Large-leaved Ficus: Houseplant of the Month for September

Start the indoor season with a statement plant like large-leaved Ficus, also known as ‘the Bold and the Beautiful’ in the world of plants.

Sometimes size does matter
You’re probably already familiar with Ficus as a strong indoor tree with hundreds of little leaves. Well that plant also comes with XXL leaves on species that can effortlessly reach your ceiling. Primaeval, rugged and decorative, one of these giants will already make an impact in a room on its own. We’ve selected five great Ficuses for September which can provide an instant natural mood now that the indoor season is gradually starting again.

Large leaves as protection
Large-leaved Ficus is trending in home decor as a buffer plant: large and full of foliage, the plant creates a friendly, soft and comfortable atmosphere to counter the harsher world that many people have had enough of. The varieties with pastel shades in their foliage further reinforced that softness, as do round smooth planters, textile-covered pots and pots in delicate pastels.

Pleasant housemate
Houseplants like ficuses with large leaves improve the air in your home by converting CO2 to oxygen. The large leaves also absorb particulates from the air and store them in their roots where they are broken down and expelled. The green leaves also improve the humidity in your home by evaporating moisture very gradually. A Ficus really is a valuable addition to your home.

Meet the Ficuses

Ficus lyrata is available as an indoor bush and as a standard, and has shiny leaves that resemble a violin. The large, eye-catching veins that bring texture to the leaves particularly stand out.

Ficus elastica has smooth dark green leaves with fine veins that are marked like a feather and reach a length of around 25 cm. It grow straight up and therefore does not take up much space despite the large leaves.

Ficus binnendijkii ‘Alii’ and ‘Amstel King’ have long leaves that are not as wide, but do hang down decoratively. Available as a green pillar and as a standard with a full crown.

Ficus Cyathistipula has dark green shiny leaves, can produce figs from an early age, and is a heavily branched potential indoor giant that climbs upwards along a stake and therefore grows attractively upright.

How to keep them looking beautiful

  • Ficus can tolerate both a light spot or partial shade, but not full sun.
  • Once it’s comfortable, leave it where it is. Getting used to a new spot demands a lot of energy from the Ficus.
  • If the plant is in danger of growing crooked, turn it a quarter turn every day.
  • The soil should be slightly damp at all times. Ficus can cope with less water in winter.
  • Give some food once every two weeks.
  • A quick shower or standing outside in summer rain will enhance both the plant and the leaves.
  • Treat the plant to a larger pot and fresh potting soil once a year to keep Ficus in top condition and maintain its growth.

Watering like a pro!

Height of Ficus Summer              Winter
40-100 cm          160-320 ml         120-200 ml
100+ cm              480-960 ml         320-640 ml

Ficus trivia

  • Ficus was one of the first plants to be cultivated in Europe from Asia some 11,000 years ago for agricultural purposes.
  • In the summer Ficus can be placed on the patio or balcony when the weather is good.
  • Ficus has a special spiritual meaning in both Buddhism and Hinduism, and also has an inspirational, calming feel as a houseplant.

QUOTE
‘ saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story.’
Sylvia Plath – The Bell Jar

Houseplant of the Month
Large-leaved Ficus is the Houseplant for September 2019. ‘Houseplant of the Month’ is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose a plant which is particularly popular with consumers or is not (yet) well-known but does have the potential to do well in the living room.