Ficus is a fairly common indoor plants that are loved all over the world. This green pet has an interesting appearance, while it is quite unpretentious in content, so the interest in ficus is only increasing every year. One of the most exotic varieties of this plant is considered ficus microcarp.
The ficus microcarpus borrowed its name from the Greek language, mikros karpos in translation into Russian means "small fruit". Another name for the plant is “Ginseng”, which translates as “ginseng” - it means that the plant is not only beautiful, but also very useful. This type of ficus is characterized by the fact that there is a pronounced thickening formed from aerial roots below its trunk, which over time can take on the most intricate forms. Under natural conditions, ficus microcarp grows in certain regions of China, and it can also be found in Indonesia and Taiwan, there are cases when the plant was also found in Australia.
Due to its unusual shape, the ficus of the microcarp is classified as epiphyte. In the natural environment, it grows to 20–25 m, but in the home environment its length does not exceed 1.5 m. The length of the leaves of an adult mini-tree is 10 cm, and the width is 4–5 cm, the shape is pointed, the surface is quite smooth, glossy and brilliant. The arrangement of the leaves is next, shortened cuttings. As the ficus grows older, the upper part of its root system begins to rise above the ground and forms a variety of ornate bends and weaves - in this form it looks very decorative, therefore the ficus microcarp is most often cultivated as a bonsai, however, it is also sold in retail outlets in this very place. form.
It is believed that the leaves of the ficus microcarp purify the air and absorb all harmful substances. At the same time, there is an opinion that this pet is able to improve the energy of the house, maintains comfort and stability in family life.
But it is important to keep in mind that when cutting the shoots, juice is secreted, which quite often causes an allergic reaction. That is why all work on flower care must be carried out with protective gloves.
How to choose?
The most popular varieties of ficus microcarp include the following:
- "Green Graham" - these plants have a dense leafy crown;
- "Westland" - characterized by elongated leaves, they grow to 11-12 cm, while the width does not exceed 4-5 cm;
- Moklamé is a beautiful plant with small rounded leaves of dark green color;
- "Variegata" is one of the most unusual ficus, its leaves are variegated.
Choose for yourself the most unusual type of ficus - this is only one of the tasks. It is equally important to choose the right pots and soil mixture for your pet, as well as provide the young tree with the conditions necessary for successful adaptation. The main requirement for a container for ficus is the arrangement of drainage holes. Ficuses prefer clay pots, preferably not covered with glaze - in this case, the porous surface will allow the evaporation of excess moisture through the walls of the pot, in addition, does not interfere with the flow of oxygen to the roots. The size of the pot should correspond to the plant - when transplanting, the distance between the walls of the container and the roots should be 2-3 cm. Keep in mind that any bonsai requires low and flat pots, standard containers are categorically contraindicated to such ficuses, since the soil not occupied by the roots starts quickly acidify, leading to decay of the entire root system and death of the flower as a whole.
As for the substrate, it is advisable to purchase a specialized primer specifically designed for ficuses. But a suitable soil mixture can be prepared independently. To do this, the sheet soil is disinfected by calcination or potassium permanganate and mixed with turf and sand in equal proportions, and then 0.3-0.5 parts of ash are added in order to lower the acidity level. First, drainage is laid in the pot (preferably from pebbles or expanded clay). Then they lay a layer of earth, set up a plant and sprinkle it with soil mixture so that all the voids are covered up.
Under new conditions, ficus is experiencing quite a lot of stress, so you should know the following aspects of caring for a new flower:
- ficus "Ginseng" extremely negatively transfers movements, therefore it must be immediately put on a permanent place of residence and not moved anywhere in the future;
- the plant does not like wind and strong drafts;
- ficus does not respond well to direct ultraviolet rays and excessively dry air - try to choose a site for it so as to provide acceptable living conditions; the flower pot should be located away from batteries and other sources of heat in the house, optimally placed on windows from the west, north-west or north side, if the plant you choose is variegated, then it will need more light - it makes sense to put such a ficus on the southern or southeastern windows;
- in the first days after the purchase of the plant, it is important to ensure the optimum level of humidity in the selected place - for this, the pot must be placed in a small tray with moistened pebbles;
- every day you should spray the leaves from the spray gun and, if possible, turn on a humidifier or at least a room fountain for 2-3 hours a day.
Important! As a rule, plant adaptation takes 2-3 weeks, only after that transplantation into a new pot is possible.
How to care?
With properly organized care for the ficus of the microcarp, even an inexperienced grower can quickly achieve the desired result - that is, get a mini-tree with a beautifully designed and lush crown. The most important factors in caring for plants are the following:
- the right place for lighting;
- creation of an optimal temperature regime;
- timely trimming to form the crown and trunk.
One of the main conditions for creating optimal microcarp for growth and development of ficus is regular feeding. The plant requires fertilizers, from spring to autumn. It is advisable to use universal ready-made fertilizers designed for deciduous plants. Feeding is carried out 1 time in 2 weeks, and in winter, during the dormant period, only 1 time per month. Extra root top dressing is very necessary , so the plant needs to be sprayed with nutrient solutions every 10-14 days - you can take the same ego preparations, but reduce their concentration by 3-5 times.
Important! The introduction of a nutrient preparation should only be in moistened ground, otherwise you can get a root burn.
Bonsai are grown in a shallow, but at the same time wide capacity, so the irrigation scheme here differs from that adopted for all other types of ficus. A large area of land contributes to the accelerated evaporation of moisture, while at the same time with excessive moisture, the water simply has nowhere to go, since the volume of soil in such a pot is quite small. That is why the tree should be watered often, but little by little. Before each watering, be sure to check the ground - it should be dry 2-3 cm in depth. All excess water that accumulates in the sump after irrigation should be drained.
The ficus of the microcarp is very sensitive to irrigation composition, so the water must be defended for several days before irrigation, and if possible, melt or rain - it has a more gentle structure. The temperature of the water must be necessarily room temperature - otherwise the plant will simply drop all its leaves. Ficus microcarpus loves high humidity, so you need to spray it daily, and it is better to do this several times a day.
If you neglect this procedure, the ficus pretty quickly becomes lethargic and lifeless. Whenever possible, try to clean the leaves as often as possible with a damp sponge or soft cloth.
If the plant discards leaves or they are yellow, white plaque and spots appear on them - the cause may be in the action of pests, fungi and pathogenic microorganisms. Often pests move to ficus from neighboring flowers, especially if they are crowded, and the air in the room is too warm and too dry. In most cases, a bonsai is attacked by a spider mite and aphids. They make themselves felt by a thin cobweb near the base of the branches or by the appearance of small black dots on a leaf plate. If you look closely, from the back of the leaves you can see the most pests. In this case, you should take up their elimination as soon as possible, since they are able to destroy bonsai in the shortest possible time.
First you need to make a solution of laundry soap and rinse the leaves and green parts of the stems with a solution of laundry soap, and then rinse the leaves in the shower to wash off all the pests. Some of them may remain in the ground, therefore, at the second stage, it is necessary to transplant the flower into a new pot with a new substrate, the soil mixture must be sanitized first.
If the measures taken are not enough and after a while you notice new insects, you should resort to spraying with insecticides, they act quite effectively and at the same time very quickly.
With excessive watering, spots of light and dark shades often appear on aerial roots - they indicate the onset of fungal diseases and rot. In such a situation, all damaged areas should be carefully cut and treated with fungicidal solutions. If unexpectedly green leaves began to fall, most likely the plant is often exposed to a draft or the ambient temperature is too low for it. In this situation, weakening of the immunity of the ficus and the development of various bacterial infections is possible.
To avoid this, it is necessary to change the conditions of stay of the flower - in comfortable conditions, the leaves quickly grow again.
Like any other bonsai, ficus microcarp requires frequent crown formation. When trimming, the following recommendations should be followed:
- to form an active growth of lateral shoots and achieve maximum splendor of the bush, the apical bud should be removed;
- pruning is best done in the spring - in this case, the crown will be more leafy.
Usually, the main shoot is cut off at a height of 10-15 cm, thus the growth of axillary shoots is stimulated - they also need to be pinched at a distance of 10 cm from the apex. In order for all shoots to grow evenly, after molding, the plant should be periodically turned over with the opposite sides to the sun. Any pruning immediately solves such problems as:
- rejuvenates the plant;
- allows you to give the ficus the necessary shape;
- stimulates branching in the right place;
- changes the direction of shoot growth.
If necessary, carry out sanitary pruning of branches - removal of diseased and dried fragments. You can do this at any time of the year, regardless of the life cycle of the plant. And you should also trim the plant 2-3 weeks before transplanting. Keep in mind that weak and painful plants are not subjected to molding.
How to propagate?
Ficus microcarp is propagated in several ways:
- Cuttings. To form the cuttings from a tree, a semi-lignified vertex shoot is cut, soaked in ordinary water for 24 hours to remove all the milky juice, and then placed in a container of water. To prevent decay, ash or crushed coal is poured there. As soon as the formed roots become visible, it is necessary to transfer the seedlings into the light soil to accelerate root formation. To make it better to take root, the container is covered with a glass jar, and as soon as young leaves appear, they remove it and transplant the stalk to a permanent place.
- Scions. If you plan to grow your ficus from a shoot, you need to step back from an apex of about 50 cm on an adult plant and cut a piece of bark about 10 cm long. Bare wood is wrapped with moist sphagnum and covered with polyethylene. After 30–45 days, roots form in this place - immediately after that, the top of the head, together with these young roots, is cut off and transplanted into a container for further rooting.
- The seeds. Growing bonsai from seeds is a fairly long, but extremely effective method of propagation. Traditionally, planting is carried out in the spring, with the quality of the seed material and storage conditions being of great importance. If they did not comply with the normative, then all seeds lose their quality, germination remains almost zero. Drainage is poured into the bottom of the landing tank, soil is laid and seeds are laid out, then sprinkled with river sand, covered with polyethylene or a glass lid and left in a warm place with diffused sunlight. As a rule, after 3-4 weeks, new plants begin to hatch.
As soon as the first true leaves appear, it is necessary to pick, and after another 2-3 months to plant future trees in different pots.
About the reproduction of ficus at home, see the next video.