Rubber ficus is the most familiar of the ficus plants for everyone, because it was it that was grown by our grandmothers. Now this tradition has been renewed thanks to the Dutch supply of the plant, which has many names in the homeland - India, Indonesia - elastic, which means “resilient,” snake tree, rubber tree, etc.
A guest from Southeast Asia, Ficus Elastica, is a large tree that reaches up to 50 meters in height and, thanks to its aerial roots, sometimes grows into whole groves. He has a strong trunk, and aerial roots, descending to the ground, form a kind of columns, forming a banyan tree over time. The largest banyan tree has 250 main supports and 3,000 small ones.
Under indoor conditions, this plant does not reach this size, but it may well grow from 60 centimeters to 1 meter in a year. Under favorable conditions, elastic ficus grows one leaf per week, without dropping old leaves.
On elliptical, pointed, large sheets of elastic, milky juice sometimes appears, containing enzymes, latex, alkaloids, which protect it from pests and serve for regeneration. Having come into contact with human skin, it causes dermatitis and irritation.
Considering that the plant stretches in height, practically without scrubbing on its own, it is necessary to artificially limit its growth by trimming and pinching the upper shoots. In this case, you do not need to transplant the elastic into a too spacious pot.
Cropping without trimming
There are several ways to force elastic ficus to branch laterally without radical pruning:
- The trunk bends as low as possible, and the top is fixed with ropes to the lower branches or to a stick-support inserted into the ground. After this, the kidney wakes up, which turned out to be the highest, giving rise to a new strong branch. The crown ceases to stretch upward intensely. Gradually aligning the bent branch to its original position, you can give an opportunity to wake up a few more lateral buds. It should be remembered that the younger the tree, the more responsive it is to such stimulation.
- Having disinfected the knife, make a deep (1/3 of the thickness) incision above the sleeping kidney. From this place the bark is removed. The purpose of this operation is to weaken the root nutrition of the awakened kidney, which is called kerbovka. This is done in early spring.
- Stimulation of branching with the help of cytokinins - artificial plant hormones. They replace the apical dominance of the apex with the axillary - lateral. An additional effect of these drugs is to prevent falling of the lower leaves.
Rubber Care for Ficus at Home
Dates and rules on how to crop at home
Pruning ficus is done in early spring, when it is ready for active growth. If you do it at another time, when the tree is in a state of relative rest, then only the topmost kidney can wake up. The plant as a result will remain one-sided. This procedure is appropriate when the elastic has reached a height of 70-80 cm.
If you do not want to radically change the height of the tree, then you can only pinpoint the growth point - the top of the central shoot. If the rubber is too high, then the cutting line must be drawn 5-7 centimeters higher than the branch or sheet you need.
When deciding on how deep the pruning should be, it is worth considering that after it the trunk will stop growing up. The error made in the calculations after it will be impossible to correct.
The pruning rules are as follows:
- the tool must be sharp and well disinfected (it can be held over a fire or rubbed with alcohol);
- thin branches are cut in a straight line, and the trunk is cut obliquely;
- an incision on one side passes above the kidney, and on the other, at its level;
- in order not to injure the plant, all operations are done with a knife or secateurs, only small branches are cut with scissors.
Rubber ficus after trimming
After pruning, snake milky juice appears on the snake ficus. It should be completely removed with a wet rag, as water stops juice removal. This procedure is required, because the frozen juice clogs the blood vessels, stopping the growth of the plant.
If the elastic needs a transplant, which also contributes to its branching, then it can only be done 2 weeks after trimming, as this procedure causes stress in the elastic ficus. It is usually transplanted into a pot only 2-3 centimeters larger than the previous one. In tall ficuses, the transplant is replaced by updating the upper soil layer.
To stimulate the growth of rubber, in a month it is fed with complex mineral and organic fertilizers. The soil before this is necessarily moistened.
The resulting lateral shoots pinch to achieve the density and compactness of the crown. Their direction can be adjusted using a wire. Another is usually planted in the container to the main tree, more often it is its rooted top. This is an additional resource for the formation of a beautiful crown of a plant.
We also offer you to read an article about ficus "Natasha".
We form a crown of a non-standard look (photo)
Rubber makes it possible to show imagination when forming an unusual shape of the crown.
- Stamp form with its trunk and splendor it resembles a tree miniature. To create it, the central stem is tied to a peg and all leaves and twigs are removed to the required height. After some time, the support is removed, and the trunk is shortened by 3-5 cm. The lower branches are cut by a third, and the upper ones are pinched on the 2-3rd internodes. This procedure is repeated as often as necessary to maintain the selected crown shape.
- Ficus weaving. Several young ficuses of the same height are placed in the pot. To get the barrel in the form of a spiral, you need 2 elastic, and for the pigtail - 3. Weaving is done without stretching, given the fact that the trunks will thicken over time. All side branches are removed.
- To obtain "fence", plants are placed in a container in a straight line at the same distance from each other. To maintain the desired shape and direction, they are fastened with twine, thick thread or film. In order not to form scars, the fixators weaken from time to time. At the points of contact they remove the bark. The juice that came out while wiping it with a wet rag, bring together and fasten the plants with a film. The resulting composition is turned to light.
- To receive circular grill rubber noses are planted in a circle.
- To obtain spiral trunk, the elastic is tied to a peg, wrapping the trunk as it grows around the support. All side branches are removed.
- Can create original compositionby placing in the center of several ficuses a coconut column, constantly moisturizing it. The aerial roots of plants will braid it, grow together, forming a monolithic structure like a banyan tree.
Ficus rubbery: formation
Numerous varieties of this not very picky ficus will decorate and add variety to the design of an apartment, office, winter garden. Variegated plants attract with their unique beauty, and bizarre compositions from them will give any room a romantic look, improve the air and create the illusion of wildlife.