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Ficus elastica cutting

Ficus elastica

Native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Ficus elastica is an evergreen plant that can be grown both in pots and in the open ground. If cultivated in pot, it can reach a height of 3 meters; if instead it is grown in the ground it can reach up to about 30 meters in height. This plant is also known by the name «Ficus del cacciù» for the latex it contains, used precisely to make the cacciù. In nature, Ficus elastica takes on the appearance of a real sapling, while in pot it grows upright and with few branches. The plant consists of a smooth brown-gray bark; its leaves, oval in shape and quite large (25 – 30 centimeters), are shiny, rigid and leathery to the touch. These, initially rolled up in a reddish «case»,

Cultivation

Ficus elastica are plants of easy cultivation, very common in apartments especially in Europe because they are considered ornamental plants. They don’t like direct sunlight, but they need to grow in well-lit areas. They are plants that fear the cold, temperatures not below 12 – 15 ° C are welcome. In spring they grow well even in open places, on the contrary in cold periods. You must be very careful in moving the plant from closed to open places, they do not like sudden changes in temperatures and drafts. It is preferable for the plant to use a soft and well-drained soil, or to create a mixture with universal soil, sand and chopped bark. As for watering, they must be carried out regularly in the period from April to September,

Ficus elastica cutting: Cutting reproduction

There are two reproduction techniques for the plant, that by cuttings and that by layering, but we will focus on that by cuttings. It is necessary to take the cutting of about 10 – 12 cm from a branch through a clean cut below a node, where then the roots will sprout once placed under the ground. Starting from the bottom, remove the leaves up to half length and bury them in a mixture of sand and peat. The temperature to be maintained is 16 – 18 ° C, if all this is done in the summer we do not need protection, on the contrary, it is advisable to cover the container every other day. Water gently so as not to disturb the cutting. After about a month, the plant must be transplanted in pots or in the ground in order to actually develop it as a stand-alone specimen.

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