Ficuses are considered the most popular indoor plants, because they are characterized by simple care and a spectacular appearance that allows you to use plants as the main decorative element in the interior of any room. Despite the fact that this type of flower is represented by a huge variety, the ficus “Kinki” is in special demand among gardeners. It is notable for its compact size and unusual foliage color.
Ficus "Green Kinki" is a beautiful ornamental plant, which unlike other types of its "brothers" has one interesting feature - you can give it any shape if desired. This flower is often called Benjamin's ficus, it is named after the famous British botanist Benjamin Dayton Jackson, who was engaged in plant breeding. Translated into Russian, “kinky” means “curly”.
This ficus is a tree-like evergreen shrub covered with small elongated leaves, the length of which does not exceed 4 cm. Their color can be either light green or yellow-beige. Foliage often turns white with age. Ficus branches are falling, they are located on a lignified trunk. The flower is small, its maximum height reaches only 40 cm.
The main decoration of the plant is a magnificent crown, outwardly resembling the shape of a ball. If the ficus is not trimmed, then in the process of growth it begins to scatter branches in different directions. The trunks of the plant are covered with gray bark with numerous veins, they can communicate with each other. Due to the above characteristics, the ficus "Kinki" is one of the most beautiful ornamental plants.
Despite the fact that this type of ficus is most adapted to the climatic conditions of India, Northern Australia and Africa (where it reaches a height of 30 m), it can also be successfully grown at home. In addition to decorative qualities, the flower is widely used in folk medicine, with its help treat:
- benign formations;
There is also an opinion that this plant carries a charge of positive energy, so it must be in every house to prevent adverse events. So that such a “healing” flower does not lose its decorative qualities, it is recommended to prune it at home in a timely manner.
Ficus Benjamin is easy to grow at home, the only thing you need to properly care for. It is recommended to buy a flower in specialized stores, this will help to avoid problems in subsequent care, since a sick and weak plant may not undergo adaptation to new conditions and die.
It is best to buy ficus in the warm season, since in winter it is at rest and is difficult to take root.
At the same time, it is worth noting that experts recommend acquiring a small plant rather than an adult. It will easier to transport and change the growing conditions. As a rule, these flowers get used to the new "house" in a few months. As for the conditions of care, the ficus "Kinki" requires the following content.
Ficus "Kinki" refers to photophilous plants, which require a sufficient level of scattered light to maintain green color of foliage. If the flower does not receive enough light, then the process of photosynthesis will slow down, and the development of the plant will stop. Despite the fact that these indoor flowers perfectly tolerate the effects of sunlight, they should still be shaded in the hot season.
A window sill with access to the west or east side is well suited for a flower. It is desirable that the plant receives not only natural light (from sunlight), but also artificial (from lamps).
Humidity and temperature
For this type of ficus, an air temperature in the range from +20 to +25 ° C is suitable . In winter, these indicators can be lowered by several degrees, but the temperature limit is + 12 ° C. The indoor plant does not tolerate the flow of hot air, so it can not be placed next to heating devices. Since the flower comes from the tropics, too dry air is also not recommended.
In summer, it is recommended to maintain the humidity level in the room where the flower is in the range from 50 to 70%. At the same time, the leaf mass of the plant must be periodically sprayed using well-maintained and soft water. If water from the tap is used immediately for water procedures, then a white coating may remain on the sheet plates.
In the cold season, it is better to refuse spraying, replacing it with a warm shower, conducted once a month (this will become a prophylaxis of parasitic insects for the plant).
Choosing the right place
Ficuses are very painful for a change of scenery. If the florist decided to keep them at home, he must decide in advance on a permanent place to place them.
The flower should be regularly watered and prevent the soil from drying out in the pot. Otherwise, due to a lack of moisture, the root system will begin to hurt, the leaves lose their color, turn yellow, and the plant dies. You can not fill the ficus too much, especially for plants grown in small pots, where excessive humidity evaporates very slowly. Stagnant water can cause the development of various fungal infections and rotting processes in the roots.
Therefore, the optimal solution is to adhere to moderation in irrigation and conduct watering measures as the top layer of the earth dries.
Timely transplant and pruning
This will allow the ficus to form a beautiful crown and help to avoid foliage discharge. This variety of ficus is usually planted two stems in one bowl, since this allows not only to create a chic crown for a low bush, but also to emphasize the beauty of the trunk, formed from several lignified and interwoven stems. If only one plant is transplanted into a new pot, then it will look inconspicuous and miniature, losing its decorative qualities.
As for pruning, no matter how many shrubs are placed in the pot, they need to be trimmed in a timely manner (leaves and extra shoots), giving the correct shape.
The right choice of soil and pot
In order for the crown of the flower to become lush, the decorative shrub should be planted in a special substrate, which would be water- and air-tight, loose. You can prepare fertile soil yourself, taking and mixing in equal proportions turf soil, sand and peat. If the house does not have these components, you will have to purchase ready-made soil in the store, which is intended for planting ficuses.
Nutrient and balanced formulations
As a rule, top dressing is done in autumn and spring. Ficus Benjamin, like all its other species, needs periodic top dressing, since the soil in the pot is depleted over time, and the culture begins to lack nutrients. At the same time, you can not overdo it with the introduction of fertilizers, and if you do not adhere to a clear scheme, then the flower will drop leaves.
The first feeding is best started in the spring, when the plant "wakes up." Then it must be continued until the beginning of autumn, introducing balanced components at least once a month. At the end of autumn, the plant can not be fertilized, since the ornamental shrub does not need fertilizing.
After the purchase, the ficus must be transplanted immediately, as the plant sold in stores is usually planted in a “temporary” substrate, which is unsuitable for continuous cultivation. If this is not taken into account and the flower is left in the purchased container, then after a while it will begin to fade and die. Before starting the transplant, you need to purchase a spacious pot in advance , in which the flower can grow at least the first two years.
Experts recommend planting ficus in a ceramic or plastic pot, and special soil intended for this type of plant is poured into it. The volume of planting containers should correspond to the size of the ficus, if it is small or, conversely, too large, the plant will begin to drop leaves. The frequency of transplants is determined depending on the growth rate of the root system.
A huge role in the transplant is played by the choice of soil, it should be with a neutral pH level. It is worth noting that slightly acidic soil is also not particularly suitable, the flower in it will feel "uncomfortable".
The right decision would be to purchase special soil in the store, but if you have experience in floriculture, then you can prepare the planting mixture yourself.
To do this, it is enough to take peat in equal proportions, a large fraction of river sand, humus and soddy soil. All of the above components are thoroughly mixed and poured into the pot. To avoid root rot, a drainage layer should be placed on the bottom of the vessel. The transplantation process itself is as follows:
- first of all, they prepare the container for planting, it is recommended to rinse and treat it with a solution of potassium permanganate;
- after this, you need to water the ficus well and, together with the earthen lump, carefully transfer it to a new vessel (you need to fill it with a drainage layer consisting of small pebbles or expanded clay in advance);
- then the voids formed in the pot are covered with fertile soil, and the flower is watered abundantly.
The transplanted ficus “Kinki” will take root in a few weeks, for this he needs to be given proper care and not exposed to the sun. Subsequent transplantation will be carried out as needed. It depends on the intensity of root growth. If they are visible through the drainage holes, then this is a signal that the plant needs to be moved to a more spacious container.
Ficus "Kinki" can be bred in several ways: by cuttings and seeds. For home growing, plants most often use the first method, since it is considered more effective. For propagation, a stalk cut up to 15 cm long is used (it can be cut both from the top and from the lignified shoot). It is left for a couple of hours, allowing the milky juice to dry on a slice. Then the stalk is placed in a vessel with settled water and wait until the roots appear on it, after which the plant is planted in a temporary pot with nutritious and loose soil.
Propagation of the plant is best carried out during the period of its active growth. After planting the ficus, the container must be covered with a plastic bag or a glass flask, this will maintain the optimum level of humidity and temperature. Pots are preferably placed in a warm room, in places accessible to lighting. In this case, do not forget to ventilate the flower , periodically opening the bag or flask. After 2 weeks, the roots of the ficus are strengthened, then it can already be transplanted into permanent pots, taking care of young shoots as well as adult flowers.
Diseases and Pests
Despite the fact that the ficus "Kinki" is a resistant plant to diseases and pests, nevertheless, when growing it, you can encounter some problems. For example, with excessive humidity, insufficient lighting, low temperature in the room, improper watering and in the presence of drafts, the flower drops its leaves. In addition, the leaves often fall due to an improper pot (its size does not suit the plant). If the plant dries, it should immediately be transplanted into a large container. After that, it will begin to grow, form a crown and acquire a healthy appearance.
In addition to falling leaves, ficuses can poorly develop and grow. This usually happens when parasitic insects appear on the plant, for which dry air in the room is excellent for reproduction. To save a flower from “uninvited guests”, it should first be thoroughly washed with warm water, then treated with special preparations.
Most often, small aphids, scabies and spider mites settle on ficuses. When they appear, the plant must be placed in a separate place, inaccessible to other indoor flowers, and begin preventive measures.
As for diseases, the ficus "Kinki" can be affected by powdery mildew, which is accompanied by a white coating on the leaves. A diseased plant must be treated with a fungicidal preparation, and the affected areas should be removed. Sometimes the root system also suffers in flowers, with improper watering, a putrefactive pathogen develops on it, which provokes the appearance of root rot. In this case, the ornamental shrub just needs to be transplanted into a pot with new soil, having previously treated the roots with the appropriate preparations.
In conclusion, we can add that if the Kinki ficus is grown in appropriate conditions (with an optimal humidity level, temperature conditions and in good light), then it will not be afraid of any diseases and pests. In addition, in order to get a beautiful flower, the gardener will also have to do timely pruning. This will not only form a chic crown for the plant, but will also become a preventative measure for many diseases for it.
About planting and caring for the ficus "Kinki", see the next video.