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Ficus religiosa

bo

An evergreen tree to 30m in the tropics, maybe a tenth of this when grown in a container. It has papery, heart-shaped leaves with long, tapering tips; the new growth is flushed bronze. Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment whilst seated beneath a bodhi tree. It makes an interesting and unusual houseplant for a large conservatory or sun room

Other common names
Hindu bo tree
peepul
see morepipal
pipul
poplar-leaved fig tree
sacred fig tree
transparent leaves
Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
1.5–2.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Bronze
Summer Green Bronze
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H1C
Botanical details
Family
Moraceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Genus

Ficus can be evergreen or deciduous trees, shrubs or climbers, with often leathery, simple, entire or lobed leaves and tiny flowers borne within a hollow receptacle which enlarges to form the fruit

Name status

Correct

Plant range
N India to SW China

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in loam-based potting compost in full or bright, indirect light. Water moderately during the growing season and apply a high-nitrogen fertiliser monthly; water sparingly in winter. See ornamental fig cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by semi-ripe cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Low Maintenance
  • Conservatory and greenhouse
Pruning

No pruning required, but overly long shoots may be shortened in late winter

Pests

May be susceptible to red spider mite, thrips, scale insects and mealybugs

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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