Have you tried and failed with your Fiddle Fig? Well maybe it's time to move onto the next big fig! There are so many brilliant ones out there. Here we will discuss why our Ficus friends have become so popular lately.
What is a Ficus? Is it a tree? Is it a vine? Is it a fruit? Is it a shrub? Well, it's ALL of those things and more! The Ficus genus has the widest range of growth forms than any other tropical plant genus. It has about 900 species! They are well known for the classic edible fruit, the FIG, which gave rise to the other Ficus species. Nearly all types produce a fruit but only a handful are considered edible and the only one now cultivated for its fruit is the Ficus carica. Fig trees are one of the first cultivated trees in the world! Now we only dream about owning one as a houseplant. Here we list the top 3 Ficus plants you must get your hands on!
The Fussy Fig:
This is the most talked about plant. The Fiddle Fig (Ficus lyrata) was named the 'it' plant of the design world (New York Times) and we can see why. They have large glossy green leaves shaped like a violin, hence the name Fiddle Fig. They are quite slow growing but can get rather big, up to 3m indoors. If you want a beautiful, bold statement piece in your home then look no further. But be aware they are not for the faint hearted. They do need ideal conditions and a strict watering schedule as they do not cope very well with sudden environmental changes.
My Knight In Shining Armour:
Rubber Plants (Ficus elastica) are strong and sturdy and very easy to care for. They are regarded as a good luck plant, symbolising money and prosperity in Feng Shui. They are also known for their sappy latex that was once used in the rubber-making process, hence where they got their name. They also have shiny, glossy leaves that give the plant a rubbery appearance. They have become very popular in the plant world with many different varieties and colours available (Black Knight, Tineke, Yellow Gem, Ruby and Burgundy).
The Old Classic:
The most common and known member of the Ficus genus is the Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina). Well known for its woody trunks that can be braided or plaited together. It is a small shrub-like tree with small diamond-shaped leaves that come in a variety of colours. The 'Starlight' Weeping Fig is a cultivar that has grown massive attention for its lovely variegated white and green leaves. You can also get the miniature sized trees (indoor bonsai), which may only grow up to 3ft tall. You do need to watch out for them as they are known for dropping leaves if moved around and/or the light, temperature or humidity changes drastically.
So there you have it! That's our top 3 favourite Ficus plants. It was hard to pick only 3, considering there are over 900 species out there. But whichever Ficus plant you go for you won't be disappointed. They are truly amazing and unique looking tree-like houseplants.