Green Island Ficus Naples
The Green Island Ficus was recognized by the Florida Nurserymen and Growers Association (FNGLA) as a Plant of the Year for the year 2000. It has heavy-textured leaves that are a little longer than they are wide say three to four inches in either dimension, and the shape would be described botanically as orbicular with only an obscure tip.
The Green Island tends to spread out sideways and is easy to train as a ground hugging shrub clinging closely to rocks, across beds, or even trailing down a wall. It is also loved by bonsai growers because of its unique structure when left to grow into tree form.
Many people are in South Florida to retire and relax, and others have busy, working lifestyles, so low maintenance shrubs are always high on the wish list. Green island makes a wonderful addition to any landscape, working well as a new and different substitute for more typical shrubs like the popular Schillings holly.
Don't let the name "ficus" scare you this variety won't take over your life or your landscaping. It's very well-behaved, grows more slowly and is easy to keep small. Plus it's extremely versatile growing almost anywhere in sun to part shade (see a listing of the many landscaping possibilities below) as well as being one of the best easy care shrubs South Florida has to offer.
The look of green island ficus is at home in both a tropical garden or a more formal setting. This is a wonderful texture plant deep green glossy leaves look similar to a jade plant, and contrast well with other foliage types and colors.
These plants are slow growers, spreading out as they mature, and can easily be kept at 3 feet. They'll handle full sun to partial shade.