Ficus "Natasha": home care
Ficus Benjamin "Natasha" is one of the most unpretentious plants of its kind. When growing at home, the main emphasis should be on observing the humidity and temperature conditions. On the right agricultural technology and some of the nuances of care will be discussed below.
Botanical description of the plant
Ficus of Benjamin “Natasha” is an evergreen dwarf tree, 30-100 cm high. The root system of the stem type plant forms multiple secondary branches located in the upper layers of the soil.
The barrel is narrow, cylindrical in shape, painted in light brown. The branching crown is covered with a large number of small, up to 3 cm, green leaves. Branches of drooping type, branched, so the tree requires systematic pruning. Leaves are arranged alternately. Smooth leaf plates are similar in appearance to laurel leaves. The central vein is pronounced.
At home, this species of ficus blooms very rarely. Under natural habitats, the ficus blooms in June. Flowers are siconia, they look very unusual, outwardly resemble red berries with a hole in the center.
Did you know? Under natural conditions, the height of the ficus reaches 30 m, and the width of the leaves is 1 m. Due to this, the lush crown creates a shadow covering a surface area of 300 m².
Features of care immediately after purchase
After buying ficus, it is necessary to ensure proper care, choosing the optimal location and creating a comfortable microclimate. At first, plants should be installed separately from other representatives of the flora in the house. This approach will avoid the spread of fungal spores and pests that may be in the ground.
2 weeks after the purchase, it is necessary to carry out preventive treatment of the crown from diseases and pests. You can use the Fitoverm. The working solution is done by dissolving 5 ml of the substance in 3 l of water. If there are no clear signs of damage to the crown by pests and fungus, one spray is enough.
Recently purchased plants need a pick. Transplantation after purchase is carried out a month later, when the plants adapt and grow stronger. The pick is carried out with a complete replacement of the earthen coma. It is necessary to choose a container 5 cm deeper and wider than the old one, with a large number of drainage holes.
Soil can be used standard for ficus, containing sand. First you need to fry it in the oven and add ash - 20% of the total volume. 2 hours before transplanting, the soil in a pot with a plant is moisturized abundantly.
Read more about the composition of the soil for ficus.
Ficus with an earthen lump is removed from the pot, the roots are freed from the ground and carefully examined for damage. The dried roots need to be removed with a sharp secateurs. Then the root system is immersed in a bath with a weak solution of manganese for 1 hour. After the bath, the roots are dried for 30 minutes by placing the plant on a cotton towel.
A thick layer of expanded clay is laid at the bottom of the pot, about 3 cm, then there is a sand cushion of a similar width. The plant is placed in a pot and aligned on the root neck - it should rise 5 cm above the ground surface.
Sprinkling the roots with earth, they moisturize from the spray gun and set the plant in a constant place, creating a shading. After 3–7 days, depending on the microclimate of the room, the first watering is carried out and the shading is removed.
For all its unpretentiousness, ficuses will not be able to fully develop unless they provide a comfortable microclimate similar to the natural one.
Placement and lighting
Ficus Benjamin's "Natasha" needs bright diffused light. The optimal location for the plant is the eastern and western window sills. Important! In order for the trunk and crown of the ficus to develop evenly, you need to rotate the plants 180 ° around their axis once a month.
Temperature and humidity
Ficus refers to hygrophilous plants. But for them, air humidity is more important than soil. The humidity mode in the room should be maintained within 60–70%.
- in summer - +20 ... + 30 ° C;
- in winter - +12 ... + 20 ° C.
Compliance with agricultural practices in the domestic cultivation of ficus Benjamin "Natasha" is the basis for the prevention of the development of fungal diseases and pests.
Soil moisture must be maintained within 50%. With excess moisture in the soil, the root system is damaged, and the leaves of the ficus "Natasha" turn yellow and fall off. For irrigation use settled or boiled water, without impurities. Water temperature for irrigation - +18 ... + 20 ° C.
The root stem of the ficus grows deep into the pot, its end is located almost at the very bottom, and additional roots are in the upper layers of the soil.
Given this, watering can be done in one of 2 ways:
- spillage of soil with a uniform distribution over the near-stem circle with a thin stream of water until it flows out through the drainage holes;
- immersion of the pot in a container with water for 15-20 minutes.
Did you know? Ficus "Natasha" can completely eliminate toxic compounds (formaldehydes) that adversely affect the condition of the human lungs. They get into our house along with various modern materials designed for insulation and wall decoration, for example, polystyrene foam, plywood, tiles. In addition to watering, you need to periodically spray the leaves and arrange a warm shower for the plant. At elevated temperature values from +20 ° C, watering is carried out 1-2 times a week, while lowering to +12 ° C - once every 10 days. Spraying is carried out once a week, shower - once a month. In winter, instead of spraying, simply wipe the sheet plates with a damp sponge.
During the period of active vegetation, starting from March and ending with August - September, fertilizers are applied once every 2 weeks, in winter - once a month. You can feed plants with combined mineral complexes for ficus and slurry, alternating them every other time. Minerals can be applied by the root and extra-root method, organics - by the root.
“Gumisol”, “Kemira” and “Rainbow” proved to be quite good as mineral fertilizers. They are bred strictly according to the instructions. The first time, adding minerals, the dosage indicated in the instructions is reduced by half. Dung slurry is bred with water 1: 2.
Top dressing is combined with watering: in the evening they moisten the soil, in the morning they fertilize. To prevent overmoistening of the soil, the amount of introduced water is reduced taking into account the amount of moisture in the fertilizing. If the flow rate of water per plant is 2 liters, and fertilizer 1.5 liters, then in the evening, 0.5 liters of water are applied to the soil, and in the morning fertilizers.
Learn also how to feed indoor plants at home.
Young shoots of ficus Natasha have a high growth rate, so the plant needs pruning. Most often, this species of ficus is shaped like a tree. The formation of the crown is carried out during the first 3-4 years of plant life.
Pinching shoots is carried out throughout the growing season:
- in spring - forming pruning, suggesting the shortening of skeletal branches, removal of shoots directed inward to the crown;
- in summer - sanitary pruning, involving the removal of young shoots up to 5 cm long.
Did you know? There are varieties of ficus called stranglers. They begin their life as epiphytes, that is, plants that use other representatives of the flora only as a support, but do not eat at the expense of them. Then they entwine with the aerial roots of the donor plant and, taking root deep in the ground, cause its death.
How to transplant
Plants under the age of 5 years are replanted annually, each time increasing the dimensions of the pot by 5-10 cm in depth and width. From 5 years of age, picking is carried out every 3 years. The procedure is carried out by the transshipment method from February to June.
The pot is pre-treated with 1% solution of copper sulfate and dried.
The soil is used purchased for ficus or mixed independently, applying:
- 50% of leaf-soddy soil;
- 30% sand;
- 10% peat;
- 10% charcoal.
Step-by-step transplant instructions:
- Water the plant in the evening.
- In the morning, lay a layer of expanded clay on the bottom of the pot, then a layer of sand.
- Remove the flower with an earthen lump.
- Trim the tips of the roots that have grown too far, remove 1 cm of the topsoil.
- Set the plant in a new pot, align with the root neck.
- Fill the voids with a nutrient substrate.
- Compact the soil around the trunk and moisten with a spray gun.
Video: How to transplant ficus Benjamin "Natasha"
At home, the ficus of Benjamin "Natasha" propagates in 2 ways:
Cuttings are carried out in the spring during the planned pruning. For propagation, woody cuttings 10-15 cm long are suitable. 3 top leaves are left on the cuttings, the rest are removed. For 2 hours, the shoot is placed in the Kornevin solution, then moved to a glass of water. Horse breeding takes 3-4 weeks. During this time, water is changed daily.
Sowing of seeds is carried out in February-March. Purchased seeds do not require additional processing. They are sown dry in a moistened peat-sand mixture. Seeds are placed in a row at a distance of 7 cm from each other, covered with a three-centimeter layer of soil.
The container is wrapped in polyethylene and left in a dark room, where the air temperature is maintained within +25 ° С. Once every 2 days, the shelter is removed for 30 minutes, the soil moisture is checked, and if necessary, watered from the spray gun.
Seed germination takes 4-8 weeks. With the advent of the first shoots, the shelter is removed and gradually accustomed to light. Picking into separate containers is carried out after the appearance of 3 full sheets.
Read how to care for such species of ficus as: pumila, Bengali and Abidjan.
Deficiencies in care can result in the following problems, in which the ficus "Natasha" discards the leaves:
- Anthracnose - caused by an excess of moisture in the soil. To fix the problem, remove the affected parts of the plant, conduct a four-fold treatment with an interval of 20 days. To prepare the solution, 3 tbsp of water need to add 1 tbsp. l substances.
- Cercosporosis - caused by increased soil moisture. The solution to the problem is the removal of the affected parts of the plant, three times treatment with Alirin with an interval of 5-7 days. For application into the soil, a concentrate is prepared by dissolving 2 tablets in 10 liters of water, for spraying - 2 tablets per 1 liter of water.
- Botritis - you can solve problems using one of the above methods.
If one of the diseases is detected, before starting treatment it is better to carry out an emergency transplant with a complete replacement of an earthen coma, regardless of the season and age of the plants.
Important! A change of habitat, for example, moving to an apartment from a store, can cause foliage to drop. As soon as the plant adapts to the new microclimate, leaf fall will stop, so do not worry.
Dangerous pests for ficus "Natasha" are:
- aphid - is eliminated by spraying with a 3% solution of Bordeaux fluid;
- spider mite - the pest is removed from the leaves with a cotton swab dipped in an alcohol solution (dilute alcohol with water 1: 2);
- mealybug - eliminated by Vermitex, spraying is carried out 2 times according to the instructions;
- Scale - eliminated by spraying with Fitoverm 3-4 times with an interval of 10 days, the solution is prepared according to the instructions.
With ficus Benjamin "Natasha" is associated several beliefs and will:
- to receive this plant as a gift means to gain longevity and prosperity;
- to see a ficus in a dream to a woman who cannot conceive for a long time, which means that her dream will soon come true;
- ficus helps the owner unleash his potential and make up for the wasted energy;
- Ficus standing in the hallway protects against damage.
Among the representatives of the genus ficus Benjamin, “Natasha” is one of the most unpretentious decorative foliage specimens. The main thing is to take care of creating a comfortable microclimate and observe the watering regime.