Ficus maclellandii 'Alli' 17" Standard

Requirements and Care: 

Light

This Ficus can tolerate a lower light environment than the Ficus Lyrata, but still requires light in the 250 to 300 footcandle range to look acceptable. Some leaf drop should be expected when moving this plant from the nursery environment to an interior environment. A brighter environment is better for most Ficus and this is no exception.

Water

Water stress in the Alli will result in leaf drop, however the water status of the soil should be determined before addressing leaf drop with more water. Over-watering will damage the roots just like any other plant. Try to avoid over-watering while letting the plant dry to the state just prior to drooping. A heavy plant could indicate over-watering. An Alli ready to be watered will be very light from 10" through 17" sizes. An alternate concern is that once the soil dries excessively, it may be hard to re-wet. Add a soil wetting agent to the irrigation water every once in a while to avoid this condition.

Fertilizer

A water soluble general purpose foliage plant fertilizer will work well on the Alli. These fertilizers will have an NPK ratio of 3:1:2 or 2:1:2 with minor nutrients included. A proper fertilizer schedule and dose must be determined for each location. Alli are not heavy feeders, so start low and increase if necessary. The results of fertilizer trials may take months to notice, so don't rush a judgment. A good nutrient maintenance program would include adding 1-3 tablespoons of dolomite, depending on the pot size, to the top of the soil annually and a minor nutrient drench twice per year. Farm Life Allis are grown on a drip fertigation system which allows them to transition to a new fertilizer program immediately upon installation. New growth on the Alli may be mildly red to mostly red. The leaf turns green as it grows.

Insects and Mites

Alli is susceptible to mites, thrips, whitefly, mealybugs and scale. A tree in good shape should resist major problems from these pests. Mealybugs will live in the tangled mass of air roots that can develop on an Alli, especially in the larger sizes. Thrips and mites will effect the newest growth. Watch for mis-shaped or unhealthy looking new growth. In south Florida an invasive species of whitefly can be a major pest of Ficus alli, but this should not be a problem in more northern climates. Use predator mites to remove spider mites, and systemic insecticides as soil drenches or sprays to kill all other pests. Scale has not been observed on Alli at Farm Life, but if found the treatment is the same as for mealybugs.

Other Notes

We have observed new growth twisting into a corkscrew shape when being moved from the shadehouse into a lower light environment. The exact reason for this is unknown, but most leaves return to normal after some time and the twisted leaves do not indicate a problem with the plant.