Ficus Triangularis Growing Guide Indoors & Outdoors

Ficus Triangularis

The Ficus triangularis is a beautiful houseplant that has triangle shapes foliage. As such, it is more commonly known as the Triangle Fig.

That said, it there is a more popular variegated version of the plant that whose leaves are adorned with creamy while patterns around the edges.

So, if you’re looking for a versatile, easy to care indoor plant that can be grown in containers or as a mini-tree, you can pick between the two.

The Ficus triangularis can grow up to 8 feet tall with a lovely spread of 4 feet to the sides. But, pruning will let you limit its size to a large container floor plant.

Besides its looks, another selling point is that it is easy to care for and much less fussy than some of its ficus siblings.

Ficus Triangularis Plant Care

Ficus Triangularis Light Requirements

The Ficus triangularis does well in different lighting conditions, including medium to bright light as long as it indirect, filtered or dappled. It can likewise take some direct sunlight as well.

However, it cannot tolerate extended direct sunlight. Similarly, too much intense bright light for long periods of time will cause its foliage to get sunburn or drop.

It is worth noting that the Ficus triangularis has solid green leaves. You might also come across the Ficus triangularis ‘Variegata’ which has white variegations around its triangular leaves.

While the latter is the more popular plant, it also needs more bright light. That’s because it the white parts of its leaves do are not active in photosynthesis. As such, it is lot as versatile as the Ficus triangularis when it comes to light.

For the ‘Variegata’, the brighter the indirect light, the better. And, it is not able to tolerate less light as much as it non-variegated version.

As such, if you own the variegated version, you want to make sure it gets as much light as possible without direct sun. This will allow it to produce the best foliage colors.

 

Temperature

The Ficus triangularis comes from Southeast Asia. As such it is used to tropical conditions. This means that keeping it an warm, humid environment produces the best grown and most vibrant leaf colors.

As far as temperature goes it does best when things stay between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant can likewise tolerate a bit hotter conditions. But, you want to be careful not to go too far past 90 degrees or it will start experiencing stress.

On the other hand, it is less able to withstand cold weather. In fact it won’t get past a snow winters with freezing temperatures.

As such, if you take the plant outside during the summer, make sure to bring it indoors before it reaches 55 degrees.

Additionally, it is not a fan of cold drafts and breezes. In fact, keeping it away from moving air is best. This include natural (open windows and doors) and man-made (air conditioning and vents).

 

Humidity

With humidity, your Ficus triangularis thrives in humid conditions. Ideally, you want to keep things between 60% to 70%. This allows the plant to grow at its best and produce its best color.

However, it won’t mind lower indoor humidity as long as you keep things above 40%.

This may or may not be a problem for your home depending on where you live. The reason being that average household temperatures run between 30% and 50%. As such, if you’re on the lower end of the range then you’ll need to increase indoor air moisture to keep the plant happy.

One way to do this is by misting a few times a week. But, be careful to overspray the plant such that its leaves stay wet. This can lead to fungal problems down the road.

Other options including setting the plant on a water tray on top of pebbles. Similarly, you can group it with other plants or use a humidifier.

 

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How Often to Water Ficus Triangularis

Your Ficus triangularis does best when you allow the soil to slightly dry between waterings. The reason for this is that it does not like sitting in water.

Thus, while it does enjoy slightly moist soil during its growing season, you want to allow the topsoil to dry before watering it again. You can determine this by simply sticking your finger into the soil about 2 inches deep.

If the soil is dry at that level, then it is time to water. If you feel any moistness and wetness, then hold off a few days and check again.

In case you find it a bit difficult to gauge the moistness or dryness of the soil by touch, take a look at your finger after you take it out from the soil.

If there’s any mud or soil that sticks to it, then you need to wait a couple of days or so and test again. The soil should feel like dry particles that fall off your hands similar to how salt would when you sprinkle it over food.

When watering, soak the soil until it gets saturated. This allows moisture to reach the roots.

After that, make sure to allow the excess liquid to drain out completely. Here, it is very important that the container has drainage holes to allow the water the easily escape.

ficus triangularis

source: wikimedia commons

 

Soil for Ficus Triangularis

Ficus triangularis needs well-draining soil. It also appreciate soil that’s slightly acidic with pH between 6.0 to 6.5. The combination helps it grow at its best while avoiding overwatering.

Soil is very important for this plant because it will either help or hinder its growth. Since the plant can tolerate some dryness, your main concern is overwatering, which can damage it and eventually kill it.

As such, it is crucial that the soil you use is not heavy nor does it retain too much water.

Instead, you want to go with something that allows excess moisture to quickly drain out while holding just enough to keep your Ficus triangularis hydrated.

To achieve this, you can use a combination of peat moss, perlite or sand and pine back. This will help keep the soil light, airy and well-draining while still holding on to enough water to keep the plant happy.

 

Ficus Triangularis Fertilizer

Your Ficus triangularis is not a heavy feeder. As such, all it needs is once a month feeding of balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half or quarter strength during its growing season (spring and summer).

It does not need fertilizer during the winter.

Like water, you want to be careful not to overfeed this plant. That’s because too much plant food can result in fertilizer burn.

 

Pruning

Ficus triangularis will grow up to about 4 to 6 feet indoors. It will get bushy as well and grow into a mini-tree. As such, depending on the look you’re going for, you may or may not want to prune it.

The good news is, either way works well.

The plant doesn’t mind hard pruning. And, it is a slow grower. So, you can decide as it gets bigger.

That said, it is always a good idea to trim away dead, discolored or damaged leaves not only because they look unsightly but also because these parts will use up the plant’s energy and resources.

In the case of diseased foliage, it problem can spread.

Similarly, cut back any leggy stems to promote new growth that will help make the plant become fuller.

One thing to keep in mind is the milky sap of the Ficus triangularis can cause skin irritation. While it does not affect everyone, it is probably a good idea to wear gloves when pruning.

 

Ficus Triangularis Propagation

The easiest way to propagate Ficus triangularis is through stem cuttings. You can likewise do so from seed. But, the process of germination not only takes longer but also doesn’t produce the same success rates.

On the other hand, stem cuttings are simpler because all you need are a few stems to get started.

Keep in mind that the plant is a slow grower. So, its roots and shoots will take a little longer than other houseplants.

Here’s how to propagate Ficus triangularis from stem cuttings.

  • Start by choosing a few healthy stems. You want to pick those with at least 2 or 3 leaves on them.
  • Cut the stems so that each one if about 6 inches so in length.
  • Allow the cut end to dry. Then, apply rooting hormone. Rooting hormone comes in liquid or powder form. You can use either. And, while it is optional, it does help speeding things up and increase the odds of success.
  • Place the stem cuttings into containers with fresh, well-draining potting soil.
  • Keep the cuttings in warm, humid conditions. You can cover the container with a plastic bag as an alternative to increase humidity.
  • After about 2 or 3 weeks, remove the plastic (polyethylene). By this time the plant should have started rooting.
  • Allow it to keep growing. Then repot it to a larger container once it outgrows its current one.

 

How to Repot Ficus Triangularis

Only repot your Ficus triangularis when needed.

The plant is not a fan of being moved. Nor does it appreciate being transferred from one container to another. As such, once you find a good spot for it, it is best to leave it there.

That said, once roots start peeking out of the bottom drainage holes, it is a sign that its current home has gotten too small for its.

Because there’s a shock that comes with repotting, it is best to wait until spring or early summer to move the plant. Since it will be in its growing season during these times, it will be able to overcome the stress and shock of repotting faster.

Nevertheless, do give it some time to recover after moving.

When repotting, go up only one size (2 inches in diameter). This will give it enough space to grow. But, at the same time not too much space that there’s too much wet soil around its roots when you water.

Similarly, make sure that the container has a drainage hole at the bottom to allow the excess moisture to escape.

 

Toxicity

The Ficus triangularis is not toxic. But, once a part of the plant breaks it will release a milky sap that is considered toxic. This not only can cause skin irritation but also other issues when ingested.

As such, it is a good idea to keep it away from young children, dogs and cats who may get tempted to play, chew or consume parts of the plant.

 

Pests

Nobody likes dealing with pests and diseases. Similarly, no one likes to spend time looking for them or trying to prevent them. We’d all prefer to focus on growing plants.

However, both are necessities because pests and diseases can quickly destroy months or even years of hard work.

When it comes your Ficus triangularis, you want to watch out of mealybugs, aphids, thrips, spider mites and scale.

Here both regular inspection and keeping the plant clean and healthy are keys to prevention.

 

Diseases

When it comes to diseases, water is often the culprit. With ficus, a lot has to do with overwatering.

As such, many of the sections above discuss how to avoid too much water be it from when to water your plant all the way to the kind of soil to use.

That’s because overwater can eventually lead to root rot. Because root rot happens out of sight under the soil (and it has no cure) it is very easy to discover it only after it has affected large parts of your plant’s root system.

Thus, prevention is essential.

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