Contents:Benjamin - Video
In the countries of southern and southeastern Asia, as in Australia, Benjamin Ficus is a common plant that can be found in the wild and on the streetscities. Wild specimens in the conditions of the tropics grow to a height of 20 meters. Their room brothers are much lower, but no less remarkable.
Ficus Benjamin is a large shrub or tree with erect shoots and drooping, rather graceful branches that form a sprawling crown. The shoots are covered with smooth, pointed-elliptic leaves of uniformly green or variegated color. The length of the leaf plate varies from 6 to 12 cm. The central vein is depressed and quite noticeable. On the branches with grayish or light brown, smooth bark leaves sit alternately. Young foliage is thinner and lighter than mature.
It may seem strange to many lovers of indoor plants that their green pet blooms and even bears fruit. Like the closest relative, figs, Benjamin Ficus forms more fruit-like flowers - syconia.
At home, this happens extremely rarely, and at home and when kept in greenhouses, after pollination on ficuses, the rounded, inedible fruits of a reddish-orange shade ripen.
The view described more than a century ago attracted the attention of flower growers:
- by the graceful foliage of green and variegated colors;
- the ability to get the most bizarre outlines of a tree or a bush with the help of the formation of the crown of the ficus Benjamin;
- uncomplicated and easy care.
How to care for Benjamin Ficus
Like all plants in the tropics, Benjamin Ficus loves warmth, is not indifferent to the high humidity of the air and soil, requires a long stay in the light, but it is afraid of direct rays and does not tolerate drafts.
As a rule, variegated varieties are slightly more capricious than plants with green leaves. Especially it concerns the illumination of the flower. If ordinary ficuses transfer content in the penumbra, then for specimens with foliage decorated with white border, spots or smears, a little more set is needed, otherwise the contrasting patterns will fade and disappear.
The evergreen has no pronounced dormant period. Therefore, the light, heat, water and food Ficus provide all year round;
- In the warm season, from spring until the end of autumn, the plant is kept at a temperature of 22 to 28 ° C.
- In winter, in the room where Benjamin's ficus is located, it can be 5–7 degrees cooler, however, if the temperature falls below 14 ° C, the tree feels uncomfortable and can lose foliage.
In addition to long but dim lighting and suitable temperature conditions, Ficus needs increased air humidity. No additional measures are required on summer days.
You can only wash the crown with a warm shower and water the soil in a timely manner. But in the winter, when the heating devices are working, it is useful for Benjamin Ficus to turn on an electric humidifier or irrigate foliage from a spray bottle every day.
Watering and fertilizing Benjamin Ficus
Ficus does not tolerate drought, reacting to dry soil with yellowing and dropping foliage. On summer days, the plant is watered frequently and abundantly so that between the irrigations the surface of the soil almost dries out. It is important to avoid stagnant moisture. Its excess, flowing into the pan, in half an hour must be removed. If you do not do this, even in summer you may encounter manifestations of root rot.
In the cold season or when the flower is kept in a cool room, the frequency of watering is slightly reduced. Often it is enough only once a week to pour the soil under Benjamin's ficus to maintain the normal well-being of a room pet.
Asking a question: “How to care for Benjamin's ficus?” Many beginning growers forget about such an important stage of care as top dressing. The ficus is growing quite rapidly, and in order to support the formation of crown and leaves' juiciness, it needs not only moisture, but also the entire range of nutrients and trace elements.
Therefore, from spring to early autumn, in the photo for Benjamin's ficus, in the photo, at home, necessarily include regular feeding. It is best to use liquid complex means for decorative leafy crops. Fertilizers are applied at intervals of two weeks.
Transplanting Benjamin Ficus at Home
Looking at how his pet grows and prettier, a lover of indoor plants should not forget that not only branches and leaves are added. Month after month, the ficus increases the volume of the root system, and the soil gradually becomes impoverished even with constant dressings.
Ficus Benjamin transplantation will help to correct the situation, it is carried out at home in the spring, and young specimens have to be reloaded into new pots more often than adults.
A sign that the roots are completely entwined with earthy feed, you can consider their appearance from a drainage hole or subsidence of topsoil. But it is better not to allow this and to conduct a planned transplant, warning a “half-starved” existence that is harmful to the plant.
Before transplanting Benjamin's ficus into another pot, you still need to select a suitable container. The younger the instance, the more actively it increases the root mass. Therefore, such plants every year roll over into pots, whose diameter is 2–3 cm more than the former. For ficus adults, transplantation is required 2–3 times less often, and if the green pet has reached a solid size, then the transplant can be replaced by replacing the upper layer of the substrate.
The best soil for the ficus Benjamin - specialized, ready. But if you wish, at home you can make a mixture of equal parts of turf and leaf soil, bottom peat and sand.
Ficus Benjamin: crown formation and regular pruning
Young shoots of Benjamin Ficus have a high growth rate and are very flexible. The first circumstance obliges the owner of the flower to master regular pruning. It is performed in the spring, when the plant only awakens to grow. In the summer, pinching out of the general rhythm, fast-growing shoots. At the end of the growing season, in the fall, it is not worthwhile to subject the ficus of Benjamin to the formation of a crown. All substances in the foliage and shoots will be useful to him during the winter.
Culture easily tolerates pruning of branches, so you should not be afraid of a radical change in the appearance of the plant while it is young. It will be much more difficult to form the crown of the ficus when it turns into a shapeless giant.
In the spring, they not only remove dried out ones and shorten excessively lengthened branches, but also cut off the branches directed inside the crown. If this is not done, they will impede the penetration of air, which will increase the risk of developing fungal infections and the settlement of pests. With the same purpose, large sections of branches are treated with garden pitch or their activated carbon powder.
Video about pruning ficus Benjamin at home tells in detail how to perform this difficult procedure and achieve a uniform growth of the branches during the entire growing season.
Ficus Benjamin Bonsai Do It Yourself
When grown, Benjamin Ficus is shaped like a tree. In the presence of a support, the plant easily gets used to the standard form, and pruning the lateral and basal shoots helps maintain it. But today you can see quite unusual trees on the basis of ficus with openwork, woven trunks.
At first glance, an incredibly complex structure can be recreated at home. To do this, several young plants of the same age are planted in the same pot, and their flexible trunks are interlaced in the manner they like. It is important that the weaving is not too tight and does not prevent ficuses from developing evenly. In this case, after a few years, the trunks grow together, turning into an original green home decoration.
Flower growers with patience and skills in the formation of woody plants, can grow their own bonsai ficus Benjamin. With the help of weaving, obtaining air slips and pruning, an ordinary bush turns into a miniature copy of the age-old banyan tree.
Ficus Benjamin: Signs and Superstitions
A lot of legends and superstitions go around many indoor plants, especially those that fall into the collections of florists from remote parts of the world. Some of them can be trusted, but most of these will take - idle invention.
What are the signs of Benjamin's ficus, and can this ornamental plant be kept at home?
In the nineteenth century, a person who wanted to acquire a ficus was warned that the plant contributes to family quarrels, life turmoil, and may even attract death. The same or similar warning followed when purchasing monstera and other aroid plants.
In the twenties and thirties of the last century, the ficus owner would be suspected of being loyal to the bourgeois way of life, which caused considerable trouble. Today there is no place for such ridiculous fabrications. A unpretentious, fast-growing and very attractive Benjamin Ficus can be seen in residential and office space around the world.
All the stories that reveal the plant from the negative side, have no real soil. But in the homeland of the ficus Benjamin, he is highly respected.
In China, this is a wonderful gift, symbolizing the wish for longevity, health, and all kinds of well-being. In Thailand, the plant is recognized as the official symbol of the capital of the country. A 150-year-old quaint ficus in Sri Lanka is considered one of the local attractions and is visited by many tourists.
Modern superstitions and signs about the Benjamin ficus also have a positive attitude. For example, it is considered a good omen to bring a plant to the house where they dream to have a child. If the flower takes root, it will grow well, then the couple will soon have an heir.