Ficus Ruby is an attractive plant that offers subtle color to your home’s greenery. It can be grown both indoors and outdoors. Ficus Ruby will grow very tall in outdoor spaces, reaching over 100 feet. As an indoor plant, it may reach as tall as 13 feet, depending on growing conditions.
Ficus is a well-known species among both indoor and outdoor gardeners. They are available in a number of different cultivars. Known for its appealing oval-leafed foliage, it is a staple for indoor growing. The “Ruby” variety offers attractive variegated leaves with strawberries-and-cream colored margins, adding both color and interest for your home and garden.
Ficus Ruby can be grown either indoors, or outdoors in Zone 9 through 11. Outdoors, you should plant Ficus Ruby in well-draining soil that has some organic matter turned into it. Ficus thrives in soil with pH of 6.0 to 6.5. Plant near other foliage that can provide shade during the heat of the day. Indoors, Ficus Ruby will need a consistent temperature between 60 to 80 degrees.
The plant should be kept in a sunny location, but not in direct sunlight, which will cause fading of its color. One part peat, with one part perlite and one part pine bark is a good mixture to keep your plant happy.
Ficus Ruby enjoys a brightly-lit location. However, too much direct sunlight will cause it to fail. If you provide filtered light in an indoor location, you will find that it thrives. When planted outdoors, the Ficus Ruby will need some shade from direct sunlight. Too much water is the enemy of Ficus Ruby, which will cause stems to get soggy and collapse.
Water only when the surface of the soil is dry. If you push your finger into the soil at the base of the plant and it feels wet, wait another day or two to water it. Generally, ficus does not need watering more than once each week. Fertilize your Ficus Ruby lightly once each month.
Ficus Ruby requires only moderate humidity to thrive. Indoor plants can benefit from misting in heated indoor environments.
As with other plants, you should begin thinking about repotting your indoor Ficus Ruby when the root system begins to crowd the pot. In this way, your plant can extend its root system into more space, which allows a better uptake of nutrients to keep the plant healthy. When adding more soil, ensure the mix includes well-draining components like peat or perlite.
Outdoors, your Ficus Ruby tree may require periodic trimming to keep the foliage compact and attractive. Remove overgrown or misshapen stems. Use a clean knife or clippers to avoid transmitting bacteria to the plant.
Ficus Ruby can be propagated by taking a new shoot off the plant and fostering root growth in a small container of water. In 2 to 3 weeks, new roots will appear, and you can then plant them into a pot with growing medium. Avoid leaving the shoot in the water for too long. You can also plant the shoot directly into the soil or growing medium, keeping it lightly moist to foster new root growth. Do not overwater.
The ficus genus is particularly susceptible to root rot. Excessive watering can lead to collapse of the root system or the growth of fungus in the root system, which can be fatal to the plant. Nematodes can attack root systems and should be controlled by turning the soil and adding organic matter to encourage biological control.
Because the leaves of the ficus are broad and thick, you should remove any collected dust or dirt on the surface with clean water to allow proper transpiration. Greasy yellow spotting may indicate fungus growth on leaves that require a fungicide to control. Keep plants out of temperature extremes to help them avoid plant diseases.
Ficus is in the same plant category as rubber plants and fig trees. Most people know Ficus from its popular “benjamina” variety. However, Ficus has a number of other variants including “lyrata,” “elastica,” and “pumila.” The Ficus Ruby is one of the “elasstica” varieties.
Ficus are not particular about their companion plants. Outdoors marigolds are good choice because they discourage nematodes, which often attack ficus plants. Rue is another good choice for adding colorful, yellow flowers under the plant. Indoors, you can plant Dracaena or pothos in the same container.
The genus Ficus is toxic to both cats and dogs. Take care that these plants are not kept in areas of the yard or at levels in the home where they can be nibbled by curious pets.
Ficus Ruby will make an interesting addition to your outdoor or indoor garden, providing both foliage and color to add variety to your plantings. Although it needs some attention, the plant offers enjoyable visual interest when placed with other plants or even on its own.