Ficus umbellata is a beautiful plant to add to your home. It is easy to grow but there are some things you need to know to keep this Ficus happy. It’s not as widely available as the elastica
The Ficus Umbellata does best in a bright light situation. So place this plant within a few feet of a window. Some direct light is ok but be careful of the intensity of the light. Meaning and east facing window is going to have less intense direct sun while a west facing window will be stronger light. If your home lacks light you can add grow lights. Grow lights are so helpful on darker winter days and in that dark areas of the house that need a plant.
You can train this plant to live in more direct light by gradually placing it in higher light for short periods of time increasing the time spent each day.
Ficus are known to be finicky and improper watering is one of the reasons so many ficus’ die. If the soil looks dry on the top, dig around to see if its dry an inch or two down. If it is, you can give it some water. This Plant is also very forgiving should you forget to water or want to go longer between waterings but know if you let it dry out too long it will wilt alerting you to it’s needs.
In the winter months your plant may need less water depending on how dry your home is and if the plant has gone dormant. Our winters are cold and dry so I base my watering on how dry the soil is as opposed to how long its been since I watered it last.
For winter houseplant care tips read this!
Normal home humidity seems to work just fine but adding in a little extra humidity doesn’t hurt especially if your home is dry. You’ll notice changes in your plants when you provide more humidity in your home. Such as more growth and potentially bigger foliage.
Ficus Umbellata’s love a well draining soil mix. Take a bag of potting soil and combine it with Orchid Bark. ( 2 parts soil mix, 1 part orchid bark ) Or potting mix, mixed with perlite and bark. No matter what you choose make sure your plant has great drainage.
This Plant loves to be fed during the growing season and isn’t particular about what fertilizer you use. Organic fertilizer tend to be my go to for all plants with my favorite being fish emulsion. Fertilize weekly during the growing season and give an extremely diluted amount during winter.
Ficus are fairly easy to propagate from stem cuttings. You don’t have to get technical with this, just cut the stem take off a lower leaf or two then pop in water, soil, Vermiculite, etc whatever medium you like. You are welcome to use rooting powder to aid in rooting but it can root without it.
The Ficus Umbellata is an amazing houseplant. It can grow very large if you provide the proper care. Be sure to provide this plant a prime location in your home because it’s a showstopper!