How to care for a ficus variegata: The keys to keep it healthy

How to take care of a variegated ficus

Within the plants you have the “normal” versions and the variegated ones. These are characterized by having different colors, but also care. For example, a ficus and a variegated ficus are totally different. Do you know how to care for a ficus variegata?

Don’t worry, if you manage to get hold of one of them (and we already tell you that some varieties are quite cheap) we’ll give you a hand so you know what all the care you should provide is. In fact, here is a guide.

How is a ficus variegata

large leaf details

large leaf details

The ficus variegata, also known as the variegated ficus or the variegated rubber tree, does not differ too much from the usual ficuses. That is, it originates, like the normal version, from tropical Asia, it grows up to 30 meters and has the same characteristics as the green version.

But there is one thing that differs: its leaves. Ficus variegata have large, oval leaves, like the green ones, but the color is not the same. In these cases, the leaves are green in the center but at the edges they can be either white or irregular yellow. In fact, it can even have leaves with white or yellow spots, giving it a unique look.

How to care for a ficus variegata

leaves of ficus variegata benjamina

leaves of ficus variegata benjamina

If you are lucky enough to have a ficus variegata, or they give it to you as a gift, you are surely looking for information about its care. However, in few places are the particularities that these plants have. And although they do not differ too much from the care of a ficus, the truth is that they do There are a few things you should keep in mind.

Do you want to know what they are? Well let’s get to it.

location and temperature

As you know, the ficus is a plant that loves the sun and likes to spend many hours in sunlight, even some of them in direct sunlight. Well then, in the case of the ficus variegata you have to be careful with the sun’s rays because, being mainly white (or yellow), they will burn very easily, which will make you lose that beauty you have.

It is best to put it in a place where it can enjoy the light, but do not hit it directly. In fact, the first year we recommend that you do not (unless you bought it from a store in the same city and you are used to it). The reason is that it has to adapt to the new climate and environment to gradually tolerate such changes.

As for the temperature, it does not like drafts at all, so try to protect it from these or you will risk the leaves falling off and it will be bald. In addition, you must control the temperature because it is a bit delicate in terms of these. When it is less than 13ºC it begins to sufferso in winter you have to place it in a greenhouse or similar (that would be its best place due to humidity, which we will talk about a little later).


The soil that the ficus variegata needs must be one that can withstand humidity. Therefore, a mixture with peat and drainage (such as perlite) could be ideal. And it is that if you only put peat on it, the roots can rot by keeping too much water. Try to mix in a 60-40 ratio of soil and perlite respectively.

Irrigation and humidity

As we have told you that it needs a soil that helps to withstand humidity, you will have realized that irrigation is one of the most important care for the ficus variegata. And is not for less. Doesn’t like to be too dryTherefore, in summer you will have to water 2-3 times a week, even more when it is too hot.

In winter, meanwhile, watering could be reduced to 1-2 times a week; everything will depend on where it is located and the weather you have.

what yes It is important that you let the substrate dry between watering and watering to avoid damaging the roots.

As for humidity, this is very necessary. The ficus variegata needs high humidity, especially in the part of the leaves. So you will have to put it next to a humidifier or spray the leaves daily to keep them healthy. Otherwise, it will start to lose its leaves.


leaves of ficus pumila variegata

leaves of ficus pumila variegata

The subscriber, like any ficus, will be necessary. But unlike others, which are paid monthly, the ficus variegata will only have to be paid every two months. In addition, only half the dose established by the manufacturer of the product is applied to them.

This should only be done during spring and summer, leaving the rest of the season without paying. Some experts do recommend fertilizing only once in autumn and winter, but we do not recommend it if you have transplanted it because you could overfertilize it and then it would be worse.


Like the green ficus, the variegata will also grow, and a lot. That’s why, in spring, you should cut the branches that are too long to give it a bit of shape.

Remove dead or damaged leaves and branches.

Plagues and diseases

As for pests and diseases, these do not differ from the green-leafed ficus. But it is true that they affect the variegata more negatively (and seriously). That is why it is important to prevent and be aware of them.

In general, in terms of pests, you should be careful of mites, mealybugs and scales. For its part, the diseases that can attack it are root rot (usually caused by poor irrigation), powdery mildew or anthracnose.


Do you want to propagate your ficus variegata? As soon as you see it, you will surely want to do it and the best way to do it is, without a doubt, through cuttings. In fact, you can take these from the pruning season since many can serve you.

first of all You have to know that the cuttings that must be taken must always be from new shoots. The older branches are not going to serve you as well (they are more difficult to reproduce).

Also, you have to make sure that they are between 10 and 15 centimeters long.

Once you have it, you have to remove all the leaves below the bud and put it in water. You can add a little rooting agent to help form the roots since, until it has them, you will not be able to transplant it to a pot (or to the ground).

Another way to multiply the ficus variegata is through aerial stratification. That is, cover a branch with moss, moisten it and roll it with transparent paper to make it form roots in the wound that is made.

Finally, You would also have the option of seeds, but these are very slow and sometimes do not guarantee that the ficus will come out variegated.

You already have the keys to know how to care for a ficus variegata, so now you just have to find a specimen that you like and take it home. Do you have any already? Can you tell us any tips to take care of it and make it healthy and happy? We read you.

How to care for a ficus variegata: The keys to keep it healthy

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