Ficus Melanie was bred relatively recently, but has already managed to gain popularity among most flower growers involved in the cultivation of ficus at home.
The plant is quite compact and ideal for growing in small areas. Ficus Melanie is characterized by a chic crown. Leaves have a length of not more than 15 centimeters. The leaves on the stems are arranged densely enough, which gives the plant a decorative and special appeal. The surface of the leaves is characterized by gloss, leatheriness and density. The reverse side is matte, light green in color, with a significant amount of reddish veins.
The vertical method of growing ficus Melanie allows you to get a plant with abundant branching, and with the help of pruning the crown, you can easily give almost any shape.
Indoor plants are most often grown precisely young plants of this variety. Under normal conditions, during the period of active vegetation, the plant forms one new leaf every seven days, preserving the lower foliage completely. At home, does not bloom. For a long time, the plant was undeservedly forgotten, but thanks to the Dutch flower growers it returned to our country again.
Ficus Melanie: Care and Watering
Ficus Melanie is unpretentious and ready quite easily put up with some inaccuracies in care.
The maximum temperature should not exceed 30 degrees. A hotter climate is disastrous for this ficus. The minimum temperature should not be lower than 5 degrees heat. Drafts in the room and waterlogging of the soil, which provoke a large number of ficus diseases, should be completely eliminated. The plant can grow both on the windowsill, and at some distance from the window. Ficus Melanie is very responsive to water procedures and responds well to spraying, as well as showering in the hot season.
Watering and feeding
The plant needs frequent spraying and removal of dust from the leaves with a wet sponge. However, excessive soil moisture in the flower pot is unacceptable, as it often causes rotting of the sensitive root system of the plant. Watering is carried out with warm and settled water. The signal for irrigation is the drying of the topsoil in the flower pot. The plant tolerates slight drought more easily than the bay.
Ficus Melanie needs a fairly regular feeding. It is recommended to introduce universal fertilizers for indoor plants. In the spring and summer periods, fertilizer is applied every two weeks. With the onset of winter colds, top dressing should be limited and carried out no more than once a month.
The transplant rules, which are the same for all indoor ficuses, are also suitable for Melanie ficus-elastica. It is advisable to transplant a young plant annually. The best time to transplant is mid-spring or early summer. Older plants can be replanted every three years. The method of transshipment of plants with an earthen lump is also relevant for this variety of ficus. It should be remembered that the plant experiences some stress after transplantation and needs a careful and careful attitude.
In the process of growing and aging of the plant, the death of the lower leaves on the ficus of this variety is observed. To preserve natural beauty, it is recommended to carry out shaping pruning at the end of winter. When trimming the apical part, you can achieve a beautiful branching of the plant. HIn order to form a lush and beautiful bush, you should trim about five internodes from above.
Another popular way to get beautiful side shoots on a plant is to fix the ficus in the position of the lowest possible slope. Under such conditions, it is not the apical but the lateral kidney that is located above the others that dominates, as a result of which the apex stops growing, and the lateral kidney passes to the stage of active growth.
You may also be interested in an article in which we talk about the problems encountered when growing ficuses.
Diseases and Pests
The main danger to the ficus Melanie is represented by scale insects, spider mites and thrips, to combat which, in addition to the mechanical method, spraying the plant with Fitoverm solution is used.
Abundant fall of the lower leaves is the result of insufficient moisture, improper watering or lack of nutrients. Also the cause may be a draft or low temperature.
If the leaves droop on the plant, then you should review the temperature regime and increase the humidity.
The appearance of brown spots can indicate a plant getting burns from sunlight. Small brown spots may indicate overfeeding of ficus with large doses of fertilizer.
If you follow all the rules for caring for a plant, it is very likely that pest diseases and lesions can be avoided.
Ficus Melanie is an almost perfect miniature indoor plant that can not only decorate the interior, but also purify indoor air, which is especially true for large industrial cities with adverse ecology.