Ficus elastica is part of the Moraceae family and its native range is Nepal to China (W. Yunnan) and W. Malesia. ‘Abidjan’ has broad, shiny, very dark green leaves. Growth is upright and columnar, you can encourage your plant to branch by cutting the plant stem at the top (between nodes). When the stem is cut, auxin (growth hormone) can no longer travel up the stem and it’s redirected to dormant buds and in time the plant will branch. It’s important to use a sharp, sterile cutting tool, Ficus produce a milky sap that can be irritating so wipe up any drops and wash your hands if you come into contact with it.
Genus name is from the Latin meaning ‘fig’, the specific epithet is in reference to the milky sap that is produced by the plant.
Available in different sizes.
Light: Bright indirect light, meaning the plant sees the sun for 0-4 hours per day - this could be through trees or a translucent curtain, it’s important for the plant to see the sky in order to thrive. 3-4 hours of direct sun is tolerable for Ficus.
It’s important to clean the leaves of your plants in order to aid the efficiency of photosynthesis.
Water: Allow the first 2-3 inches of mix to dry out. Before watering, ensure the substrate isn’t compacted, if it is, aerate it with a few pokes of a skewer or blunt stick, pour water slowly over the top and allow the water to pass through the drainage holes.
Potting mix: A well draining mix composed of coco coir, perlite or vermiculite, orchid bark and worm castings.
Fertilising: Feed your plant every other watering during the growing season or when you observe active growth. You can dilute fertiliser to half the recommended amount but never add more.
Humidity: Ficus would prefer higher humidity (over 60%) but do well to adapt to average home humidity. You can increase humidity by placing the plant on a watered pebble tray or using a humidifier.
Ficus elastica is toxic, keep out of reach of pets and children.