Perfect for the Patio – Ficus nitida

Ficus plants are amongst the most popular foliage plants for indoor containers. Whilst there are hundreds of different species, there are only a few prized for their lush green foliage and successful growth indoors. Ficus nitida is one of these.

As trends globally continue to feature and include plants and foliage – the use of indoor plants is growing. Although most Ficus will grow into huge trees in the open and in frost free areas, they adapt very well to growing in containers, both indoors and out. They are ideally suited to smaller homes and townhouses, with limited space, contained gardens and patios. Individual pots make a stylish feature, whereas a row of plants or hedged plants offer the practicality in the form of screening, both visually and for sound!

Ficus trees maintain their tree-like shape regardless of size. They are excellent container plants that add an instant feature, whether small, medium or large; to homes, offices & patios.

In recent years, imaginative nurserymen have taken advantage of Ficus’ pliable trunk and you can now select from standard, braided and twisted forms which continue to grow in demand and popularity.

Ficus microcarpa var. nitida is more commonly known as the ‘Indian laurel’. It has a lovely silvery bark with glossy, shiny leaves. Ficus varieties have recently been identified to possess air purifying qualities. According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, Ficus’ absorb airborne VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), effectively purifying the air. In corporate environments, indoor plants have been proven to increase mood & productivity, enhance concentration and reduce stress and fatigue… how awesome is that! In the home environment, they do this too … AND they look good and make you feel great ☺

Ficus are fast growing, with a rapidly spreading roots. Their growth is contained by the size of their container, but one should take care when growing Ficus outdoors… Some varieties may be invasive in certain areas and it is advisable to check with your local GCA for advice.

Ficus nitida performs well indoors and should last for several years as a container plant. Herewith a summary of the basic plant care needed to ensure success with Ficus:

Position: Ficus need a high light location indoors. They are sensitive to draughts and should be positioned in a sheltered, shady position. Plants thrive on patios, if kept away from draughts.

Watering: Water deeply every few days and ensure that the pot drains well

Feeding: Feed with slow release fertiliser to promote growth and improve overall plant quality

Additional care:

  • Drainage is important and Ficus do not tolerate ‘wet feet’
  • Ensure that the container you have it in, has drainage holes. Also ensure that the base of the container should be level with the edge of the saucer. (Do this by placing pieces of paving stones or similar underneath.)

Green tip:

  • Plant growth typically takes place in the direction of the sun / light. Rotate your plant every time you water, to ensure growth takes place evenly  
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