Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ficus pumila Cuttings & Calathea Flower

I love Ficus pumila. They have nice dense foliage which grows very quickly with little care. The only problem is that you can never let them dry out. I learned this the hard way with the first plant I purchased after forgetting to water once. It was in an extremely small pot and I should have transplanted it immediately after getting it. Instead I left it in the pot and took some cuttings. Within two weeks it was dead. It doesn't seem these plants ever recover from drying out.

Fortunately the cuttings survived. It seems I still hadn't learned my lesson. All the cuttings rooted and resumed with growth but within another two weeks I'd let two more dry out (in those little peat pockets). I immediately put the remaining three in a plastic container filled with water. They'll stay there until I find room for a permanent home. I'd recommend you always do this with the cuttings and put mature plants in a pot with a self-watering reservoir. If you're prone to letting plants dry out, this is NOT the plant for you.

My Calathea roseopicta 'Medallion' has sent up several flower spikes over the last few weeks. Nothing spectacular but interesting nonetheless.


  1. I've had the exact same experience with Ficus pumila. Mine's not completely dead, but I don't know what to do with the part that's left: it'd be a good terrarium plant, except that it would overrun a terrarium too fast to be worth planting.

  2. I really love this plant although it isn't very hardy here and I've never tried growing it indoors.

  3. @mr_subjunctive, I feel like you need to grow it buy itself up a wall or something. Just let it take over. That or be addicted to pruning.

    @Phillip, I'd be scared it would take over outside but I guess the winter would solve that problem. I bet you could just grow it bare root in a jar of water and add fertilizer occasionally.

  4. I'm terrible at remembering to consistently water. I really need to look into some self watering pots. They really are a life saver.

  5. Ficus pumila is one of those weird plants that has a juvenile and adult foliage phase. The adult leaves when the plant gets woody stems looks nothing at all like the juvenile form. They are a pretty common wall covering here in California.

  6. Exactly my problem. And I think mine got spider mites too, stupid bloody critters. But they're so pretty - the Ficuses, not the mites!


Thanks for contributing!

Related Posts with Thumbnails