Like the name suggests, the Ficus is a tree and is more commonly known as a weeping fig. It is usually found in both subtropical and tropical regions such as Southeast Asia and Australia; however, it is more popular as an indoor plant. The Ficus is a flowering plant from the Moraceae family.
It has over 1100 known species at present with varying sizes, shapes, and growth rates. This plant comes from the tropical and temperate zones and is epiphytic in nature.
Epiphytic plants generally grow on other plants or trees and are dependent on them merely for their support but not for food purposes. They procure their nutrients from air, rain, and water. Upon acquiring stability on the host plant, they might compete for sunshine outdoors.
The best part about the tree is that no matter the size, whether big or small, this particular houseplant maintains a tree’s shape. The leaves are glossy and dark, grown on slender branches that emerge from a grey trunk. The size is perfect for an indoor plant that grows up to 6 feet inside.
Ficus plants require medium to high filtered light to grow properly. Its large leaves need a sufficient amount of light for cells to produce figs. Therefore, it should be placed next to a light-facing window to get all the light it needs indoors. Due to their delicate state, over-light would cause it to die, whereas under-light would cause drooping of leaves.
If you want to keep the tree outside during summers, make sure the pot is in the shade. Be careful not to expose them to direct sunlight as the leaves tend to burn.
The Ficus tree likes water; however, it doesn’t prefer the soil to be soggy. Hence, before watering the tree, you can touch the soil’s top to check if it’s wet. If it’s wet, that means you don’t need to add any more water for the time being.
You have to figure out a moderate balance of feeding the tree with water. Either way, the roots shouldn’t be soggy at any given point in time.
Temperature and Humidity
Being tropical and temperate, fiddles are generous to warmer and humidified areas. The ideal temperature indoors is 18°C- 24°C. Although it can endure up to 35°C, the falling temperature below 10°C would cause the leaves to turn brown. Sudden temperature changes will cause problems. A mixture of peat moss and organic moss is best if it is to be grown in a pot or container.
Houseplants generally come from tropical and temperate zones where the humidity is higher, ranging from 40%-60%. To increase humidity levels, more plants can be placed near the fiddle-leaf fig. They can survive up to 75%-90%, but it distorts their growth cycle.
Like most houseplants, the Ficus tree requires high humidity to bloom. There are many ways to create humidity, such as regularly spraying a water mist on the plant or plugging a humidifier nearby.
During the summer months, which are the growing months for this tree, a liquid fertilizer will do wonders for the plant at half its strength. As an alternative, a slow pellet fertilizer once the growing season starts will also provide the plan with a boost.
Fiddles are generally highly toxic to children and pets. Ergo, special care is advised for adopters as its leaves contain calcium oxalate, which can be fatal for children and pets. They shouldn’t be ingested; otherwise, they cause stomach irritation.
By and large, fiddle-leaf figs are a good source of air purification because of their giant leaves. Their leaves have more surface to transpire; thus, they take in microbes from the air and filter them to produce a higher oxygen volume.
Pruning the plant is crucial to control and promote new growth. Pruning is necessary when you notice dead or wilted leaves. This can be done during any season, but it’s best to prune during spring. While pruning, you can also trim and shape the plant as per your liking, but it’s advisable not to trim from the top.
Repotting your Burgundy Rubber Plant every few years allows it to grow. Using large pots for repotting is not suitable for their growth. Therefore, it is recommended to use a container that is an inch bigger in diameter than the previous one.
Pest and Diseases
There are a few pests and diseases that you can find in your plant.
Aphids and Scales: These insects are attracted to the sap of the plant. Scales can be removed using a cotton ball dipped in alcohol. Whereas, Aphids can be removed using a spray of water and dish soap.
Spider mites: The sign of this is when a spider web is formed on the leaves. Remove this web from the plants and spray with insecticide.
Dust: Dust can easily accumulate on the plants; therefore, it’s a good idea to wash the leaves with a damp cloth
Root Rot and Loss of leaves: This can occur due to over-watering the plant. Hence, it is best to water when the soil feels dry to the touch. When root rotting is observed, immediately cut away the infected area to avoid it from spreading to the whole plant.
Yellow Leaf Edges: This could be due to poor soil mix, over-watering, or underfeeding. The solution for this is through the process of elimination only.
These beautiful indoor trees are well suited on a windowsill and add a spectacular look to the lounge if placed as a centerpiece. Once the plant starts to spread, it can also be placed to fill one of the corners in your sitting area or use as a space divider in your patio/garden. One of the studies by NASA also shows that they help purify the air in the house.