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The Complete Ficus Care ‘Green Island’ Guide: Growing this Beautiful Indoor Tree

Packed with care tips, growth habits, where to buy info and more, this complete guide teaches you everything about growing the stunning ficus ‘Green Island’ plant indoors.

Are you looking to add some lush, tropical flair to your indoor space? If so, the ficus ‘Green Island’ could be the perfect plant for you! This eye-catching variety makes an excellent houseplant, with its thick wooden trunk and glossy green leaves splashed with creamy yellow variegation.

Part of the ficus microcarpa species (also known as the curtain fig or strangler fig), the ‘Green Island’ cultivar has become a favorite among indoor gardeners. It’s relatively easy to care for yet still boasts that exotic, showstopping appeal we all love in tropical plants.

In this comprehensive care guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about successfully growing ficus ‘Green Island’ trees indoors. We’ll cover ideal lighting, watering, soil needs, pruning tips, and more to keep these beauties thriving for years to come. Let’s get started!

What is a Ficus ‘Green Island’ Plant?

Green-Island-Plant6 The Complete Ficus Care 'Green Island' Guide: Growing this Beautiful Indoor Tree

The ficus ‘Green Island’ is a cultivar of the ficus microcarpa species, which is native to parts of Southeast Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. It originated as a natural mutation, featuring stunning green and creamy yellow variegated foliage.

In its natural tropical habitat, the ficus microcarpa grows as a rambling shrub or tree that can reach towering heights of up to 60 feet tall! But when grown in containers indoors, the ‘Green Island’ typically stays a much more manageable 6-10 feet in height over many years.

Like its cousin the ficus lyrata or fiddle-leaf fig, the ficus microcarpa features a thick, upright central trunk with branches sprawling outwards, reminiscent of a small tree. Its large leaves grow up to 12 inches long, emerging pale yellow then deepening to a vibrant green hue with streaks of creamy variegation.

While the ‘Green Island’ cultivar doesn’t produce fruiting figs, it may bloom with small reddish-green flowers if given the right conditions. But most indoor gardeners prize this plant purely for its dramatic tropical foliage and ease of growth as a houseplant.

Speaking of growth, it does take some time and patience to develop a sizable ficus ‘Green Island’ specimen from a nursery plant. But with proper care, these plants can quickly become the stunning, towering centerpieces of any indoor garden!

Complete Care Guide for Ficus ‘Green Island’

Ready to add one of these ornate tropical showstoppers to your houseplant collection? Here’s everything you need to know about caring for the beautiful ficus ‘Green Island’:


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This plant needs very bright, direct light to maintain its variegation and induce branching. Situate it within 3-5 feet of an unobstructed south or west-facing window. Inadequate light will cause leaves to turn solid green. Grow lights (like these) can also be used to supplement natural light.


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Allow the top 2-3 inches of soil to dry out fully, then water deeply until moisture drains from the bottom of the pot. Yellow leaves are often a sign of overwatering. Ficus trees also benefit from higher humidity around their leaves.


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A well-draining potting mix made for indoor trees and houseplants is best. Amend with orchid bark, perlite, charcoal chips, or lava rocks to improve drainage (like this mix). Ficus roots will rot in soggy, dense soil.


green-island-plant-Temperature The Complete Ficus Care 'Green Island' Guide: Growing this Beautiful Indoor Tree

These tropicals thrive in average household temps between 65°F-85°F. Never expose them to freezing temps or drafty areas below 50°F. They can summer outdoors in warm, humid climates.


green-island-plant-Fertilizer The Complete Ficus Care 'Green Island' Guide: Growing this Beautiful Indoor Tree

Feed every 2-4 weeks during the spring and summer growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer (for example). Reduce feeding in winter when growth slows.


green-island-plant-Pruning The Complete Ficus Care 'Green Island' Guide: Growing this Beautiful Indoor Tree

Ficus trees can be pruned at any time to remove dead or damaged leaves and branches. Pruning stem tips also promotes fuller, bushier growth. Use clean, sterilized shears and wear gloves, as the sap can irritate skin.


green-island-plant-Repotting The Complete Ficus Care 'Green Island' Guide: Growing this Beautiful Indoor Tree

Repot annually in spring, gradually increasing the pot size by just 2 inches each time. Use a pot with drainage holes and ensure the soil line remains at the same depth as before to avoid burying the trunk.


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It’s fairly difficult to propagate ficus ‘Green Island’ from stem cuttings, as the variegation often does not carry over to new growth. Air layering or division may work better for producing new identical plants.

While the ficus ‘Green Island’ can be fussy about certain conditions like lighting or soil moisture, it’s overall a fantastic indoor plant once you get the routine down. Just maintain good humidity levels, avoid overwatering, and let the soil dry between waterings, and this ornamental fig should thrive inside for many years!

One important thing to note: All ficus varieties ooze a sticky white sap when cut or damaged. This latex can cause skin irritation in some individuals, so wear gloves and use caution when pruning or propagating. The sap can also leave permanent stains, so it’s best to keep ficus plants away from valuable carpets, furniture, or floors.

You’ll also want to be very patient when first bringing home a new nursery plant. Ficus trees often experience transplant shock when moved and may drop many or all of their leaves. But don’t panic – with proper watering and care, your plant should bounce back and begin producing lush new foliage within 6-12 weeks. Never attempt to propagate stems or prune until your ficus is fully established and growing again.

Other than that, the stunning variegated foliage and thick, woody trunk of the ficus ‘Green Island’ make it an absolutely breathtaking houseplant! These vigorous tropical trees can become the centerpiece of your indoor plant collection if you meet their lighting and humidity needs.

Where to Find Ficus ‘Green Island’ Plants

While the ficus ‘Green Island’ is still considered a fairly rare variety, their popularity as indoor specimens is growing rapidly. These days, you can often find these ornamental fig trees for sale at upscale nurseries, specialty plant shops, and even some big-box stores.

Online plant retailers like Logee’s, Steve’s Leaves, and Hirt’s Gardens all carry this cultivar from time to time as well, making mail-order a convenient option too.

Expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $100 or more, depending on the size and maturity of the plant. Smaller 4-inch nursery starters are most common and affordable for easily building up your ficus ‘Green Island’ indoors over time.

No matter where you source this ornamental fig variety from though, make sure to inspect it closely. Look for plants with plump, glossy leaves completely free of any pests, damage, or disease issues to get your indoor tree off to the best start.

With its bold variegated leaves, thick sculpted trunk, easy care requirements, and suitability for any decor style from modern to bohemian, the ficus microcarpa ‘Green Island’ makes such a fabulous indoor plant. Its tropical vibes and dramatic, towering growth are bound to turn your living space into an exotic paradise!

So if you’re ready to embrace the indoor jungle look at home, add the unforgettable ficus ‘Green Island’ to your houseplant wish list. With some basic lighting and moisture needs met, this unique indoor tree can wow visitors with its lush foliage display for many years to come. An absolute must-have for lovers of bold, statement-making greenery!

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