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The ficus lyrata is one of the many species of ficus that find place in the apartment. It is an evergreen shrub that in nature reaches the size of a tree, with a disordered foliage; It is native to the tropical areas of Africa. The specimens grown in pots remain smaller than two meters; they have erect bearing, poorly or not at all branched, enlarged and woody, with dark bark, furrowed by deep fissures; the foliage is large, in the shape of a violin, or lyre (as the name suggests), thick and leathery, shiny, dark green, with showy yellow or white veins, and wavy edge. In nature, these ficus produce inedible fruits that are unlikely to occur on the plant grown in the apartment. To favor the development of branches it is advisable to trim the plant, at a height of 30-80, so that it develops some side shoots.
Display and watering
Before buying a plant, it is important to inquire about the specific needs of the plant, first of all the exposure. The ficus lyrata It is a species that prefers very bright locations, even direct sunlight, although it is advisable to expose the plants to bright light only gradually, to avoid unsightly burns. These are plants to be grown exclusively in the apartment, since they need minimum temperatures above 12-15 ° C. As for watering, from March to September irrigate quite often, avoiding excesses and always waiting for the soil to dry slightly between one watering and another. During the cold months let's thin the waterings, remembering to vaporize the foliage every 8-10 days, to increase the environmental humidity. During the vegetative period we supply fertilizer for green plants, every 15-20 days.
Land and multiplication
Another factor of fundamental importance in the cultivation of our beloved plants is the type of land to choose. The soil is the main source of livelihood for the plant and for this it must be chosen carefully and present specific characteristics based on the plant's cultivation needs.
The ficus lyrata is grown in soft and loose, well-drained, rich in organic matter soils. Every 2-3 years we proceed to repotting, providing a container of slightly larger than the previous one. The plant is multiplied by semi-woody cutting, late spring or early summer. To encourage the development of cuttings it is good to remember to cut the leaves, for at least two thirds of their size. Furthermore, it is advisable to use clean and well-sharpened working tools so as to perform precise cuts and thus obtain new healthy and vigorous plants.
Ficus lyrata: Pests and diseases
Ficus lyrata species are often attacked by cochineal and mites. These are parasites that hit the leaves of the plant and suck their sap. As this is the main source of sustenance of the ficus, the plant will undergo a progressive weakening, we will see the leaves curl and lose their lively coloring. It is possible to combat the problem with specific pesticide products. The foliage is frequently hit by rust.