Plant of the Month – Ficus Triangularis

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ficus+triangularisIn the interior world it’s not that often that we get a plant that’s new and different from the common Palm or Dracaena.  That's why, Ficus triangularis is definitely a top pick when it comes to an unusual specimen plant that will stand out and woo your guests. My Mom just fell in love with this plant the first time she saw it, reminding her of her Gingko biloba trees and their fan-shaped leaves. The leaves of Ficus triangularis are by far the main attraction, with their very cool triangle shape and dark stem coming out of the tips creates contrast on this free-formed plant. These native Malaysian plants are rare, so when you see them, I would recommend grabbing them while you can.  I bought a beautiful 6 foot specimen for my Mom on Mother’s Day and told her that I’d take care of it for her (knowing how little care it would need). Being in the Ficus family, these plants need at least medium to bright light and don’t want to be over watered.  I sub-irrigated my Mom’s in a Jardiner and water it about every other week, right now since it’s been hot.   The dark green, fleshy leaves seem to de-tract dust and only fall when you’ve stressed it out, unlike it’s Ficus benjamina relative that seem to rain leaves on a regular basis. I’d consider Ficus triangularis to be a clean interior plant, even with it’s yearly production of pea-sized green figs that dry up and fall off the tree in the summer months. This small nuisance is forgivable given all of the other wonderful aspects of this beauty.  It can grow about 8 feet max and 4 feet wide, but with their slow growth they could easily controlled at shorter heights making Ficus triangularis an excellent choice for any amateur interior plant enthusiast.


17 Responses to “Plant of the Month – Ficus Triangularis”

  1. Kiko on August 3rd, 2009 5:00 pm

    How come we didn’t get a Ficus Triangularis for mother’s day…sounds like my kind of plant. Watering about every other week is about all I can handle.

  2. Miko on August 4th, 2009 11:00 pm

    Actually Kiko, you only need to water Ficus triangularis once every other week or less depending on the weather and humidity in your house. You should definitely grab one!

  3. Kathy Gallacher on November 17th, 2010 7:52 pm

    I just purchased a 7 foot ficus triangularis. It has about five separate 7 foot stems, ie a multi stemmed tree. Can I separate the roots and propagate one of the stems or cut one and propagate it. How do you propagate this plant? Thank you, Kathy

  4. Miko Morita on November 29th, 2010 4:54 pm

    Hi Kathy!
    Ficus triangularis is a very slow growing plant, so although I wouldn’t recommend separating the multiple stems, I am pretty sure that it can tolerate it. I would be as gentle as possible and try to get as much root as you can intact. For the best success, I would try to keep a few of the stems together and as undisturbed as possible. When re-potting, add some extra soil, but don’t use a pot that is much larger than the root-ball. Then water with Super Thrive.

    The other method of Propagation is to ‘Air Layer’ the plant. Most likely a cutting won’t be successful, but since it doesn’t take away much of the plant, I say give it a try the next time you prune.

    Good Luck!

  5. Jennifer Abbott on July 5th, 2011 12:41 am

    We ‘adopted’ a Ficus triangularis with 4 separate 7 ft stems in a 5 gal pot. We thought it could stay outdoors since we didn’t get any information regarding how to care for it. Is it possible to successfully
    grow this plant outdoors? By the way, we, unfortunately, are one of those amateur plant enthusiasts…but we do love this pretty plant,

    Please give us some advice we really could use the help.
    Thank you very much.
    Jennifer & family

  6. mmorita on July 12th, 2011 10:20 pm

    Hi Jennifer, I hope I’m not too late to respond. Ficus triangularis prefers to be indoors with bright indirect light. Although, I imagine they would be great outdoor (depending on which part of the country you are in) in the shade or an area that gets filtered light. I hope this helps!

  7. Victor Botezatu on July 19th, 2011 11:47 am

    I am about to buy a Ficus triangularis this weekend and transplanted into a 15 gal concrete pot. Is there a preferred soil that I should use?
    What does the term “Air Layer” mean?

  8. jerry fineg on December 11th, 2011 11:55 am

    I need to know how far back I can trim my Figus Triangularis if at all.It is 7ft. tall and very irregular…Ugly..

  9. jerry fineg on December 11th, 2011 11:56 am

    How far back can I trim my tree.

  10. John on August 22nd, 2012 5:44 pm

    I have a 20 year old plant that has finally reached 18 inches. It is in a normal container not bonsai. It seems to love direct sun and hot days, even 100 degree weather. Come march even in a bright window it shows signs of suffering. A couple weeks back in the outdoor sun and it pops back to life again.

  11. mmorita on September 12th, 2012 4:45 pm

    I apologize for not responding sooner Jerry. I was not getting notified of my comments. You can definitely trim your ficus triangularis back. I usually trim it in the warm months because this gives it time to create new growth. You can trim it back to any of the leaves. Hope this helps!

  12. mmorita on September 12th, 2012 4:47 pm

    I would use a cactus mix to plant your Ficus. Also, Air Layer is a method of propogation. Hope this helps. Sorry for the late reply, I’m not currently receiving notifications.

  13. Johnathan CEASRS on November 14th, 2012 6:32 pm

    I would recommend not root dividing this ficus or the benjamina! To make a mature and hardy cutting you need to air layer. Root division will just stress the plant out and, assuming you get a stout second plant, will result in two week plants that are then open to other cultural or pest stresses. Air layering will take months but will ensure no damage to the mother plant and the daughter plant will be healthy and easy to establish. Cheers!

  14. Pamela You on February 19th, 2013 8:04 pm

    I would like to aquire this lovely
    ficus trianularis plant but I seem to have difficulty finding this rare unusual plant. Miko or anyone that could help, how and where can
    I find such a plant?

    Thank you for your help,

  15. Ann on September 20th, 2013 1:16 pm

    I root these regularly and have about 6 plants – all healthy – and give them as gifts to friends. That I live in SW Florida and can leave them outdoors might explain this but they’re very easy to root. I cut or even tear a small stem and put in a pot with soil. Water and voilà…a new plant very soon.

  16. dringler on January 17th, 2014 2:20 pm

    Sorry for such a delayed response, but I just recently saw a nice one at Plant Stand in Costa Mesa, Ca. Not sure where you live.

  17. Patrick on July 9th, 2014 8:22 am

    I live in San Jose, CA. Where can I find this plant? Help please.

    Thank You