Ficus triangularis plant is known as the Sweetheart Tree, having deep green and glossy leaves with a unique triangular shape. It’s a popular plant to grow, but newbie gardeners might get confused when it comes to growing them.
This article will cover everything you need to know, especially how to care for the ficus triangularis so you can grow them beautifully.
Everyone who loves ficus triangularis and plans to grow them will benefit from this expert guide.
What is Ficus Triangularis?
Commonly known as the triangle ficus, the ficus triangularis is one of the fussiest Ficus genus. It grows in the tropical regions of central Africa, growing up to 30 meters in natural environments.
At home, they can grow to no more than 1 meter. On average, this evergreen shrub can grow up to 8 feet in height and have a 4-foot spread, growing deep green ficus triangularis leaves.
What’s great about this plant is that its leaves won’t drop as quickly as its even fussier ‘cousin’ in the Ficus genus, the Ficus Benjamina. Furthermore, it’s the leaves that make them well known, as they don unusual rounded-triangular leaves that are thick and tough. The leaves can grow up to 5-6 centimeters long and are leaf blade thin with gray-green streaks that split at the top.
How to Care For Ficus Triangularis
As mentioned, the ficus triangularis plant can be a bit fussy about growing on your own. However, as long as you care for it properly, you’ll find that they are an easy plant to grow, provided that you prune regularly and give its required nutrients.
Here are things you should know when it comes to caring for the ficus triangularis plant:
– Light Requirements
The ficus triangularis is a shade-tolerant plant. They can be grown even on windowsills that face the north side. With that in mind, the ficus triangularis does not tolerate direct sunlight. During the summer, remove the plant from the window, as they are sensitive to burning and overheating.
Create more ambient lighting conditions for the plant, with bright and indirect lights being best suitable for them. However, it still requires a lot of sunlight to prevent the variegated leaves from losing color and drooping. The sunlight should be just right, but not too much to the point it burns its leaves.
– Water Requirements
When watering ficus triangularis plants, the frequency and amount of water needed to depend on the season and temperature.
You should water ficus regularly and moderately during the summer, up to twice within 7-10 days. During hotter days, moisturize the soil abundantly. These plants love water, but you have to make sure their soil completely dries out between watering sessions to avoid it from dying.
During the late autumn and winter, you can water them less, around once every seven days. It is because moisture shouldn’t stagnate in both the ground and pan. If there is an overabundance, this would usually lead to rot.
Here are a few extra tips to follow when watering ficus triangularis:
- Use distilled water at room temperature
- Water the plant until its top 2-3 inches begin to look dry
- You can check the soil texture using your fingers or moisture meters for accuracy
- Monitor the water temperature during the winter and summer. If you water with cold water, this can drop your plants’ temperatures, cooling their roots and soil
– Ficus Triangularis Temperature
During the spring and summer seasons, the indoor air should be between 20-25 degrees Celsius.
During the winter, temperatures should be between 16-17 degrees Celsius.
It would be best if you protected the plant’s flowers from any drafts and sudden changes in temperature. In winter, your room temperature shouldn’t go under 14-16 degrees so that you can prevent problems regarding the plant’s health. We recommend that you take the plant outside, or expose it to the outdoor air on warm days.
– Air Humidity Requirements
This plant prefers rooms and areas with high humidity levels. Because of this, you should spray its leaves regularly using a spray gun, especially during hot summer or freezing winter days. If ever your plants experience a lack of moisture, pour wet clay in a pan or place a water container beside it.
If needed, depending on your location, then purchase a floor-mounted humidifier. It won’t only be beneficial for your plants, but your health, too! Just make sure that you keep the plants away from the radiator and its battery.
When you choose ficus triangularis soil, opt for fertile soil that is loose, light, rich in minerals, and permeable to oxygen for its roots. You may use sphagnum peat moss or pine bark for soil amendments. You can find this kind of soil by purchasing it in gardening stores that sell ready-made earthen mixture for indoor plants. Add a bit of sand and brick chips to improve its drainage.
If not, you can prepare outdoor soil yourself using equal proportions of leaf and sod land, sand, and charcoal. Another option is to mix leaf, sod land, peat, and sand. The soil acidity should not go higher than 6.0 to 6.5, with the bottom of the pot having a drainage embankment. You can use ficus triangularis fertilizer every 3-4 weeks.
How to Propagate Ficus Triangularis
It isn’t challenging to propagate ficus triangularis. You can use apical cuttings when doing so, removing an appropriately-sized cutting and placing it in the potting mix. It would help if you allowed it to take its time during the propagation process since they are slow-growing plants.
Follow these steps:
- Sterilize your tools and equipment, and wear protective garments.
- Remove the cuttings from your mature plant at least 15-18 inches long with a few healthy leaves attached to the ends.
- Place the cuttings in a customized and suitable potting mix that contains peat, perlite, and sand.
- Place the cuttings under moderate temperatures above 25 degrees and with filtered light. You may cover your cuttings with polyethylene for better humidity, removing it after two weeks when the plant begins to root.
- After this, you may shift your cuttings to a bigger pot, allowing them to grow like how a mature plant would grow.
To give you an idea, here is a timeline of propagation:
- Weeks 1-2: You plant the cuttings and place them in a well-lit and warm, humid spot
- Weeks 3-4: The roots begin to grow. If you placed a polyethylene bag, remove it now and care for the plant properly
- Weeks 5-7: The roots would already be nicely developed so that you can shift your plant to a bigger pot. Do so carefully to prevent damaging the roots and the plant itself.
- Months 2-4: Be patient and let your plant take its time to grow. Just stay consistent with care and maintenance for successful growth and development
While the ficus triangularis is beautiful, it does have its share of minor issues that can be treated and prevented with proper care.
Here are a few problems to watch out for when growing the plant:
– Yellow Leaves
Are your plants’ leaves turning yellow or brown? It may be due to the soil’s moisture, a common problem with ficus triangularis.
If your soil is wet or water-clogged, then the leaves can turn yellow, even falling off. If your leaves look crunchy and yellow, your soil might be lacking moisture. You can fix this issue by monitoring and staying consistent with your watering schedule, which I mention above.
– Leaf Loss
Did you know that ficus plants can lose around 20% of their foliage because of a change in environment? If you place your plant in a different area in the house or change its pot and/or soil mix, the plant would react by dropping leaves.
You will know if your plant is sick or reacting this way from the environment change by checking its leaves. If its leaves appear droopy but still look deep-green, it falls because of its environment change.
Prevent this from happening by making sure you grow your plant in one spot and never change its location unless necessary. If you have to change the location or its conditions, monitor it carefully and take great care of it after the change. Mist your plant regularly and allow it to adjust to the new environment, making sure it is well-fed and hydrated.
Just like most plants, aphids and mealybugs are common problems that the ficus triangularis may encounter. This is especially true if you leave your plant in an environment with high moisture, low light, and/or contaminated areas.
To prevent your plants from attracting pests and diseases, mist and wipe them clean every other day. While doing this, do inspect your plant thoroughly to ensure there aren’t bugs or insects hiding.
Wrapping It Up
We’ve covered a lot on the ficus triangularis.
Here are a few summarized points to take note of to care for them well:
- Ficus triangularis love water but be sure that they have well-draining soil and to avoid overwatering them!
- They don’t love direct sunlight, but you need to expose them to proper amounts of it for their leaves to grow well.
- You have to be patient, as it takes about four months or more for your ficus triangularis to grow during the propagation process.
- Ficus triangularis are prone to yellow leaves, leaf loss, and pests, but these are preventable and treatable problems.
Now that you know about caring and propagating ficus triangularis, why not give it a try with mature cuttings you have at home or in a gardening store? Good luck!