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How to repot and care for baby ficus triangularis variegata?

Lisbeth Salander (zone 7)
4 years ago
last modified: 4 years ago

Hello, I have just acquired a lovely small plant of the variety mentioned above. The little plastic cup it came in has holes in the bottom. The soil is still slightly damp.

My plant experience is mainly with cacti (very few now that I don't have an appropriate space for their winter needs), adeniums, sansevieria and, most recently, a couple of little hoyas (which are more difficult to keep happy, for me). So no experience with tropicals (even though some of the sans are technically tropical).

I would prefer to use a mineral mix (although I used orchid mix or pine bark for the hoyas) for the tree, if possible.

I am a city apartment dweller without a car, which means I cannot transport, or store, huge bags of components, or too many small bags with components. (I think I already have too many....)

I read several of tapla's posts, including his houseplants mix. I'm in Europe, so some things (like chicken grit or Turface) are not available here, or maybe under a different name. (I think i read somewhere that "Seramis" is close to Turface).

So, there are two things I need to figure out:

1. Which pot size for the little plant? (I have these sizes ready: 9cm and 14cm in diameter, which is roughly 3,4 and 5,5 inches respectively. Probably something in between would be better?

2. the mix. ideally, I could use the stuff I already have. I'm also reluctant to get anything that could harm my little dog, should she manage to get hold of it. She's resourceful!

3. The small leaf that is almost buried... Should I cut if off when I repot?

This is what I have:

- pine bark in big chunks that I could break in smaller chunks

- pumice

- lechuza pon, which is a mix of pumice, Zeolith, and lava (they call it "light-weight" lava) and a CRF, which is high in nitrogen, but quite weak.

- coarse sand used for aquariums (I sometimes need it for weight, so the pots don't fall over easily)

- epiphyte mix, this: (no info on what exactly they use... )

Is it possible to make an appropriate mix for the little guy with what I have? Particle size is my biggest concern; e.g. even the epiphyte mix looks much finer in my bag than in the picture.

All the stuff is very dry, even the pine bark; should I soak the mix for some time before using it?

Things I could easily get in small bags are:

- orchid mix

- typical so-called cactus mix that HD and the like offer

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