The rubber plant is a culture of the genus Ficus, of the Mulberry family. In nature, it is found in southern Indonesia and northeastern India. There he grows like a tall tree with abundant foliage and a massive trunk. Some species of ficus rubber grow in indoor conditions. About the features of culture, its varieties, methods of care will be discussed in this article.
Features of the plant
The name of the ficus rubber is due to the fact that inside it has a thick juice that contains rubber. Ficus, which grows in nature, is revered by Buddhists as a sacred culture. It can grow up to 30-40 meters, grows well in breadth due to aerial roots. Because of these roots, the locals call it the "snake tree". The leaves of the plant are large, leathery type and saturated green color. They are oval, narrowed to the tip.
Blooming ficus rubberInteresting! In the old days, the rubber plant rubber plant was massively grown to produce rubber.
Flowers are simple, have no special beauty. Flowering is observed if the plant pollinates certain types of insects, so it happens when grown outside or in the garden. The fruits are almost round, in diameter to a centimeter, with the appearance of inedible figs.
Outside the hot regions, the ficus rubber plant is grown primarily as an ornamental plant. In a residential environment, it rarely grows more than 200 cm. If a ficus grew too large, it can always be cut off, then it will stop growing upwards and will grow the leaves. But it should be borne in mind that it gives rarely side pagons in room conditions, therefore it is important to be able to shape it in order to get a beautiful culture.
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In order for a ficus to develop normally, it is necessary for it to provide a saturated but diffused light or partial shade. Ficus rubber grows at a temperature of + 20 ... +25 degrees in the warm period of the year and at a temperature of at least +15 degrees - in winter. But in addition to the normal place, light and temperature, it is important to ensure proper care at home.
In case of low humidity it is necessary to additionally spray
- Watering in the summer is carried out every 3-4 days, and in the winter no more than once every 7 days. But here it is important to pay attention to the condition of the soil. In winter, watering is carried out only when the ground in the pot dries.
- Humidity should be increased, if it is low, then it is necessary to additionally spray it or wipe the leaves with a damp cloth.
- Pruning is done to adjust the height of the ficus. In the case of the ficus rubber, there is no point in stopping the top in order to provoke the growth of side wagons. It is better to remove 5-6 internodes. To get a beautiful bush, it is best to plant 3-5 plants in one large pot, then it will seem that the plant is branching, although this is not so. Pruning is always done in the spring. Cutting is carried out only with a sterile blade, and the juice that appears during cutting should be rinsed with water.
Ficus rubbery breeding propagates by cuttings or layeringImportant! Juice of ficus rubber is poisonous, so it is important to ensure that pets like cats and dogs do not play with the leaves and try to eat them. After contact with skin, it can cause irritation or allergies, so it is important to wear gloves when transplanting. But for the ficus itself, its juice is healing, it heals scars, wounds.
- It is difficult to carry out formation at home, because it grows with one trunk, without branches on the sides. To make a beautiful composition, it is necessary, as mentioned above, to plant several plants in a pot. When they grow up, they are cut as you like.
- Top dressing is carried out from mid-spring to September - during the period of active development. Minerals with an abundance of nitrogen are used as fertilizers. From October to March, the plant has a rest period, therefore fertilizing is excluded.
- Once every 2-3 years, an adult rubber plant is transplanted into a larger pot, or simply replace the top layer of earth with a new one. Young cultures should be replanted every year. To do this, take a new pot, slightly larger in size, so that the roots can develop.
There are cases of breeding ficus leaves
Reproduction of ficus rubber is carried out by cuttings or layering.
- Cutting is a known breeding method. To do this, take cuttings of 10-15 cm. They are cut, so that the cut was oblique, then you need to remove the leaves, leaving no more than 2 leaves on top. After that, the stalk is washed with a stream of water to wash the juice from the place of the cut, and then determined in the water, where it takes roots. In addition, it is possible to root the stalk immediately in the ground, covering it with polyethylene over it. Rooting usually passes without problems.
- Reproduction by layering is also possible. It is necessary to make an incision to a depth of one third of the thickness of the trunk. There is a match inserted to the edges are not closed. This part of the ficus must be wrapped with moss and cling film. When it will be seen through the film that a root has appeared, it will have to be cut off and defined in the ground. Such a plant develops rapidly.
This culture does not reproduce with leaves, because even if a leaf gives roots, such a plant cannot take root fully, it will often hurt. With such a ficus more hassle than aesthetic joy, so it is better to give preference to grafting or reproduction layers.
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Protection of ficus from diseases and pests
Diseases that can harm this ficus should be called soot fungus, botrytis, root rot, anthracnose, cercosporosis. However, it should be borne in mind that this plant has a good immune system, so problems due to diseases occur extremely rarely. If the plant is still sick, you can use for spraying such drugs as "Trichodermin", "Fitosporin" or simply spray the plant with a weak solution of potassium permanganate.
Pests that are often precipitated with ficus rubber: nematodes, mealybug, scale insects, spider mites, aphids. From scale insects, spider mites fight leaching leaves with soapy water or extract of tobacco dust (4 tbsp. L. Per liter of water). From the rest of the pests will help insecticides for indoor plants, for example: "Aktellik", "Fitoverm", "Gaupsin" and the like.
Possible problems with growing
When caring for a ficus rubber plant sometimes there are certain problems.
- Falling leaves. Such a problem often happens, but when the lower leaves fall, this is a completely normal process. If the upper leaves are falling, then the thing is in care. This is observed when the plant is watered too often, if it is standing in a draft or there is a sudden change in temperature, the reason may be poor lighting. The problem will disappear when care is improved.
As you grow ficus need to be transplanted into a larger pot
- Sometimes such a ficus may turn yellow leaves. Sometimes they turn yellow for the above reasons, that is, they turn yellow first and then fall off. But the color change can be associated with such a problem as the abundance of fertilizers in the soil. To fix the problem, you can transplant the plant or simply flush the ground with plenty of water. As a rule, water is taken in triple volume of the pot. After this, the culture is not fed as much as 2 months. The leaves may turn yellow, because of the large pot, in this case it is necessary to transplant the ficus into a smaller container.
- Rubber plant is developing rapidly. However, many growers complain that the culture stops growing or does not grow at all. The reasons are such factors as little light or lack of nutrients (due to the close pot). If you correct these points, the plant will begin to grow again, at its usual pace.
Ficus rubber is a very beautiful houseplant. It can decorate any room and even office, fits into almost any interior. This culture is able to clean the air from such harmful substances as benzene, phenol. In India, they believe that the ficus can clean the energy of the room where it is located. It absorbs negative, anger, leaving only positive energy. However, it is necessary to start it with care to those who are prone to asthma, because the rubber contained in the plant has a pronounced odor released into the air, and can provoke an attack of suffocation.