Ficus aurea aka Florida Strangler


Ficus aurea, commonly known as the Florida strangler fig, golden fig or higuerón, is a large tree belonging to the family Moraceae that is found throughout the US state of Florida, the northern and western Caribbean, southern Mexico and Central America south to Panama. It can grow semi-epiphytically on cypress or cabbage palms, gradually strangling them and becoming a tree itself. It flowers all year round, producing bright red or yellow stalkless figs that are soft when ripe. All figs in the Ficus genus are pollinated by tiny wasps that use the figs as a safe place to raise their young. Additionally, Ficus plants contain latex which emerges as a milky sap when twigs are broken, making them toxic. As such, it is important to keep a close watch out if there are any children or pets nearby. F. aurea is used in traditional medicine, for live fencing, as an ornamental and as a bonsai.

Common names

Florida Strangler, Florida Strangler Fig

How to care for Florida Strangler


If you're looking for a plant that offers a moderate level of challenge, Florida Strangler is a great choice to test your gardening skills.


Florida Strangler should be watered regularly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.


Florida Strangler loves a well-draining soil. Perlite and vermiculite help with drainage, while coco coir adds organic matter, so a good potting soil mix will have all three. You can improve store-bought soil by adding some perlite to it.


Florida Strangler requires abundant, bright, and direct light to thrive. The best placement for this plant is within one foot of a window to ensure it receives enough light. If you live in an area with more extreme weather, such as hot summers or cold winters, you may need to adjust the placement of the plant accordingly. During hot summer months, it is important to place the plant away from full sun, as this can cause the leaves to yellow or burn. During cold winter months, it is best to move the plant closer to the window to take advantage of the extra light that can help it survive. By keeping an eye on the current weather in your area, you can make sure your Florida Strangler Fig is always in the right place to thrive.


During the cold period, it is common for Florida Strangler to go dormant, resulting in a slowdown of growth. To accommodate this, waterings should be spaced out more.


There is no verified data on the toxicity of this plant in the records of Ploi. If any person, including yourself, a family member, or a pet, consume plant material with an uncertain toxicity level, it is advisable to seek the advice of a healthcare expert.


No extra humidity is necessary for the Florida Strangler. Absorption of water by plants is primarily done through their roots, and soil watering is the most effective method to provide humidity to your plants.


Repotting the Florida Strangler should be done either when it has doubled in size or on a yearly basis, whichever occurs sooner. Fresh potting soil with all the required nutrients, refreshed annually, will provide the plant with all the necessary sustenance, making the use of fertilizer unnecessary. Keep in mind that plants receive their energy from the sun, not fertilizer.

Region of origin

Florida Strangler’s native range is worldwide Tropics.

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