How to trim ficus at home
Ficus can be found in almost every house where lovers of indoor vegetation live. And this is not surprising, because it is not only bright in appearance, but also unpretentious. However, not all flower growers know how to prune and shape this plant correctly.
Basic rules for growing ficus
Ficus is one of the most unpretentious indoor flowers, the care of which is not very difficult. It is only necessary to observe a few rules:
- Place the pot with a tree in a well-lit place, shading the flower in the summer and providing artificial lighting in the fall and winter.
- Protect the plant from significant drafts and the effects of heating appliances.
- Observe the optimum temperature regime: in the warm period - +23 ... + 25 ° С, in the cold season - +12 ... + 15 ° С.
- In a dry room, increase air humidity, for example, by placing wide containers with water.
- In the warm period, it is good to water the plant and spray its leaves with water, to reduce watering in autumn and winter.
- In the warm season, feed the plant every 10 days, alternating organic and mineral supplements.
- Periodically cut the branches of the tree, giving it the necessary shape.
Why and when can I cut ficus
Indoor ficus is a fairly tall tree, and without pruning it can grow almost to the ceiling. Moreover, there is so much young foliage that the plant does not support its weight, and its branches slope down. As a result, the shape of the tree deteriorates, it bends ugly and sags. To prevent this from happening and the plant maintained a compact, harmonious shape, and “anti-aging” pruning is performed.
Slight trimming is allowed at any time. It may be due, for example, to the fact that the ficus took up all the space that was supposed to be for him and began to rest against the ceiling or furniture. More cardinal pruning is carried out when the active growth of the plant slows down - in late autumn or winter, since at rest it responds better to damage.
Important! To remove diseased or dried shoots, do not wait for winter. This pruning can be done at any time.
How to trim ficus at home
All branches grow from buds, which are divided into two types:
- apical, located at the top of the branch;
- axillary, located at the junction of the stem and lateral shoot.
This type of pruning is performed to improve the health of an oppressed or ill ficus, so even before starting work, you should make sure that it is properly cared for.
Pruning damaged or diseased shoots allows not only to remove the infected parts of the tree and stop the spread of infection, but also to direct all its forces to recovery. In addition, such “thinning” improves air circulation and light access.
Read more about caring for these types of ficus: pumila, Bengali, Abidjan.
Step-by-step instructions for sanitary pruning of branches:
- Prepare sharp and sterile pruning shears or scissors.
- Carefully inspect the plant for weak, dried or diseased branches.
- Thoroughly remove all detected damaged branches, using long tweezers to capture the most inaccessible.
- Dispose of diseased shoots without using them for composting.
- Carefully remove the tree from the pot and place it on a comfortable surface.
- Remove soil from the root system and carefully inspect for rotten, grafted or black roots. Remember that good roots have a light shade.
- Carefully, with a small margin, cut off all diseased roots so that the infection does not spread to healthy areas. Do not remove more than a third of the roots.
- Plant a tree in new soil.
Anti-aging pruning is performed as follows:
- Check the conditions of keeping and watering the ficus.
- Make sure that the temperature and lighting are comfortable for the tree.
- Remove all dried leaves and branches.
Walkthrough of Plant Formation
Cutting the top or side branches of the indoor ficus, over time you can get different shapes and sizes of trees. It is better to start plant formation at a young age, when it is still quite flexible and easily goes in any direction.
To form a plant will allow compliance with several rules:
- garden shears (secateurs) must be well sharpened and disinfected;
- cut branches should be slightly higher than the kidneys: thin at right angles, thick at an angle of 45 °;
- you need to cut the branches above the kidney, looking towards the room;
- it is necessary to completely remove the branches inside the bush, as they lead to thickening;
- after trimming, blot the sections with a cloth and treat them with crushed activated carbon.
Did you know? The root system of rubbery ficuses is so strong that in some Indian regions it has been used for many centuries to build "living bridges". To do this, bamboo poles are thrown across the moat or river, which serve as guides for the roots of the tree. The plant needs about 10 years to “build” a 30-meter bridge, and more than 50 people can be on it at the same time.
In order to grow indoor ficus in the form of a bush, one should begin to form a plant at a young age, cutting off all young twigs when they reach a length of 10-15 cm. This activates the growth of axillary buds, from where young twigs begin to sprout. When they reach a length of 8–10 cm, their ends also need to be cut. Thus, pinching the growth points, the ficus will not grow long, but will gain volume and turn into a pretty bush.
Video: Trimming and pinching ficus
Since ficus is photophilous, it is necessary to periodically unfold the pot with it from different sides to the light source. So the plant will develop more evenly.
In the form of a stem
In order for a plant to form in the form of a stem, one should adhere to such technology:
- Remove all lateral shoots, leaving five apical buds to form five supporting branches of the crown.
For a tree that is on the floor, trim the central trunk at a height of 100 cm from the floor. If it will be on a table or stand - at a height of 40-50 cm from the ground.
- To support, install a peg or a grate in the pot, tying branches to it as it grows. When the plant grows up, the support can be removed.
- The five remaining upper shoots should be clipped when they grow to a height of 4–6 buds. Trim over the top kidney, looking toward the room.
- Further, the bush density is formed in the same way - pinching the length of the branch. This stimulates the growth of lateral shoots on it.
- When the desired volume of the crown is formed, from time to time cut the overgrown shoots.
Consider weaving ficus on the example of several identical seedlings of ficus Benjamin with a trunk thickness of 1-1.5 cm:
- Plant young trees next to each other in one tank.
- Remove all side branches, leave only the tops.
- About 12 hours before the start of the weaving process, it is good to water the ficuses in order to give them great flexibility.
- As the trunks grow, start braiding the pigtail, not forgetting to tie the braided part of the plant.
- The strength of weaving to choose at your discretion. You can get the same clearance between the trunks by inserting pencils into them. In order for the stems to grow together, carefully remove the bark in small areas at the place of their joints.
Video: Ficus braiding
Features after trimming
Care for ficus after pruning depends on its type. After a complete cardinal pruning, the tree should rest for several weeks in a slightly darkened place. At the same time, it should be watered in a timely manner as the top soil layer dries. If the plant is grown in one stem, then after its formation the number of irrigations should be reduced so as not to activate the growth of lateral shoots. After recovery, you can carry out a planned transplantation of the plant.
After anti-aging pruning, in addition to regular watering, it is necessary to provide the plant with weekly dressings. To do this, you can use water-soluble micronutrient fertilizers for indoor flowers. Another step in the care of ficus is regular loosening of the soil, an alternative to which can be mulching the soil with moss. And decorative pebbles will be the final touch of the design of the whole composition.
Did you know? Ficus fruits - dates - were used as food by representatives of many ancient civilizations. So, the Israeli king Solomon mentioned them in his songs, and the ancient Greeks and Romans believed that these fruits were sent to Earth by heaven.
What problems may arise
Although the procedure for trimming ficus is not too complicated, it requires caution and safety precautions. Gloves should be used for work so as not to damage the hands with cut branches. In addition, ficus juice sometimes leads to skin irritation.
Do not rush too much, before pruning you need to carefully study the plant and think through a work plan. If the ficus is quite high, it is convenient to start work with trimming the apical kidneys. When forming the silhouette, it is better to start by removing dried and diseased branches of the ficus. So that it grows beautifully, it is worth taking care of a uniform and symmetrical pruning of shoots.
Evergreen indoor ficus is a bright and flexible plant that can revive any room, even on a rainy day. In addition, now you can choose how your tree will look, and easily give it the desired shape.