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Fastest growing ficus species?

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moponike

What is the fastest growing ficus out there and how fast is it per year? 

 

Edited by moponike

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Tom in Tucson

My 2 Ficus palmeri went from 6' to 10' in height last summer.

Hi 88˚, Lo 48˚

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Josh76
On 3/7/2019 at 4:29 AM, Tom in Tucson said:

My 2 Ficus palmeri went from 6' to 10' in height last summer.

Hi 88˚, Lo 48˚

Where did you get them from, Tom? Any pics?

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Tom in Tucson
1 hour ago, Josh76 said:

Where did you get them from, Tom? Any pics?

Desert Survivors Native Plant Nursery. They're here in the Tucson area, and are having a plant sale next week (10% off). It is a non-profit organization with there sales supporting adults with disabilities.

No pics.

Hi 65˚, Lo 46˚ (so far)

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Tracy
On 3/6/2019 at 6:09 AM, moponike said:

What is the fastest growing ficus out there and how fast is it per year? 

Ficus is such a big genus with native species on multiple continents, so I would think this is a rather difficult question to answer.  Perhaps more insight into the reason for the question might be helpful, or additional questions.  Are you trying to avoid a fast growing species or want a fast growing species?  Are you looking for something that becomes enormous like Ficus macrophylla? 

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Walt

I'm currently growing 14-15 species of ficus trees. Hands down, Ficus altissima 'variegata' is the fastest of all of the species I'm growing, now about 50 feet in height after about 20 years in the ground from a sapling.  The second fastest species I'm growing is Ficus rubinginosa.  

My Ficus macrophylla so far has been a fairly slow grower: https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-pueblo-tree-falls-20190309-story.html

 

 

 

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Hillizard
7 hours ago, Walt said:

I'm currently growing 14-15 species of ficus trees. Hands down, Ficus altissima 'variegata' is the fastest of all of the species I'm growing, now about 50 feet in height after about 20 years in the ground from a sapling.  The second fastest species I'm growing is Ficus rubinginosa.  

My Ficus macrophylla so far has been a fairly slow grower: https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-pueblo-tree-falls-20190309-story.html

 

 

While I don't have a Ficus altissima 'variegata' for comparison, I do have a Ficus rubiginosa 'variegata'  and it does grow extremely fast during the summer months here in full sun. This winter, instead of frost cloth, I kept it up against the outside of my sunroom and that seems to have given it enough protection from winter lows. To the right of it is my largest (and frost-frazzled) Beccariophoenix alfredii. I also have a couple of Ficus obliqua (formerly eugeniodes) and they also grow very fast, but don't tolerate full sun where I live. 

 

Ficus_rubiginosa_variegata.png

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Walt
18 hours ago, Hillizard said:

While I don't have a Ficus altissima 'variegata' for comparison, I do have a Ficus rubiginosa 'variegata'  and it does grow extremely fast during the summer months here in full sun. This winter, instead of frost cloth, I kept it up against the outside of my sunroom and that seems to have given it enough protection from winter lows. To the right of it is my largest (and frost-frazzled) Beccariophoenix alfredii. I also have a couple of Ficus obliqua (formerly eugeniodes) and they also grow very fast, but don't tolerate full sun where I live. 

 

Ficus_rubiginosa_variegata.png

My Ficus rubinginosa (I have four of them in the ground) have lots of aerial roots, and the lower branches are sprawling on the ground and taking root. I like your variegated F. rubinginosa (nice leaf color).

Below is a photo of my Ficus altissima variegata when I first planted it out in April of 2000.  In January of 2001 my ficus was frozen down to the roots by a severe radiational freeze (22 degree low), which also killed my small royal palm planted to the left of the ficus. I thought it was dead so I cut the trunk off flush with the ground. But after a few weeks I started to notice new growth. The rest is history!

In essence, my Ficus altissima has grown to about 50 feet in height in 18 years, not counting outer crown die back from 2-3 bad freezes over the years, especially in 2010 when I had three 8" diameter branches on the north side of my ficus killed, when my all-time low of 20.8 degrees (in front yard) was recorded (another radiational freeze).

Ficus atissima 'variegata' April 2000.jpg

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Eric in Orlando

Ficus auriculata is very fast growing but only grows 15-20 ft tall. North of zone 9b it is used as a diebacke perennial. It freezes down below about 27f and can grow 6-7ft in a season.

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moponike
On 3/9/2019 at 4:28 PM, Tracy said:

Ficus is such a big genus with native species on multiple continents, so I would think this is a rather difficult question to answer.  Perhaps more insight into the reason for the question might be helpful, or additional questions.  Are you trying to avoid a fast growing species or want a fast growing species?  Are you looking for something that becomes enormous like Ficus macrophylla? 

I want a fast one and wont mind huge ones like the one you mentioned. Is there any big ficus tree that can be expected to grow faster than 3 ft per year? 

Thanks for the responses everyone! Much appreciated.

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Walt

Here's a photo of my Ficus altissima 'variegata' after four years growth (January of 2005) after being totally frozen down to the ground in January of 2001. Note the Sabal palmetto to the ficus's right -- then notice the same Sabal palmetto in the far above photo I posted the other day, as it looks today. I can't say just how high my ficus was when I took this photo, but you will have to judge for yourself. In any event, I think this is relatively fast growth.

4 years ficus growth.JPG

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RaychHasDatePalms

Well, it does depend quite a bit on which type of ficus as well as where you will be growing it. Do you want a fruiting or non-fruiting variety? I bought and planted my ficus carica (hardy chicago fig) in a pot in either 2014/15, and it’s given me lots of lovely growth each year. I let it live outside in the summer and bring it in in the fall. As long as it doesnt get too windy for leaves to stay attached, my fig stays happy! (Knock on wood; something is going on with every other plant I own but if my ficus is harmed I will just die.) It does go through a dormancy around Nov or Dec each year—no idea if it’s normal or not—and then starts to give lots of new growth, starting in Jan or Feb. This past summer it produced figs for the first time, and they did remind me of the juicy, delicate treats I used to enjoy when living in the Mediterranean. 

Side note: mine is so sparse on the trunk and leaning like a cocos on the beach because it has led a very adventurous life, moving around from place to place and habitat to habitat. Normally they’re much bushier, but even though it has a permanent French poodle haircut and my fiance calls it a palm tree due to its looks, it’s currently happy and healthy. 

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Merlyn2220

Reviving this for a relevant question:  What "big leaf" fast growing ficus would be good for a borderline 9b/9a area?  It sounds like the Ficus Auriculata would be a good bet, based on Eric's description.  I'm not looking for a monster 50' tall tree, but more 15-20' with large leaves and a dense growth pattern.  I'm considering it for a sound block for highway noise along with a couple of Magnolia and Bamboo species.  They sell Lyrata everywhere as a house plant, but UFL has it listed as a 10B plant.  

If you prune a ficus will it split branches to become bushier?  I do this with my viburnum hedge, it slows down the rate of growth but ends up with a much denser plant.

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Gtlevine

I grow many species in California. The Moreton Bay Fig is still the fastest and biggest. I grew one from 2’ to 15’  in four years.

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Sandy Loam

 To piggy back onto moponike's question, which is the fastest-growing ficus species which can ALSO can tolerate USDA zone 9a..... if any?  Aren't ALL ficus trees zone 10 and warmer? 

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