Binomial name: Ficus racemosa
Characteristics: Ficus racemosa is a deciduous fig tree, that is native to tropical parts of Asia and Australia. Its leaves are arranged alternately on twigs/main branches and the young leaves are toothed. Although native to tropical areas in will grow outdoors happily in sub-tropical regions and can be grown in pots and over winter indoors in the warm in cooler climates. Ficus do well in pots and don’t seem to mind being a bit root bound. The Cluster Fig is also a great species for bonsai growing.
Seeds per packet: 40
Description: Seed can be sown throughout the year indoors in a mini glasshouse.
Optimum germination temperature: 25-28 °C.
- Soak seeds to break dormancy in pre-boiled water that has cooled to the touch but is still hot (approximately 65°C) for 10 minutes.
- Sow seeds onto the surface of a well draining seed raising mix or peat moss and gently press to ensure the seeds make good contact with the soil. Leave uncovered.
- These seeds MUST stay moist at all times, drying out of the medium (peat/soil) will kill the seeds embryo quite quickly once germination inside the seed has begun.
- Create a mini glasshouse. Follow instructions here.
- Arrange container on a heat pad and cover with plastic wrap or a plastic lid (this will keep warmth and humidity inside pot and also help retain moisture).
- Put mini glasshouse in indirect sun. Do not put in direct sun, as this will dry the planting medium.
- Keep soil moist at all times during germination but not soaking wet, as this can rot your seeds.
- Germination begins at approximately 1-4 weeks in optimal conditions.
- Once germination has begun, leave a corner of the pot/container uncovered to allow air circulation and assist seedlings in adapting to the environment outside. Remove completely if appropriate over 1-2 weeks.
- Ficus can be transplanted if necessary once they have at least 2-4 true leaves. While young they prefer a part shaded position but will cope with full sun when mature and hardened off.
- They prefer a well draining soil and will become drought tolerant as they mature.
- Ficus are best kept in pots until they are at least 2 years old, this way they are nice and strong before planting out in spring.