How To Take Care of a Ficus Moclame

The Ficus Microcarpa Moclame is a fig tree species native to Southern Asia and Australia. They're excellent indoor, air-purifying plants. Moreover, Ficus Moclame plants are easy to maintain, so taking care of them only requires a beginner's green thumb.

Ficus Moclame - Indian Laurel Plant

Image Source: iStock

Overview of Ficus Moclame

The Ficus Moclame (Ficus Malacocapra) is an ornamental, evergreen houseplant in the fig family Moraceae and can be found prominently in Southern Asia and Australia. This plant is known for various common names, including Pot Belly Fig, Chinese Banyan, Indian Laurel, Malayan Banyan, Laurel Fig, and Curtain Fig. In their natural habitat, Ficus Moclame can grow into tall trees with a height of about 50 feet. Meanwhile, they only grow to six feet indoors. These plants bloom between March and May.
Moclames are known for their thick round leaves with a distinctive glossy finish, separating them from their sisters, like the Ficus Benjamina or the weeping fig and the Ficus Lyrata or the fiddle-leaf fig.
Although they're not generally poisonous, the latex found in the sap of these plants is considered toxic to people and pets. If you have a latex allergy, avoid keeping this in your home because it has allergens that can trigger asthma attacks. 


How To Take Care of a Ficus Moclame

Taking care of this plant is easy. From adequate lighting to repotting, these are the proper ways to Ficus Moclame plant care:

Tip 1: Proper Lighting

Ficus Moclame doesn't survive in low light conditions; it needs bright, indirect light to bloom. One of the best spots for this plant is at least one foot or less from the window, where it receives adequate lighting without getting sunburned. 
You can also take it out under the sun, but only for a few hours. Keep in mind that direct sunlight can damage the plant. So be observant when you let it sunbathe with other outdoor plants. 

Tip 2: How To Water

It's essential to keep the soil at least slightly moist at all times. Always watch out for the moisture level in the soil to see if it's dry before watering. Suppose you notice that the top of the soil is starting to dry out; water the plant. However, don't overwater it to prevent any damage, like discoloration. 
A water meter can help you determine the moisture level of the plant's soil deep down the surface. Water the plant if the meter has been on a minimum level for two to three days. 
Water the foliage thoroughly during the summer season. In wintertime and during the rainy season, reduce your watering activities because the plant is dormant in these periods. 

Tip 3: Appropriate Temperature

This plant prefers warm environments, not hot, and usually with temperatures between 16 to 24 degrees Celsius, so always maintain that. Also, avoid placing the plants in areas where there's a burst of wind. 

Tip 4: Using Plant Food

If your potting soil is fresh, you don't have to feed your plant with any fertilizer until after two months when, presumably, the plant has consumed the nutrients in the soil.
If you're feeding your ficus tree with organic fertilizer, loosen the topsoil carefully. So you don't disturb the roots underneath and then apply. It's also important to feed your Ficus Moclame with fertilizer at least once a month during the summer season to keep it healthy. 
You can also get fertilizers in liquids, sticks, tablets, granules, and slow-release products. For your ficus plant, liquid and slow-release fertilizers work best. They provide the same nutrients, minus the risks of fertilizer burns. Plus, other products are known to have growth-enhancing effects. 

Tip 5: Repotting

Repotting at least once a year helps rejuvenate the nutrients of your ficus plants. However, if you notice that the plant is outgrowing its pot, don't wait for another year. Transfer it immediately. 
The replacement pot should be two to four inches larger in diameter to provide more room for growth. You need to provide new potting soil and trim some roots and leaves to maintain the exact pot size. 
Always do this at nighttime. Maintain the plant in a shaded area for at least two to three days, then move it back to its ideal space. 

Tip 6: Pruning and Other Plant Maintenance

Pruning is required during the plant's active growth period to maintain its shape. Try pruning two leaves after six to eight new ones have grown. Always discard any fallen leaves. The dead ones may be infected or damaged by pests, which could affect the healthy parts of the plant if you keep them close to the pot. 

Threats to Your Ficus Moclame

Like any other indoor plant, the Ficus Moclame is at risk of different horticultural threats, like pests and poor practices. These are some of those threats that you should consider: 

Pests

Ficus trees are susceptible to various pests, from aphids to spider mites. One of the most notorious pests to infest ficus plants are mealybugs. Mealybugs are oval-shaped, flat-bodied insects that can infest up to 200 plant species, including ficus trees. They cause discoloration, wilting, and leaf drops on their host plants. Some mealybugs inject toxins that cause leaves and buds to fall in other cases. 
It's best to know all about these pests, look for signs of infestation, and exterminate them. But, when you do, always be cautious about the products you're using on your plants. If you're unsure about using chemicals, ask a professional for help. 

Soapy Water

If you're using homemade insecticidal soap on your ficus trees, keep in mind that soapy water damages ficus leaves, especially at high temperatures. Uncleaned residues may dissolve the protective waxy coating of the leaves and make the plant more vulnerable.
If you're keen on going DIY, know the proper mixture of homemade insecticidal soap to prevent hurting your plants. Additionally, before using any solution that contains soap, homemade or commercial, spray on one leaf or two and wait a day to see if it has any adverse effects on the plant. 
Always go for commercial insecticidal soap on your ficus plant to be on the safe side, and follow the instructions provided to prevent any damage. 

Lack of Drainage

Excess water is known to cause damage, like a leaf drop. So it's best to do the proper watering practices to avoid overwatering the plant. It's also important to use a drainage layer on the planter to help remove the excess water within the soil. Drainage holes also allow roots to access oxygen.

Relocation

Owners make the mistake of constantly switching the spot of their ficus trees from indoor to outdoor. Like from the living room to the patio and back again. This constant relocation could cause leaves to fall because of the temperature change. Remember to maintain the right temperature and humidity level. In the case of falling leaves, simply water and fertilize the plant regularly to recover from it.
Pro-Tips
“Rinse the leaves with room temperature water at least every three months to remove any dust buildup. This will allow the plant to photosynthesize light better.” 

Discover and Shop for the Right Plants at Neverland 

Ficus Moclame is a great air purifying starter plant for new growers everywhere. They require easy care, and they're great additions to make a breathable indoor environment. Although susceptible to different horticultural threats, like pests and gardening mistakes, dangers are easy to spot and prevent. So you can expect a keeper out of this beautiful plant. 
Get your ficus tree fix and other plant species at Neverland! Neverland is a one-stop shop for plant species in different categories, from philodendron to vegetables. We provide a space for growers to connect with buyers and sellers for everything horticulture.
Whether buying a gift for another plant lover or simply completing your garden wishlist, visit the magical Neverland today!
Ficus Moclame is well-known for filtering the air of pollutants, making it an ideal healthy plant for any home or office. Visit Neverland and shop for the right plant for you!

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