contained in the soil. This must be slightly acidic and composed of peat and leaf soil. This composition makes the pot soil soft and porous, avoiding water stagnation that can cause root rot. To facilitate the drainage of water, the bottom of the pot should be accompanied by a saucer enriched with expanded clay, earthenware or gravel, which will favor the drainage of excess moisture. To ensure correct moisture absorption, it is always advisable to use terracotta pots. Due to its height, the plant must be supported with bamboo laces that tie the leaves to the stem. In addition to preventing early leaf fall,

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