Transition an older ficus?

by Chris

I have a 3 year old ficus elastica, about 3 feet tall. Is it too old to transition to hydroculture? Is there a maximum age for transitioning plants to hydroculture? Thanks!

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Transitioning Mature Plants to Hydroculture
by: Jeree

Hi Chris,

Technically there is no age limit on transferring plants. There are two characterisics that make them a little more difficult however.

1. Older plants are usually larger plants that require a constant supply of moisture and nutrients from the roots to keep going. Disrupting the flow of moisture from the roots can be a bigger problem with large plants than it is with smaller plants.
2. Older plants have a more complex root system that can get damaged when the soil is removed. Damaged roots can't absorb moisture and send it up to the leaves, stressing the plant.

Having said that, a 3 ft Ficus elastica should be okay with transferring. Encouraging new root growth is job#1 and keeping the root zone warm is the best way to grow new roots. I would wait until warmer weather.

Also, make sure the roots are getting air after transplanting. Root zone should dry out every 2 weeks.

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