Ficus has long been considered a symbol of home comfort and a strong family, so they can be found in every home. Especially loved are the miniature species that take up little space, with a simple crown formation they look like mini-trees and perfectly purify the air in the house.
Ficus "Natasha" - one of the lowest varieties of ficus Benjamin, growing in the form of a bush. At home - the islands of Java, Ceylon, Borneo or in the subtropics of Australia - this plant can reach up to 10 meters. At home, the bush grows up to 40 cm. Thin, flexible trunks of these ficuses can be twisted several in a single pot to create one plant with a fluffy bonsai-style crown.
Oval, curved leaves of Natasha densely dot thin branches. Leaflets are 3.0 to 1.5 cm in size, their surface is slightly shiny. Coloring can be different: from saturated green, monophonic, to light green with white spots and veins.
The ficus of the described variety is not particularly whimsical to care for. However, to obtain a lush green crown of a miniature bush, lovers of indoor plants should strictly follow the recommended rules for care.
This ficus does not like frequent changes in the situation, so it is not advisable to change the place chosen for it. It should not be too brightly lit, not near the window, away from heating appliances and drafts, which the bush does not tolerate. The minimum air temperature for a pet is 13-15 degrees, and the maximum is 28 degrees. During winter rest, a comfortable temperature for him is 17-18 degrees.
In addition, Natasha needs daily two-time spraying of leaves with water at room temperature. Shaking the crown of a plant to evenly pass air between all leaves is also a mandatory ritual that helps to keep it lush. If in the process of adapting to a new place, the ficus discards leaves, then this should not be scared. Under normal conditions, foliage will gradually recover.
At different times of the year, the frequency of irrigation is different and depends on the drying time of the soil. Ficus does not like dry earth, but does not tolerate excessive moisture in the pot. Therefore, watering is best done in several stages, so that the soil is completely saturated with water. Half an hour after watering, the remaining moisture in the pan must be drained.
Important! Water before irrigation should warm to room temperature and stand for at least a day.
Winter is a dormant period when a plant does not need food. In the warmer months, the bush needs complex fertilizer every month. In this case, the soil should be with good drainage. Organic and mineral dressings are alternated, which are diluted with water and introduced during watering. The dosage of fertilizers must be strictly maintained so that overfertilization does not cause fungal diseases in plants.
Important! Nitrogen fertilizers contribute to the growth of the crown, its healthy and shiny appearance.
The first transplant of a room bush is carried out no earlier than a couple of weeks after the purchase, so that he has time to adapt to new conditions.
Plants are transplanted from March to August. This is an annual procedure for young bushes, and for adults it is carried out every 3-4 years. A signal to it should be that the roots are cramped in an earthen coma, which dries quickly after watering. A transplant is best done as follows:
- the new capacity should be 3-4 cm larger than the previous one in width and height;
- a layer of drainage and nutrient mixture is poured into it;
- a bush with an earthen lump on the roots is removed from the old pot and carefully placed in a new place;
- the soil should be with humus, peat and sand;
- between the plant and the walls of the tank, add soil, tamp lightly, and then add a little more earth from above.
When transplanting, you can put several plants in the pot, intertwining their trunks with each other, and then wrapping the common trunk with burlap. Get a plant with a lush crown.
It is better to propagate a bush with cuttings with 3-4 buds, waiting until the roots appear on them or planting them immediately in the ground, covering to root with a can.
Trimming bush ficus is carried out at the end of February, when only the rudiments of leaves appeared. This procedure is necessary due to the fact that the branches become long, thin and weak. The longer and thinner the branch, the more it is cut.
Young, flexible plants are best pruned. Already in the second year of life, the rather rapidly growing ficus "Natasha" needs pruning. The juice released from the branches is washed, and the hands are washed after this procedure. Do not be afraid of pruning the tops of the shoots, as while the axillary buds come to life, giving rise to lateral shoots. The crown of bushes from this becomes more magnificent.
A section is made over the kidney, using garden shears. Trimming of thick shoots is carried out obliquely, and thin - directly.
Pruning also needs old dry branches, which are then covered with garden var. Be sure to trim and damaged shoots.
How to care for ficus at home
Diseases and Pests
Ficus Natasha most often suffers from diseases such as leaf blotch and root rot. But this is not limited to plant problems. From time to time, the leaves may turn yellow and fall. The reasons for this may be:
- uncomfortable air temperature;
- dry air - in hot weather, indoor ficus needs constant spraying, or it is necessary to place an air humidifier next to it;
- insufficient watering or excess moisture equally harm the bush. In the second case, the plant is threatened with root rot, which can only be removed by surgical methods;
- lack or excess of nutrients is undesirable for ficus.
Leaf spotting may appear from the above factors. But in addition to improper care, this can be attributed to fungal diseases: anthracnose and cercosporosis, the main cause of which is an excess of moisture. These diseases are treated with special drugs.
Pest of bush ficuses include:
- Shield. Eating the plant's juice, leaves a sweetish discharge on it, on which a sooty fungus forms. It makes breathing and plant growth difficult. You can fight them with a soap solution and special preparations. Heavily damaged parts of plants are pruned.
- Mealybug. A small white insect, which can be combated in the same ways as with a scab.
- Spider mite. Whitish spots and cobwebs on plants, the fault of which is a tiny insect indistinguishable to the naked eye. In the fight against it, you need to use spraying bushes, because the pest does not like moisture, soapy water or special chemicals.
You may also be interested in an article in which we talk about how to make an original flower pot from an old book.
Almost all problems of ficuses arise due to non-compliance with the conditions for caring for it, and a violation of the microclimate. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid factors harmful to pets, such as:
- dry air
- moisture stagnation;
- lack of light;
- a sharp change in living conditions;
- groundless transplants;
- glut of fertilizers.
How to braid ficus Benjamin "Natasha"
Ficus Benjamin "Natasha" - an unpretentious, long-lived indoor plant. This miniature pet with a magnificent crown, easily amenable to shaping, is the decoration of any room. In addition, it perfectly disinfects the air, saturating it with substances that increase the immunity of all living near it.