Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Byron's Ficus benjamina

It's always a delight to visit my friend, Byron, in his comfortable home.  He definitely has a way with plants and was happy to let me photograph him with his specimens.  His Ficus benjamina, the lush leafy tree right next to him,  was a rescue plant.  One of his neighbors was ready to give up on it and he retrieved it from the lobby where it had been set out for disposal.  It was looking on the thin and pitiful side when he first brought it in.  Now it is lush and gorgeous thanks to his devoted care!   I'll get to writing about his other plants another day very soon.

That day, we decided it was time to clean his Ficus.  The leaves had become quite dusty and clean leaves will take in light better and breathe easier.  He lives in an apartment so this had to be done indoors.  Into the shower it went.  It cleaned up beautifully!

  • Care Instructions-- 
  • At least some direct sun is usually recommended.  They can thrive in full sun,  but often do well in very bright indirect light.  
  • The most important aspect to keeping them lush is giving them a very good soaking as soon as the top of the soil dries out.  A plant in a 10" (25cm)diameter pot will take a 1/2 gallon (about 2 liters) of water when ready.  Give a ficus in a 14"(35 cm) diameter pot a full gallon(almost 4 liters).  Make sure they are not sitting in water for over one day.
  •  Fertilize  regularly 
  • Every once in a while, give them a good shower with the garden hose or in the bathtub to  clean up the leaves. 
  • They can be pruned to shape. This will  keep them manageable indoors.  

**To see other plants on this blog click here:   The Indoor Garden blog
***For a variety of  video clips on houseplant care from my 90's TV series, click here:The Indoor Garden TV show