Native to Africa, the Birchbark Fig will give the jungle touch you are looking for!
Other Common Names: African Fig Family: Moraceae Origin: Africa, Ivory Coast to Kenya Max Growth: 5 meters
The Birchbark Fig Story
The Birchbark Fig is a member of the Moraceae family (scientific name: Ficus cyathistipula). The Moraceae family is commonly referred to as the ‘Mulberry’ family, this is the same family that Figs belong to!
the Birchbark Fig has a large growing range; it can be found growing on the western side along the Ivory Coast all the way to West Kenya. It can also be found growing beside forested streams, swampy areas, and on rocky cliff faces. Due to its vigorous nature it can handle drier environments and shadier rooms.
The end of the leaf can reach up to 7cm wide. The tree has been named after its deep red flaky bark. Overall this is a very tolerant and vigorous growing ficus tree.
BBX Top Tip: If you would like to shape and control the height of your Birchbarks Fig, you can trim the Apical Stem or runners in the late spring. Be careful of the milky sap as this can cause skin irritation.
How to Care for your African Fig
Problem #1: Why are the leaves on my Ficus turning brown? Leaves will appear to have brown spots that are soft to the touch if they are being overwatered. If the leaves are turning brown and it has a dry feel to them, this is typically an indication the leaves have been burnt from direct sunlight.
Problem #2: Why is my Ficus dying? The most common reason is due to overwatering. Rubber Trees, and Ficus plants in general, are extremely sensitive to being overwatered. Check to see that the soil is a well-draining mix and is not holding too much water.
Problem #3: How often should you water a Ficus plant? In the growing season (early spring to the middle of Autumn), check the soil once every 7 to 10 days. It will require watering roughly every two weeks. In the winter you will need to reduce your watering schedule drastically.
Signs of Overwatering: Soft brown spots appear on the edges of the leaves, and sudden leaf drops are all clear indications of overwatering. Do not allow your ficus plant to sit in excess water.
Common Pests: Spider mites, mealybugs, and fungus gnats
Birchbark Fig Care Guide
Prefers bright, indirect light, but will tolerate partial shade. Watch out! Direct sun on the leaves will cause burning and brown spots to form.
Check the water level in the soil once a week. The soil should be ever so slightly damp, not dry. Allowing the soil to dry out completely will cause leaf drop. Water when the top 5 - 8cm of soil has become dry.
Being native to South Asia and Australia, the weeping fig prefers temperatures in the range of 16-24°C. With all Indoor tropical plants, they do not react well to cold drafts.
Using a balanced fertilizer, follow the directions on the label and feed every two weeks during the growing season (Spring to Early Autumn). During the winter, cut back on feeding to once every 4-6 weeks.
Use a damp cloth, and gently wipe the top and underside of the leaves. This should be done every two weeks to prevent dust build-up or pests from taking up residence.
Birchbark Fig General Information
Africa, Ivory Coast to Kenya
Toxicity: This plant contains a latex sap that is toxic if ingested and can cause irritation to the skin and eyes. Sap only appears when the plant’s leaves or branches have been damaged.