The Ficus triangularis plant is a lovely edition in the popular Ficus group. This tropical beauty will give you an easier time growing as compared to its relatives.
What’s more, they also have a variegated leaf growth, hence the name Ficus triangularis ‘Variegata. It results in a green leaf center surrounded by a cream-yellow color circling the edges of the leaf.
The Ficus triangularis, unlike its cousins again, is a hardy plant and can withstand a bit of harshness.
All that said, this plant provides a very beautiful indoor décor for your household.
So, how do you grow one? How do you achieve variegation? What are its uses and how do you carry out pest control?
Let’s find out all that below…
What is a Ficus Triangularis?
Ficus triangularis is a tree species found in the Family Moraceae. Originally, the plant comes from South Africa and has triangular leaves. That is where it got the name ‘triangularis’.
The plant’s leaves can manifest variegation, given the right conditions.
Also, did you know that leaves growing on a Ficus triangularis have different sizes?
Anyway, you may opt to plant your Ficus triangularis in your home garden or inside your house. If you choose the latter, ensure that it’s in a pot that’s at least 3 inches in diameter.
Check out its profile as recorded at Flora & Fauna:
Traits and classification
- Plant division: Angiosperms i.e. Flowering seed plants, Dicotyledonous
- Growth form: Shrubby tree (Height: 1 – 5 meters)
- Origin: Tropical Africa
- Natural habitat: Terrestrial
- Climate zone: Tropical
Appearance and ethnobotany
- Plant form: A small tree shrub. Can reach up to 3m under cultivation.
- Foliage description: Triangle-shaped, thick and leathery.
- Flowers: Small, Development takes place in the fig
- Fruits: Small, They develop on the bare regions of the twigs and leaf axils, red and round at maturity.
- Cultivation: Does when in a lot of light with partial shading. Water moderately. If planted indoors, avoid overwatering or the plant will have leaf drop or rot in the roots. Light, water, and humidity levels are best kept constant throughout the growth.
- Demanded plant features: Ornamental form, fruits, and foliage.
- Plant root tolerance: Well-drained soils
- Uses: For parks and gardens, as an indoor plant (Interiorscape), Bonsai, and container planting
Propagation and care
- Light requirement: Full sunlight, Partial shade
- Water requirement: Moderate, regular watering
- Means of propagation: Seed or Stem Cutting
- Foliage: Evergreen
- Foliage color (mature): Green
- Foliage texture (mature): Leathery
- Foliar type: Simple, Unifoliate
How to Grow a Ficus Triangularis Plant
Just like any other plant, you have to give great care when growing your Ficus triangularis. And though they are not as labor-intensive, you have to provide for the plant’s basic needs. These are light, water, humidity, and occasional fertilizer feed.
So how do you do this? Let’s learn below:
Things you will need
Throughout the growth, you’ll have to keep some things in your possession. These will come in handy when you need to administer care on your plant.
- Commercial potting soil
- Pine bark
- Watering device
- Liquid fertilizer (for houseplants)
- Measuring spoon
- Pruning shears
This plant requires great amounts of bright, continuous light for the best development. If this is not achieved, your plant will start dropping its leaves at an alarming rate. It will also fail to produce variegation during its growth.
If you plan to keep it indoors, then you should at least place it in spots that have light curtains. You can also make use of artificial growth lights on them for 10 or more hours a day. This is most vital if you live in areas that don’t receive lots of sunlight.
Tip: If you find your Ficus triangularis doing well in a specific spot in the house, do not move it. Most of the time, they don’t react well when they keep getting tossed around.
Humidity and temperature
The Ficus triangularis requires high humidity levels, especially when young and developing.
You can use a humidity dome if need be as it increases your plant’s survival rate.
A cutting will take about 3 – 4 weeks to develop its roots if you keep it under such a dome. When 7 – 11 leaves have sprouted from the stem(s), then it is time you took the plant out of the dome. But afterward, take care that you keep it in the specific spot having high humidity levels.
Bonus points if you can get a humidifier. Such a device will help your plant to grow new, strong leaves fast.
Your house’s standard temperature will work well with the Ficus plant during the summer seasons. In winter, do your best to keep it in a spot that is at least 55 F to retain growth.
A thermostat will come in handy in such situations.
Do not keep your plant near a heater, air conditioner, or cold currents from doors and windows. All these will affect the quality of temperature your Ficus triangularis gets.
Watering the plant
You have to keep a constant watering plan when growing a Ficus triangularis tree.
Before watering, check to confirm whether the soil has dried up by sticking in your index finger. If dry, steadily add water to the soil until you start seeing a leak under the pot.
When your plant’s leaves start turning yellow, then it means that it is not receiving enough moisture. And if you overwater the plant, then the healthy green leaves will start falling off. In their place, new darker leaves will grow.
Fertilizing the Ficus triangularis plant
Use a diluted liquid fertilizer when it’s time to feed your Ficus triangularis seedling. Unlike other plants, it has a much lesser fertilizer requirement. Nevertheless, you need to meet it.
The best way is to establish a fertilizing schedule.
For instance, you can choose to add fertilizer after every 4 weeks. And for an 8-7-6 fertilizer, dilute it to its half-strength before applying. This means that for your Ficus triangularis, ¼ teaspoon mixed in 1-quart water will do.
For a variegated Ficus triangularis, add the fertilizer just when it begins to grow new leaves for the best results.
Pruning helps take out dead stems and leaves from your Ficus plant. This exercise may prove stressful at times. But the good news is that you are not required to do it very often.
Pruning is one way through which you can determine the shape and size of the plant.
Always use a sharp pair of pruning shears and cut just above the leaf nodes. This ensures easy growth for the new leaves.
Achieving leaf variegation
Getting and retaining variegation requires that you give your triangular ficus Variegata plant constant light and humidity. You’ll begin to see new foliage having variegation grow from the stems.
You’ll also get more variegated foliage from the green stems once you reduce your humidity routine.
What to Consider When Planting Outside
If you want to plant your triangular ficus in the garden, then consider getting some Pine bark. It helps to curb soil erosion when mixed well into the soil.
Also, consider getting some Sphagnum moss to increase the soil’s pH level. Normally, the plant thrives at a pH of 6 – 6.5.
Means of Propagation?
You can propagate this specimen through two methods. It can either be through stem cutting or seed planting.
In stem cutting, you may take about 4 neatly cut stems from another Ficus triangularis plant. Afterward, simply sticking it in soil with the required nutrients and PH does the work.
Whatever the means you choose, just ensure that the young plant receives enough light.
Fruiting in Ficus Triangularis
When Ficus triangularis reaches maturity, it will start bearing small, almost-round, red fruits. These fruits make a good feed for the birds.
On the other hand, human beings can also consume them, though they are not grown for this.
The triangular ficus tree is also susceptible to the problem of pests. The pests can be a massive nuisance to you as the planter or owner of that tree.
Some of the most common known pests for this plant are thrips, aphids, mealybug, amongst others.
You can get rid of mealybugs by simply picking them off the plant using your hands. Another alternative involves using mildly pressured water to wade them off your plant. Remember to use a pair of gloves for the sake of hygiene.
As for the rest of the pests, you can either buy or use a homemade pesticide to discourage the pests.
Making a homemade pesticide:
You will need:
- Neem oil (2 tablespoons)
- Dish soap with no bleach (1½ tablespoons)
- Water (1 liter)
- Mix these well
- Apply to your plant.
You will start seeing the impact on your plant in about 2 – 4 weeks.
Putting a cap on this…
The Ficus triangularis tree provides a great aesthetic value to most people. They bring elegance and ornamental decoration to many urban homes.
As you have seen, growing and caring for one is not as hectic as you may have believed. Just providing enough sunlight, water, and humidity will keep the plants happy.
Remember to have a fertilization schedule to prevent overfeeding your plant. Also, regularly check the soil’s moisture levels to keep your plant from dropping its leaves.
Note: Keep the Ficus triangularis plant away from your kids and pets if possible. The sap in their leaves is kind of toxic and could cause harm when ingested by a pet or human.
I hope this information was helpful to you.
Do you have any questions? Drop them down in the Comments Section below!