HOW TO GROW THE 'ELEPHANT EAR' FIG - Ficus auriculata

How to grow the 'Elephant Ear' Fig - Ficus auriculata

WANT TO BUY RARE AND UNUSUAL SEEDS? THEN CLICK HERE FOR THE 'SEEDS OF EADEN' SEED SHOP

Commonly known as the Roxburgh fig (named after the Scottish botanist and founder of Indian botany, Sir William Roxburgh), Ficus auriculata is a species of fig tree, native to the Himalayas, Nepal, China and Southeast Asia. It is noted for its large round leaves which can grow upto 15 inches long hence its common name of 'Elephant Ear'. 

Ficus auriculata is a perennial evergreen shrub or small, multi-stemmed tree. Although it is classified as an evergreen, it can be deciduous during extended periods of cold temperatures. Leaves are ovate and when emerging being red before turning to green. The edible fruits are pear-shaped and reddish-brown, hanging on peduncles 2.5 cm or longer. The fruits appear on thin branches emerging from the trunk and, perhaps strangely, even from the roots! The fruits are are used to make jams, juices and curries in India. In Vietnam, unripe fruits are also used in salads. Leaves are used as fodder for cattle.

Ficus auriculata fruits
It is a small tree growing to 5–10 m  high with numerous bristle-covered branches. Ficus auriculata is dioecious, with male and female flowers produced on separate plants.

In its natural habitat,  Ficus auriculata is generally found in moist, lowland tropics, and is often seen growing along stream banks. So when growing as a house or garden plant it will require good drainage and considerable watering during the growing season. The optimum growing temperatures range from 16 to 25 degrees Celsius, however it will tolerate a range from 13 to 33 degrees Celsius. Be aware that   temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius may severely damage or kill the plant.This means that it can be grown outside over the summer in the more temperate Northern European countries but will need to be brought in under protection during the cooler months. In Mediterranean climates it can be planted outside permanently in the ground although winter protection may need to be provided once overnight temperatures start to drop below 7 degrees Celsius. 

Be aware that under protected environments Ficus auriculata can be susceptible to scale and may have minor issues with gall, mealy bugs, thrips, whitefly, and spider mite.

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW AECHMEA FASCIATA
HOW TO GROW THE CREEPING FIG - Ficus pumila
HOW TO GROW FICUS ELASTICA 'VARIEGATA' 
HOW TO GROW FICUS PUMILA
HOW TO GROW STROMANTHE SANGUINEA 'Triostar'

IS FICUS LYRATA AN INDOOR PLANT?