How close to a window may I place my Ficus and what would be the ideal position for it?
Ficus plants like a light position. Place your plant at most two metres from a window so that sufficient light will reach the leaves. A little direct sunlight is no problem, but avoid bright afternoon sun in the summer. A window that admits a lot of light onto your Ficus is ideal. A north-facing window will usually be unsuitable.
May I stand my Ficus directly on an unheated floor in winter?
If you stand the pot directly on the floor we advise you to place an insulating layer between the pot and the floor to protect the roots against excessive differences in temperature with respect to the ground. Use for example a cork placemat or simply an oven cloth. The point is to prevent the risk of an excessively high or low floor temperature reaching the roots, because that could make them sick.
I have underfloor heating. May my plants stand directly on the floor in winter?
Excessive heat may cause the soil to dry out too quickly and the roots at the bottom of the pot to burn. Place for example a cork placemat or an oven cloth between the pot and the floor as a form of insulation.
May I stand my Ficus in the garden?
A Ficus is a tropical plant. We therefore advise you to enjoy your Ficus indoors. Only in Mediterranean countries can a Ficus be placed on a patio in summer.
Water and removing dust
How much water does my Ficus need?
The rule of thumb is “the lighter the plant’s position, the more water it will need”. If your plant is near a south-facing window you will have to give it about half a litre of water or more twice a week on long, light days in summer. In winter you should halve that dose. You will usually soon learn how much water your plant needs. It is better for it to be a little too dry than too wet.
How much water should I give my Ficus in winter?
In winter there is less light and the days are short. And in winter the air in your home will often be dry. You should therefore water your plant with due care. Bear in mind that it is better for it to be too dry than too wet. Water your plant when the top of the soil is dry.
What's the best way of removing dust from my plant’s leaves?
We advise you to place your plant outside during a heavy shower in summer so that the rain will rinse the dust from the leaves. You can also use rainwater to spray your plant's leaves. Avoid using tap water as it has a high calcium content and the calcium may leave ugly marks on leaves.
My Ficus is forming long branches and losing its shape. How should I prune it?
To retain your plant’s shape, prune the branches back to the crown using scissors or pruning shears. New twigs will then grow from the pruned branches. The branches may secrete some white sticky milky juice when you prune them. Remove it by spraying with rainwater or stand your plant outside during a shower in summer.
May I occasionally turn my Ficus?
It is better for you to leave your plant in the same position for as long as possible and refrain from turning it, because if you turn it, it will cost the plant a lot of energy to turn its leaves back towards the light. It is however a good idea to turn the plant round after its annual pruning, so that it will retain its full foliage.
How long may my Ficus live in my home?
That's very difficult to say because it will depend entirely on the care you give it. If your plant is cared for well it may live for five years, possibly even longer.
My Ficus is losing a lot of leaves. Is that normal?
A Ficus is a tropical plant that will under normal conditions lose some leaves - in winter more than in summer as it grows. Make sure the plant has enough light in winter, optionally move it closer to a window or place it in front of a south-facing window. If your Ficus suddenly loses all its leaves you may well have been watering it too much, causing some of its roots to die. Allow the soil to dry out so that the plant can form new roots and leaves.
I am watering my Ficus well but its condition is getting worse. What’s wrong?
You may have given your Ficus too much water, causing some of its roots to die. Make sure that your Ficus has dry feet and allow the soil to dry well, to enable the plant to form new roots and leaves.
The leaves of my Ficus are turning grey and my plant is not looking healthy.
Your plant is probably affected by red spider mites. Red spider mites must be immediately and effectively controlled using a product specifically intended for the control of red spider mites, which you will find at a florist’s or a garden centre. NB: red spider mites will readily spread to other plants, so if your plant is severely affected we advise you to isolate it from other plants.
How do I recognise red spider mites on the undersides of leaves and what should I do?
Red spider mites are tiny insects. They usually cause a slight grey discolouration of the leaves. Webbing may be visible on the leaves too. Red spider mites must be immediately and effectively controlled using a product specifically intended for the control of red spider mites, which you will find at a florist’s or a garden centre. NB: red spider mites readily spread to other plants, so if your plant is severely affected we advise you to isolate it from other plants.
There are tiny woolly white things on my Ficus. What are they?
Your plant is probably affected by mealy bugs. These tiny white insects are surrounded by a powdery coat and are difficult to control. We advise you to spray your plant with a control product specifically intended for mealy bugs, which you will find at a florist’s or a garden centre.
There are brown scales on the undersides of the leaves of my plant. What are they?
Your plant is probably affected by scale insects. Scale insects must be effectively controlled using a product specifically intended for the control of scale insects, which you will find at a florist’s or a garden centre.
The floor around my plant is sticky. What's causing that?
Your Ficus is probably affected by mealy bugs or scale insects. They secrete a sticky substance (honeydew) that drops onto the floor. See the questions about specific pests and diseases to find out what to do.