How to water the ficus elastica
The Ficus Elastica needs to be watered regularly all year round, carefully avoiding stagnation of water, which is dangerous for the roots and for the health of the leaves. It loves wet loam and humid surroundings, as required by its tropical nature. Water should be given approximately twice a week during the summer season, when the soil is visibly dry. In winter, Ficus Elastica needs less watering as long as the plant does not live in a very heated environment. The leaves benefit from close sprays of water. In this way, the humidity is created around the plant it needs to thrive. Furthermore, the nebulized water is useful for removing the layer of dust that deposits on the leaves, keeping them healthy and clean.
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Ficus Elastica needs a light soil, with an acid pH, which allows excellent water drainage and is rich in nutrients. An excellent trick to overcome this problem can be to insert, inside the earth, pieces of bark that favor the flow of water. It suffers a lot from the cold and for this reason, in winter, it must be adequately protected and kept at a temperature of about 20 ° C. The Ficus Elastica multiplies by cuttings, usually made during the hottest periods. The branch taken must have a good quantity of leaves and be at least 20 cm long. It should be placed in a pot with sand and peat until the new roots are born. It is necessary to repot the plant every year, increasing the size of the pot itself from time to time.
How to fertilize
A drained and fertile soil is what Ficus Elastica needs during planting. In spring and summer, fertilization should be done every two weeks with a liquid fertilizer based on nitrogen, phosphorus and iron. These are the three substances necessary to guarantee the correct development of the roots and the foliar apparatus. The iron also effectively fights the yellowing of the leaves, guaranteeing the maintenance of the green over time. Using it is simple, just dilute 10 ml of product in a liter of water and proceed with abundant irrigation. During autumn, Ficus Elastica needs less frequent fertilization and based on organic fertilizer, such as manure, which can guarantee a soil rich in nutrients and permeable to water.
Ficus elastica: Exposure and diseases
Ficus Elastica loves bright environments but not direct light. It must be protected as much as possible from direct sunlight, sheltering it, for example, behind a glass window. It is a plant that resists disease but not parasites, in fact mites and scale insects are its bitter enemies. Often the mites reveal themselves thanks to the presence of small cobwebs on the leaves and are effectively fought with products based on pyrethrum. Mealybugs feed on the sap of the plant itself. Eliminating them is simple. Just use a solution made with water and dish soap and rub it on the leaf. Alternatively, another effective and chemically harmless way is to rub the affected area with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab. Cochineal is the main cause of fumaggine, a fungus that attacks and impoverishes Ficus Elastica.