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Ficus is one of the most popular and common plants that are grown at home. Many indoor ficus plants are long-livers and, after planting, are able to delight gardeners with their magnificent appearance for many years.
The Legend of Ficus Religious
According to a legend known to few flower growers, many thousands of years ago, the Indian prince rested and meditated under the sacred ficus. As a result of meditation, Siddhartha realized the meaning of life and attained Bodhi's highest enlightenment. He became the Awakened, or Buddha Supreme. According to legend, the shadow of the ficus became the birthplace of not only the Buddha, but also Vishnu.
In Buddhism, this plant has long been recognized as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Binding it with silk red, white and yellow threads accompanies prayers for the sending of posterity. In India, such trees are planted around temples.
In the second century BC, the tree was destroyed by King Pushpiamitra, but then this plant was restored to its original place. In the seventh century AD, the tree was again destroyed, this time by the king of Sassanka. The Bodhi Tree, located today on Bodh Gai, has been growing there since 1881. The descendant of the tree under which the Buddha gained enlightenment, Sri Madha Bodhi, was planted in 288 BC in Anuradhapur in Sri Lanka. Currently, it is the oldest tree among similar plants.
The plant has several names: sacred fig, sacred ficus, religious ficus. This evergreen tree belongs to the genus Ficus of the Mulberry family, or Moraceae. The places of wide distribution of this plant are India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, southwestern China and countries on the Indochina peninsula.
The ficus of this species is characterized by the presence of strong and powerful branches with a grayish bark. The leaves of the plant are heart-shaped, and their length can vary from 8 to 12 centimeters. Leaves have smooth edges, a long drip tip and distinct veins. The inflorescences have the shape of a pot and form an inedible fruitful of purple staining.
Events for the care of Ficus Sacred are standard for all types and varieties of this plant. Important conditions are compliance with the microclimate, as well as the implementation of proper irrigation and timely fertilizer application.
Ficus Sacred: Growing and Caring
For the location of the plant, it is preferable to choose a place with bright, but diffuse lighting. It is allowed to grow ficus in partial shade. The best option is windows that look west or east. For this thermophilic plant, it is required to maintain a temperature of 20 to 25 degrees in the summer and not lower than 15 degrees in the winter. Ficus Sacred needs protection from hot air currents, outgoing from heating appliances, as well as drafts. High humidity is optional, but desirable.
Watering and feeding
Ficus of this species is characterized by a rapid flow of water and needs regular abundant irrigation with well-maintained water at room temperature. With waterlogging, rotting of the root system is possible.
Fertilizing is done twice a week. Top dressing involves the alternation of organic and mineral fertilizers, and the soil mixture should be enriched with nitrogen and potassium.
Such a houseplant, like the sacred ficus, is one of the fastest growing. Many amateur gardeners who practice growing it at home note the fact that a small ficus seedling reaches a height of two meters in a few months. Due to very fast growth and development, a plant should be transplanted at least twice a year.
The benchmark for transplantation is the rate of development of the root system, which after a certain period of time becomes very crowded in a flower pot. Too old and large plants can not be transplanted, but by replacing the topsoil in a flower pot.
It is possible to limit the growth and correctly form the crown of the plant by regularly trimming young shoots. Pruning should be planned at the start of the growing season. At the stage of growth of new shoots, pinching their tips is carried out. The young plant has a sufficiently elastic and flexible trunk, which allows the formation in the form of braiding or other interesting options.
We also offer you to read an article about Ficus bengal.
Pests and the fight against them
Among the pests that most often infect the sacred ficus are the scale insects, aphids, as well as thrips and the widespread mealybug. At the first signs of damage to the plant, thorough treatment of foliage and branches with the help of special chemical insecticides is required.
The cause of plant disease can be a banal violation of the rules for the care of ficus. The first sign of such violations is most often the dropping of foliage by a plant. However, gardeners should remember that a sharp "baldness" of a plant can also be a consequence of a process quite natural for a ficus.
Ficus: variety selection
When grown at home, the Sacred Ficus was able to establish itself as a very unpretentious and hardy plant. Subject to the simple rules of care, the ficus is very rarely affected by diseases or pests and for many years serves as an unusually spectacular decoration of a modern residential building.