To date, a large number of varieties and varieties of ficus are so popular that they are already considered almost as independent plants. Almost all specialty stores can shave quite a spectacular plant called ficus Panda. This plant splits sellers as a peculiar, but actually, it is a variety of ficus blunt.
This variety is one of the most spectacular and it can be grown not only as a bonsai. It’s very thick crown consists of small leaves, which is very attractive growers. However, the plant has a high cost and very capricious nature. Every year this plant is becoming more and more popular it has become an exclusive. And it is not unreasonable.
Ficus panda plant information
Ficus Panda botanical name is Ficus retusa. It is easy enough to learn from the characteristic features, namely, the blunted-pointed shape of the leaf plates. So, if you look from a distance, they may seem almost round at the top, but visually perceived as an oval. However, this variety has many features that are characteristic of it.
This evergreen woody plant is presented in the form of a shrub or develops in a multilateral form. The plant is a strongly ramified, stems strong enough, quickly woody. As they grow, they become deformed and thickened, which facilitates the process of forming a Bush and creating a ficus panda bonsai. The ficus has strong enough and clearly visible aerial roots that make it very spectacular. The shoots are covered with beige-gray bark, which has a fairly light shade, with pale strokes visible only on young branches. Small very neat leathery leaves look spectacular. Young foliage has a Golden color, and it seems to glow. They begin to grow at the end of winter and appear throughout the period of intensive growth.
Also, this plant has a characteristic feature available in blunt ficus. So, young leaves are initially covered with stipules of light color, which gradually become yellow and die. Wide adult leaf plates have an oval or elliptical shape, straight edges and blunt apex. Leaves in length can reach 6 centimeters, and in width ― 4 centimeters. The leaves have a bright color from dark to medium green, with the wrong surface has a more muted color. Leaves are very shiny and their surface is a clearly visible thin streak of light color. On the surface of the leaves, there are no dots or specks, but the leaves themselves differ in color saturation, as well as tone, thanks to this, the plant has a small watercolor. Leaf petioles thin and short. The location of the leaf plates alternately offset in a spiral. At the same time, they are very close to each other, from which the crown looks curly and thick.
This variety of ficus has one very important advantage, namely, the unusual fruits of spherical shape and green color, like jewelry shiny between the leaves. Flowering is almost imperceptible.
This sort of ficus is the best choice for bonsai. In this flower and without assistance as it grows thickens the trunk, as well as its curvature. As a result, there are very spectacular lines. Unique Golden young leaves and fruits favorably distinguish this plant among another plant, as well as small leaf plates. This flower looks watercolor at any time of the year, as its leaves are painted in a variety of shades of green.
Ficus panda plant care
The rules of caring for this plant is very similar to those used for growing other figs (only they are a bit more complicated). The most difficult in the care of this ficus is to maintain a stable environment, namely, it is necessary that the temperature and illumination do not change dramatically, and are constantly at the same level. It also requires high humidity and requires protection from drafts. The better to care for the “Panda”, the more elegant and spectacular it will look.
Loves the light. It is worth remembering that this ficus is different from the others in that it can not normally grow and develop even with a little shading. In summer, it is recommended to protect it from direct sunlight, but it is necessary to choose the lightest place for placement. Or you can just put it on the window of the southern orientation, but at the same time to make the light scattered. At the onset of the cold season and the reduction of daylight, the flower must be moved to the most illuminated place, and it is recommended to arrange the illumination with special lamps.
Those ficuses that form in the form of bonsai, are shade-tolerant, and for their cultivation, you can choose shaded places (partial shade). However, whether you can put the plant in a shaded place, you need to find out at the time of purchase in the store from the seller.
A rubber plant likes heat and needs stability. The plant can die if the temperature in the room is less than 8 degrees. And the temperature of fewer than 15 degrees will cause the plant to deteriorate considerably in appearance. “Panda” feels great at temperatures from 17 to 22 degrees. If the room temperature is slightly higher, you will need to increase the humidity.
In summer, it is recommended to move it to fresh air (balcony, terrace), where the plant feels good enough. However, for its placement should choose a well-protected place, as the plant reacts very negatively to drafts and prefers a more stable environment. In this regard, for lack of space on the street, which would meet all the requirements, it is recommended to leave the flower in the house.
Remember that such a ficus, in any case, should not be affected by drafts. Cold draft, as well as a sharp decrease in the temperature of the air in the room, can cause him considerable harm. As a rule, the plant, in this case, takes off all the leaves. Do not allow the cooling of both the plant and the soil in the flower pot. In the autumn-winter period under the pot, it is recommended to put a stand or you can remove it at any elevation. This will help to avoid contact with the cold window sill.
How to water
Watering the plant should be regular and moderate, but the soil in the pot should always be slightly moistened. In the summer it is necessary to water abundantly. At any time of the year, watering should be done only after the top layer of soil dries. Do not allow waterlogging of the earth, and especially stagnation of liquid in it, even for a relatively short period. Remember that excessive humidity is more dangerous than drought (but it is also best avoided if possible). For irrigation is suitable only for soft water. Avoid watering with cold water. In winter, it is recommended to water with lukewarm water, and in spring and autumn, it should be at room temperature.
The plant needs high humidity. To increase this value, it is possible to carry out systematic spraying or install a humidifier. Moisten the leaves can only be soft water. And it is better to take for this purpose melted, distilled or boiled water.
Feed the plant only in the period of intensive growth from the beginning of the spring to October 1 every 2 or 3 weeks. To do this, it is recommended to use special fertilizers for ficus or complex fertilizers for ornamental deciduous plants.
Ficus bonsai pruning
This plant should be a systematic formation. However, pruning is not recommended at the beginning of the period of intensive growth, in the first spring days, as well as before the transplant, because this procedure greatly weakens the ficus. And in any case, it is impossible to carry out pruning in the process of transplantation. The procedure of formation of the plant is recommended in the first summer weeks or, if necessary, in May. Need to trim only the tips of the branches, and greatly shorten should only branches that stretched out or has been damaged. The objective of this procedure is to make the crown lusher. It is possible to conduct systematic pruning of this tree, giving it a more strict or definite form. He tolerates such procedures well enough, and recovery is quite fast. In those places where the shoots have been cut, branching increases and growth is accelerated, and the direction of the branches changes, which leads to changes in the silhouette of the ficus.
Cut branches to 1/3 or ½ of the can only be when the flower is necessary to rejuvenate or it is in a very depressed state.
As a rule, such a plant should be tied up only if you do not grow it as a bonsai. Thin shoots are not able to constantly keep a normal shape, especially when the formation is carried out at the wrong time and the branches become elongated.
For the Ficus Panda is recommended to choose the soil for the plant, which is sold in specialized stores. It is best to use the purchased soil mixture, but you can prepare it yourself, for this you will need to connect the leaf and turf land, sand and peat, which must be taken in equal shares. The substrate should have good pass water, air, to be loose and not too easy. In the mixture, you can pour little loosening additives, for example, vermiculite. Soil acidity should be neutral.
Features of transplantation
Transplanted a flower only if necessary. In adults, ficus Panda, as well as growing in the form of bonsai is recommended once a year only to replace the top layer of the substrate. This procedure is done in early spring, you have to remove the old top layer of soil and put in the fresh substrate. Transplant such a plant is necessary only if the roots cease to fit in the pot.
Young specimens require regular transplantation, carried out once a year. Transplanting is carried out by the method of handling the ground ball must stay intact. The neck should not be buried, it should be left at the same level. Do not forget to make a sufficiently thick drainage layer on the bottom. So, this is perfect crushed brick and expanded clay. After transplantation, until the ficus begins to grow again, it shading and maintain a higher humidity than usual.
This plant can be grown on hydroponics.
Pests and diseases
This variety is not resistant to harmful insects that prefer low humidity. If you do not keep the humidity high, the plant may well settle spider mites, scale insects, and mealybugs. In order to get rid of them, it is necessary to remove them manually and maintain high humidity. If the infection is too strong, it will require the use of insecticides.
- falling leaves with a sharp change in air temperature;
- reset foliage due to cold draft;
- the fall of the leaves due to waterlogged soil;
- changing the color of the leaves to yellow with excessive watering;
- changing the size of leaves (grinding) with insufficient fertilizer and low humidity;
- shrinkage or drying of leaf plates exposed to direct rays of the sun and very dry air.
Methods of reproduction
Can be propagated by cuttings in the spring and summer. Cut cuttings are lowered into the water for a few hours, and then the treatment is carried out with a growth-stimulating agent. For rooting the stalk put in a warm place (not less than 25 degrees) with high humidity. Need lower heating, and the top of the stalk is recommended to cover with a plastic bag or cap.
Large bushy specimens can be propagated by air layering. A longitudinal incision is made between two strong nodes. Then this place should be wrapped with moistened moss or substrate. When the escape will give roots, it is separated from the mother Bush.