Rubber (rubber) ficus also has another little-known name - elastic rubber. This plant came to us from the Indonesian islands and the north-east Indian regions. It is very unpretentious and does not require special care or certain skills. How to independently grow a rubber ficus, care at home for which is unusually simple?
What is a ficus Elastic?
Many crop lovers have seen photos of rubber ficus or a plant live and would have liked to grow this powerful handsome man at home. The plant can grow quite strongly - up to 30 meters in height and several meters in width. The tree has a lot of aerial roots that grow into the ground, coming down to it from the trunk. It is they who supply the rubber ficus with necessary substances and give it a peculiar form, which is often called “banyan”.
The plant has fleshy dark green leaves. They are a bit pointed, and their body most often has the shape of an ellipse. The leaves are initially wrapped in small brown stipules. When the leaves open, they dry out and fall off very quickly.
The rubber tree blooms extremely rarely, since for this it must be pollinated by certain insects. In terms of room content, ficus elastica almost never blooms. But this is not a big loss: its flowers and fruits are plain and absolutely useless. This plant has received its name because of the volatile milky juice, which contains large quantities of rubber, successfully used for the production of rubber.
At home, the care of rubber ficus unusually simple. That is why it is often chosen by people who have just begun to engage in gardening at home, or those who spend a lot of time at work and cannot give their plants proper attention.
Most often, fans of indoor plants choose the following varieties of ficus elastic:
- Black Prince;
What conditions loves rubber rubber plant?
Care at home for rubber rubber does not create any particular difficulties. This plant loves quite bright places, but you can’t put it under direct sunlight. By and large, a pot of ficus can be located in the shade, but in this case it will grow quite slowly. In addition, with a lack of light, the lower leaves are likely to quickly fall off.
The optimum air temperature for ficuses of this variety should be between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius. But, if the temperature briefly goes beyond the specified limits, the plant will be able to move it calmly enough.
Watering ficus rarely need: abundant watering is usually enough once every 6-7 days. In the summer heat, the frequency can be increased to two times a week. The leaves of this plant in the hot period of the year should be regularly sprayed with clean water from a spray bottle, and in the winter - just wipe with a damp cloth. To achieve a strong shine and a glossy effect, leaflets can also be wiped with non-alcoholic beer. In addition, once a month the ficus should be pampered for a bit by arranging a warm shower for him (you need to cover the ground in a pot with plastic wrap).
In the period from April to September, rubber ficus should be fed twice a month. It is best to alternate liquid mineral and organic fertilizers with a high nitrogen content. For example, on the 1st of each month, you can water the plant first with clean water and then with a solution of nitrophoska. After 2 weeks - approximately on the 15th day - watering the ficus elastica with cow manure diluted in water on wet ground.
What difficulties may arise when growing plants?
The only difficulty that inexperienced breeders may encounter is that the rubber-bearing ficus will have to be regularly transplanted and cut. When you notice that water almost immediately flows into the pan during watering, this means that your plant needs transplanting.
Take a pot 4-5 cm wider in diameter and 5-6 cm deeper than the previous one. Next, carefully remove the ficus with a large lump of soil and transfer it to the new "house". The voids in this tank must be filled with earth. To do this, acquire a special soil mixture for ficuses or prepare it on their own, mixing in equal proportions of turf, peat and leaf earth, as well as river sand.
Since the ficus elastica grows quite quickly and can reach an incredible height, it must be cut regularly. In addition, after pruning the plant will start to be heard in breadth, and its leaves will become more dense and beautiful. To do this, in the beginning-middle of March, with a sharp and clean knife, cut off the top of your ficus with a length of 10-15 cm and 5-6 internodes. If desired, cut off the top can be planted in a separate pot, after holding for a few days in clean water until the roots appear.
Contrary to popular belief, the multiplication of rubber ficus using a leaf is just a myth. If a leaf of this plant is held in water for several days, it will really give roots, however, by dropping it into the ground, you will not wait for shoots.
Diseases of rubber-ficus
Ficuses are quite resistant to parasites and various diseases. However, sometimes this plant can infect spider mites or scale insects. From these pests perfectly helps tobacco, dissolved in pure water at the rate of 4 tbsp. l on 1 l. water. In addition, it is necessary to add a little soap to this solution, and then wipe the leaves with it until the parasites are completely destroyed.
Rubber rubber plant constantly discards old lower leaves, it is absolutely natural. Meanwhile, in some situations, plant growers notice that other leaves fall on the plant. This condition is usually caused by the following reasons:
- excessively abundant watering or, conversely, too dry ground;
- too low air temperature or overheating;
- lack of light.
The benefits and harm of plants
All the benefits of rubber ficus (as well as harm) lies in its miraculous juice. Drugs made from it are used in the treatment and prevention of such female diseases as fibroids and uterine fibroids, as well as breast mastopathy. Compresses with ficus juice help to cope with hemorrhoids, radiculitis, osteochondrosis and arthritis.
However, the milky juice can be dangerous. When exposed to open skin it often causes various allergic reactions, redness and itching. To keep this plant in an apartment is contraindicated for people suffering from severe forms of bronchial asthma, since it can lead to an attack of suffocation. Not the best solution - place it in the nursery.
But in all other cases, rubber ficus not only does not bring harm, but also decorate any home or office.