Scientific name: Ficus
Did you know that Ficus plants purify the air?
The plants’ leaves work as a filter, silently purifying the atmosphere around them.
The plants’ natural, restful look will moreover create a relaxing, pleasant atmosphere in any interior and living area.
Ficus Regina and Tucan Twister are both exclusive standard Ficus plants produced by the Fikona nursery in Belgium. They are plants with a good keeping quality that have been grown for you with the greatest care. That gives you a healthy, decorative plant for your home. The following information and care instructions will help you enjoy these low-maintenance, air-purifying green plants for a long time. Look here how you should prune a Ficus?
Origins and cultivation
The plant’s botanical name is Ficus benjamina. It is also known as Waringin tree. It is native to tropical areas and is best known for its decorative winding aerial roots and stems. In nature, the plants grow into large trees that can live for up to 500 years.
Ficus plants can be very successfully cultivated under the right climate conditions and will then also acquire the distinctive appearance we aim to achieve at our nursery. The moist, tropical climate of Costa Rica is ideal for us for creating the braided stems that will look so decorative in your home.
Tips for your home
Place this exotically shaped Ficus somewhere where it will get the attention it deserves. Its highly decorative value will add a powerful, natural touch to your living environment.
Ideal position and temperature
A Ficus is a tropical plant, and in northern Europe it will therefore thrive only indoors. In Mediterranean areas the plant can also be placed in a shady spot on a patio in summer. The temperature may never drop below 15°C. The plant will do best at a temperature between 20°C and 30°C.
Ficus plants like a lot of light and can tolerate some direct sunlight in the early morning and late afternoon. Place the plant at most two metres from a window and move it as little as possible. Ficus plants don't like being moved around. But do protect your plant from hot afternoon sun.
Avoid direct afternoon sun on the leaves in summer. In winter your Ficus will like a bit more light, and even some direct sunlight to prevent the risk of its leaves falling.
Tip: if you want to stand your plant directly on the floor we advise you to place an insulating layer between the pot and the floor to protect the roots against excessive temperature differences with respect to the ground. Use for example a cork placemat or simply an oven cloth.
Water and fertilisers
Your Ficus does not like dry roots, so water it once a week on average. When it's hot in summer your plant will be thirsty and you may water it twice a week. The rule of thumb is “the lighter the plant's position, the more water it will need”. A handy instrument is a hydrometer, which you can buy at good-quality garden centres. That will tell you whether the soil is dry and the plant needs more water. The soil of a standard Ficus from our nursery that you have just bought or been given will contain enough nutrients for about a year. Start fertilising your plant in the second year, following the instructions on the fertilisers’ packaging.
Growth and pruning
As your plant grows it will form new branches. That's a good sign. To retain your Ficus’s shape you can remove those branches with sharp scissors or pruning shears. We advise you to prune some of the plant’s centre growth so that its crown will retain its shape.
Most common pests and diseases
A healthy Ficus will not be very susceptible to pests. The most common problem is falling leaves due to insufficient light. But too much or too little water may also cause leaves to fall.
If your plant is standing close to a draughty open door or window it may well be affected by red spider mites. They must be immediately and effectively controlled to prevent the risk of things getting worse. Red spider mites are tiny insects on the undersides of the leaves. Use a product specifically intended for controlling spider mites. You will find such products at your local florist’s and/or garden centre. NB: spider mites will readily spread to other plants, so if your plant is severely affected we advise you to isolate it from other plants.