Ficus Triangularis, named for its triangular-shaped leaves, is a great plant for beginners. It grows well indoors and is not overly fussy.
Some experienced gardeners may be shaking their heads, knowing that the word ‘Ficus’ usually means that you have a difficult plant on your hands. But, this particular species is not one of them!
Ficus Triangularis is native to South Africa.
It is sometimes difficult to find in local nurseries or may cost more than other common pot plants.
It also comes in a variegated variety known as Ficus Triangularis ‘Variegated’, which is even harder to find. So if you spot one, grab it and take it home.
If you live in warmer regions, it can sometimes be grown outdoors. It can also flourish as a patio plant, provided that you are willing to move it indoors before the winter season starts.
If you are ambitious, you can even grow your Ficus Triangularis as a bonsai tree.
Here is a full guide on how to care for Ficus Triangularis.
Ficus Triangularis Plant Care
Ficus Triangularis grows in all-purpose, well-draining soil. Water well and allow the soil to dry out. The plant enjoys a bright spot but not direct sun. The best temperatures are 60°F to 75°F (16°C to 24°C). You can fertilize during the growing season with a diluted all-purpose liquid fertilizer.
Ficus Triangularis does best in all-purpose potting soil that is very well draining. To increase drainage, you can add in perlite or vermiculite. To make your own mix, use equal parts of sphagnum peat moss, pine bark, and coarse sand.
Ficus Triangularis can be grown in all-purpose potting soil. This is great for beginners as you do not need to worry about specific soil mixes as you do for fussier plants like cacti or orchids.
If you want to try making your own soil, it is rewarding and fun. Make a mix of equal parts of sphagnum peat moss, pine bark, and coarse sand.
Ficus Triangularis does best in soil that is very well draining. After watering, the water must run out so that the soil dries out totally. Adding perlite or vermiculite to your mix will increase drainage.
This plant is not too fussy about the PH balance in the soil.
Aim for neutral soil with a PH reading of 7.0. Adding organic compost is always a booster for any plant. It gives the soil valuable nutrients that plants need.
Ficus Triangularis enjoys bright light. Place yours near a south, east or west-facing window. A light curtain is useful to block direct sunlight that can scorch the leaves. North-facing windows do not offer enough light. If your leaves fall off, this is a sign of insufficient bright light.
Ficus Triangularis enjoys lots of bright light. But, it does not want to stand in too much direct sunlight. Very hot direct sunlight can scorch the leaves and cause them to lose their color.
Choose a spot near a window, preferably with a light curtain that you can close to block out the direct sun. Windows that face south, east, or west are ideal. North-facing windows do not get enough bright light for this plant.
Without bright light, your Ficus Triangularis will start to lose its leaves. If you see that this is happening, move your plant to a brighter spot as soon as possible.
Your Ficus Triangularis must be well drenched and then allowed to dry out before watering again. Water only when the soil is dry. In summer it will be around twice in 7 to 10 days. In winter it will be once in 10 days. Do not overwater as this can cause the leaves to drop.
Ficus Triangularis does need some attention when it comes to watering. The time to water is when your soil is dry! Test this by using your finger and pressing it deeply into the container. You should not feel any moisture.
Make sure that your container has adequate drainage holes for the water to run out. Always check that they are not blocked. Putting a layer of small pebbles at the base of your pot will help to keep the soil from blocking the holes.
Water your plant with room-temperature water. Fill up the pot slowly until you have a deep layer of water at the top. Wait for all the water to drain out. It is best to do this over a basin or kitchen sink to avoid a mess!
Depending on how fast your soil dries, use this as a guide – In summer, water twice every 7 to 10 days. In autumn and winter, you can reduce watering to once every 10 days.
Ficus Triangularis will do best in indoor temperatures that are above 55°F (13°C). The ideal range will be 60°F to 75°F (16°C to 24°C). This plant does not enjoy cold draughts from open windows or air conditioners. It may be grown outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 12 and 13.
Ficus Triangularis does best in warmer temperatures that range between 60°F to 75°F (16°C to 24°C). Ideally, the temperature should not drop below 55°F (13°C) too often.
If you find that you are having a cold winter, consider putting your plant in a room where you can control the temperatures.
Ficus Triangularis is not tolerant of cold draughts. This usually applies to many houseplants! As a rule, do not stand your plants in a draughty spot. And, never stand your plant in front of an air conditioner.
It is also not happy with extremely hot temperatures. Keep it out of direct sunlight and away from the direct heat of heaters.
If you have your plant growing in a container on a patio, consider bringing it indoors during the winter months.
Ficus Triangularis enjoys slightly humid conditions. Average home humidity should do with the addition of mist-spraying or surrounding the plant with water basins. A bathroom or kitchen is ideal as the humidity is generally higher than in other rooms in your home.
Ficus Triangularis is happiest in conditions that are slightly above average in humidity. Your average home has a humidity of 40% to 50%, so increasing it with a small humidifier will make your plant much happier.
The Variegated variety is far more sensitive to humidity and will require a higher humidity at all times.
To increase humidity, you can mist spray the leaves from time to time. You can also stand open shallow water containers around your plants. As the water evaporates, it will increase the humidity in the air.
Kitchens and bathrooms also offer increased humidity that will make your plant happier.
Fertilize Ficus Triangularis only during the growing season. You can use a weak solution of all-purpose fertilizer once a month. Dilute it to one-quarter of the strength and pour into wet soil. Do not pour fertilizer onto dry soil as this can burn the roots.
Ficus Triangularis responds well to feeding. It is best to fertilize in the growing season. You do not need to fertilize in winter.
Use a balanced all-purpose fertilizer that you can buy from your local nursery.
Dilute the fertilizer to one-quarter of its normal strength. Water your plant well until the soil is wet and the water has drained out. Then pour in the fertilizer solution.
I always like to use natural organic fertilizer and stay away from chemicals whenever possible. If you have a home-making compost kit, you can add some of the decayed material to your soil. It is great for any plant including your Ficus Triangularis.
Never over-fertilize your plant. This can cause damage to the roots. If in doubt, less fertilizing is better than more.
Ficus Triangularis grows as a small tree in an indoor container and can reach heights of 4 feet (1.2m). It has upright branches covered in lovely glossy mid-green to dark green leaves. The variegated variety has lighter veins and edges making a heart design. The leaves have a unique triangle shape.
With its lovely triangle-shaped leaves, Ficus Triangularis makes a focal point in an indoor garden.
Your plant can grow to heights of up to 4 feet (1.2m) in a pot but will usually be smaller than that. Trimming it down will also keep the shape if it becomes too tall.
Ficus Triangularis grows as a small upright bush or tree with strong stems that radiate upwards, The stems hold eye-catching glossy green leaves. The variegated variety has dark green leaves with lighter veins and edging. This pattern creates a heart-like design in the middle of each leaf which is very attractive.
Some varieties of Ficus Triangularis produce small fruits that are semi-round and pale red. The fruits can be picked and placed in your outdoor bird feeder to attract birds into your garden.
Growth is moderate and you won’t need to repot for a long time. Choose a spot for your plant and keep it there. It does not enjoy being relocated.
Plant into a terracotta or clay pot with drainage holes at the base. Use an all-purpose potting soil with added peat and perlite. After planting, water well, fertilize and place in a spot with lots of bright light but not direct sun.
You can plant your Ficus Triangularis into a decorative indoor pot. Make sure that it has adequate drainage holes at the base for the water to run out. A flatter low pot is better suited to this tree, instead of a narrow tall one.
Place a layer of crushed granite at the base to allow for drainage and airflow. Use an all-purpose potting soil and half-fill your pot. Place your plant into the center of the pot. Fill up the sides with soil using a spoon or a scoop. Don’t pack the soil too tightly. Water well, fertilize and stand in a bright spot with lots of light. Avoid direct sunshine.
Once you have found a spot for your plant, try to avoid moving it. This plant does not react well to being relocated and may start to drop its leaves.
Ficus Triangularis Plant in-depth propagation guide
If you enjoy propagating your own plants, you can take cuttings from your Ficus Triangularis and grow new ones for your home. They also make great gifts to offer to friends and family.
Propagate Ficus Triangularis from cuttings
- Prepare a clean workspace
- Prepare a few pots with all-purpose potting soil, peat, and perlite, for the new plants
- Sterilize a small sharp cutter
- Wear gloves as the sap is poisonous
- Cut healthy stems from your mature plant that are about 15 inches (38cm) long
- Make sure you get cuttings with a few leaves on them
- Plant the cuttings into the soil in the new pots
- Ensure that they are well supported
- Place the pots in a spot where the temperature is above 77°F (25°C) and has filtered light
- To increase humidity, cover the pots with plastic and plan to remove it after 2 weeks when the roots start to grow
- Water well and mist-spray if needed
- You can also add a dose of diluted fertilizer
- After 5 to 7 weeks, you should have strong enough roots to transfer the plant into its permanent pot
- Do this very carefully and avoid damaging the roots
- Ficus Triangularis grows slowly, so care for it well and be patient
Common problems with Ficus Triangularis
This plant can attract aphids and mealybugs. They can be removed by mist-spraying with a natural pesticide made of oil and the Neem Plant. You can also wipe the leaves with a cloth dipped into the same solution.
Leaves turn yellow
This is usually caused by overwatering. Your soil may not be draining correctly and becoming waterlogged. Only water when the soil is dry. Ensure that your drainage holes are not blocked.
Leaves emerge as black
Underwatering will cause the leaves to emerge with a dull black color instead of green. Ensure that you water well and allow the soil to dry before watering again. Check that the humidity is not too low.
Leaves drop off
There are a few reasons for this. Moving your plant causes stress and it will drop its leaves. Try not to relocate unless you have to.
Leaf drop is also caused by overwatering. Only water when the soil is dry. Another reason for leaf drop is too little bright light. Your plant wants bright light but not direct sunlight.
Tips to grow Ficus Triangularis problem-free
- Plant into an all-purpose soil mix that is well-draining
- Water well and allow to dry out before watering again
- Keep in a bright spot with no direct sunlight
- Higher humidity is better and can be achieved with mist-spraying or open water containers
- Fertilize during the growing season with a one quarter diluted solution
- Do not move your plant – it will drop its leaves
- Trim to keep the shape neat and tidy
Frequently asked questions about Ficus Triangularis
Can Ficus Triangularis grow indoors?
Yes, it can. It is usually grown as an indoor plant due to its attractive green triangle-shaped leaves.
Is it easy to care for Ficus Triangularis plants?
While it does require some attention, it is an easy plant to grow once you have the correct conditions. It is a great choice for beginners. It requires a bright spot, well-draining soil, and regular watering. Fertilizing can be done in the growing season.
Is Ficus Triangularis toxic?
Yes, the sap is toxic and the plant is not ideal for homes with children or pets.
Ficus Triangularis is a worthwhile plant to add to your indoor garden. It is a delight to look at with its glossy green triangle-shaped leaves. If you are very ambitious, you can even try to grow it as a bonsai tree!
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.