Ficus: Emerald Gem 10"
Like most tropical houseplants and almost all varieties of ficus, Ficus altissima prefers bright, indirect light. This is especially important for preserving the variegation. If your indoor lighting conditions aren’t right, your plant will need to produce more chlorophyll (aka dark-green coloring) to make energy from less available sunlight, and the variegation will fade.
The best place for a Ficus altissima is in an east-facing window where it will get some morning light and bright light throughout the day, but little to no direct sunlight after 10:00 a.m. or so. You could also put your plant near a south- or west-facing window, but make sure the direct afternoon or midday sun doesn’t fall right on the leaves; they might scorch and leave ugly brown spots that won’t fade!
A north-facing window probably won’t provide enough direct light for your Ficus altissima to grow optimally or maintain its beautiful variegation. If you can’t provide enough bright indirect light, no problem! You can supplement with full-spectrum grow lights. We love these bulbs that you can fit into your regular light fixtures for the perfect blend of light and style.
Ficus altissima tends to like a little less water than some other varieties of ficus. Water when the top 4 inches of soil feel dry to the touch, or when a moisture meter reads about 3.
We highly recommend using a moisture meter because this is a much better indication of what’s going on deeper in the pot and inside the root ball than the finger test or even using a wooden stick to test the moisture level of the soil.
Here’s the one we like best! (As an added bonus, it also measures light and soil pH!)