In this article, I will explore some of the best tips and tricks I’ve learned over the last five years caring for a ficus tree. You can use these tips to not only care for your ficus, but also how you can bring home the beauty in your home without spending lots of money on a new look.
Closely related to the olive tree, ficus have an amazing ability to fix their shape called axillary drooping. When a ficus tree receives enough light, their axils on the trunk, or uppermost portion of the trunk, turn downwards and droop downwards.
Axillary drooping is not present in most of the ficus species, so don’t get surprised when you pull down a ficus tree and see it slumped over your desk. This drooping is primarily due to an internal mechanism that is designed to utilize less sunlight. However, some people mistakenly confuse axillary drooping with dormancy, which is the process by which a ficus tree becomes dormant and stops growing.
When a ficus tree is looking tired, its axils will start to branch outwards. This process is known as budding. While doing this, the axils are also less able to absorb sunlight and produce seeds.
It is also common for ficus branches to crack and separate from the main trunk, especially in those ficus trees that are over a decade old. Sometimes all you can do is prune the rudderless tree back to a single trunk section, but this is not the recommended method if you would like to retain a healthy and vigorous appearance in the future. Even though cracking and splitting may happen occasionally, it’s not responsible for discoloration or stunted growth.
Ficus species come in a wide range of colors, including pale yellow, light green, deep green, dark green, or salmon-colored varieties. While people may assume ficus trees only bloom in light green, light green ficus contain large amounts of chlorophyll, the same pigment that allows other plants to reproduce, thus it can grow in a variety of colors.
Availability and price of light-colored varieties are key. Ficus species require close to full sun and will need to be tended to closely to avoid algae and algae-like growth. Always consider planting your ficus in a location where it receives direct sunlight, or plan to place it in a sunny spot. Alternatively, purchase a ficus tree that you can place in a sunny spot indoors, or place it on the window sills of your home.
If you have the room in your home to house a ficus, you can stick it in a vase or here on the coffee table outside to look over the front porch while you’re working. Ficus trees are actually quite easy to care for once you learn the fundamentals. If you’ve never kept a ficus before, you’ll struggle at first; this is most likely due to the fact that they are so buzzy and colorful! The first time you house your ficus tree, the only way you’ll know it’s grown is if you see a growth pattern on the top of the branch.
Keep occasional notes of any growth patterns this plant has and incorporate them into your daily life. You may notice that your ficus is getting busier in its place in the home or that it’s growing more leaves than its usual surrounding.