Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ficus 'Amstel King'

As I walked into Flowers and Plants in Mclean,( I was delighted  to come across the latest from the Ficus family.   A new hybrid or new variety of a species ,as it is introduced into the world of indoor horticulture, is a wonderful surprise the first time you first see it.  And this was the first time I ever set eyes on a Ficus 'Amstel King'.  It is similar to the old familiar Ficus Benjamina and a hybrid of it, but it's leaves are broader and longer.  This says to me that the 'Amstel King'  will tolerate a little lower light than the Benjamina. 

The ficus family has had several members that are proven to be sturdy houseplants.  The larger specimens make a bold and dramatic life presence in any room.  

  • Care Instructions--
  • Strong indirect light to some direct sun.  
  • Water thoroughly when the soil is dried out on the surface.  A plant like this in a 14"(35cm) diameter pot can take up to 1 gallon, or almost 4 liters, of water when necessary.  A plant in a 10"(25cm) pot can take as much a 2 quarts (almost 2 liters) of water when necessary.   They like a good soak,
  • Make sure the plant is well potted and if necessary add some potting soil.  It is essential to make sure the soil is evenly packed especially around the inner edge so that it is watered evenly.  Press the soil down firmly around the inner edge and make sure there is enough soil covering the top roots but not covering the bottom of the trunk. 
  • The leaves would like a dusting from time to time and an outdoor shower once or twice a year would be very helpful. 

They can be pruned to stay in the space they have been given.   Fertilize regularly for fullest growth. 

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