Ficus benjamina care: How to do it step by step
Ficus benjamina is a plant native to South and Southeast Asia. In general, it is a rather delicate plant, especially when opting for the ficus benjamina bonsai, which is less resistant than the ficus benjamina tree. In fact, although they are of the same species, they have differences. We have to know Ficus benjamina care.
The common diseases of ficus benjamina are equally different in the bonsai and in the tree. If you have one of these plants or you want to have one, we will explain how to take care of a ficus benjamina so that you have it healthy and live for a long time in your home. In addition, we also indicate some common problems such as yellow leaves in the ficus benjamina and other of their conditions so you know what happens to you.
The Ficus benjamina care
The ficus benjamina bonsai is more suitable to be located inside the house and in areas where there is plenty of light. However, it can also be located in outdoor areas, but where the sun does not shine directly since it is always convenient to look for a semi-shaded place.
This is not the only particularity that should be taken into account when caring for a ficus benjamina, since it is also important to pay attention to other aspects:
The ficus benjamina bonsai always has to have the earth somewhat humid. It is important that it never dries out. However, it should be avoided to water it too much so that its leaves do not spoil. In general, the guideline is to water it every two or three days, although in summer it may be necessary to do it four or five times a week.
The best soil or substrate for the ficus benjamina bonsai is composed of more than 50 percent mulch, around 30 percent coarse sand and about 10 percent black peat.
You always have to prune a ficus benjamina bonsai in spring. But, in addition, it is necessary to be fixed in which the stem has between four and six leaves. Spring is also the ideal season to transplant it, always every two years.
Wiring: can be done at any time of the year to protect the trunk and branches.
If you choose to have a ficus benjamina tree, the care is different from ficus benjamina bonsai. In fact, the first thing that changes is its location because, in this case, it is better to be outdoors and in a large garden area located in full sun. It is a fairly resistant species, even reaching temperatures of four degrees below zero.
In addition to these characteristics for its location, we must not forget other features such as, for example, placing it more than 10 meters from floors, pipes or other high floors. And because? The answer is simple: the ficus benjamina tree has a fairly invasive root system. Apart, it is convenient to talk about other care ficus benjamina:
The soil on which the ficus benjamina tree is planted does not have to have specific characteristics. In fact, it can be on any substrate.
Although this ficus benjamina is not very demanding in terms of soil, it is for irrigation, since the soil does not have to be dry for a long time, especially in summer. In general, it is sufficient three times a week in the summer and between one and two in the rest of the seasons. However, it does require a good drainage system.
The best thing is to transplant it in spring and always on days with temperatures that exceed 15 degrees Celsius.
It is better to do Pruning at the end of winter. Multiplication is done either by sowing its seeds or by cuttings in spring.
Common diseases of ficus benjamina
When talking about the care of ficus benjamina, diseases can not be ignored. And it is that both the bonsai and the tree get sick. What are the common diseases of ficus benjamina? Actually, they are related to the pests that affect them the most:
Red spider: They are small spiders -0,5 mm-, of red color that stay stuck to the leaves of ficus benjamina. Its presence is noted by the appearance of yellow spots, which turn brown with time.
Aphid: These parasites are a little older than the red spider, since they are 0.5 centimeters long. In addition, they can be green, yellow and brown, found in tender stems and new leaves.
Pillbugs: They are placed on the leaves and are noted for their appearance of small brown scales or for being like cotton.
What happens to the ficus benjamina leaves?
In addition to the common diseases of the ficus benjamina, there are other situations in which the bonsai tree seems sick, although they are not. It is something that is noticeable in the state of its leaves and that, in general, is related to bad care. These are the main causes of each characteristic:
Yellow leaves: The yellow leaves in ficus benjamina are related to an excess of water. However, this aspect may also be due to a lack of nutrients in the soil or substrate or of certain minerals such as iron.
Black or blackened leaves: It happens when it is exposed to low temperatures, even to ice cream. It can also be a sign of the presence of fungi.
Leaves with the dry tip: They usually appear when the ficus benjamina is not well located and is exposed to many air currents that do not favor its development.
We hope to have helped you with these tips on ficus benjamina care to know more about your needs and what you have to do to be in perfect condition whether you have a ficus benjamina bonsai or a ficus benjamina tree.