The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

United Kingdom Gb

Hello, please could you help me to identify this houseplant? It has hairy leaves and stem. The leaves feel very soft - not at all waxy. I’ve tried and failed using an app so thought your community would have the expertise to help me so I can care for this plant properly. Thanks so much!

0e48cc0b_91df_42ea_9e29_64632990d36e 8ea68b4a_2b64_4f19_a63d_6031e623137e



Did it ever flower? The leaves in the 2nd photo look like Poinsettia leaves. This plant has flowers at Xmas time (usually bright red), it has to be given a short day length though & never does as well as when they are bought in bloom from the shop.

27 Jul, 2020


Not at all like a poinsettia. Poinsettias need bright light during the summer growing season and wouldn't do well as a houseplant. Maybe Ficus septica.

27 Jul, 2020


Thanks for your suggestions.

I should say the plant is about 5/6 feet tall already and the leaves are extremely large - bigger than a human head.

The leaves and stem have a downey, hairy feel, and through some online research I wondered whether it was possibly a hairy ficus (ficus hispida), a ficus petiolaris or even a Princess tree (paulownia tomentosa).

If thats the case, Im worried Ive been mis-sold a houseplant as a deciduous tree - so am just looking for some reassurance & instructions :)

Thanks again for any and all help.

Best wishes

27 Jul, 2020


Not a Paulownia (I have one of those). The leaves on Paulownia look like giant maple leaves. It's probably in the ficus family and will soon outgrow your house. Maybe outside in spring-fall, inside in winter.

27 Jul, 2020


hi and welcome to GoY.
where did you buy the plant from? They should be able to check their purchase records and tell you what it is. If it is one of the Ficus species it will still be a houseplant in our climate but may get very large.
I haven't been able to identify it though. Did it have any care label with it? I'd water it lightly ywice a week at first but don't leave it standing in water. if it seems to be too dry [compost dry for an inch deep or wilting leaves] water it more. the hairy leaves suggest it doesn't need lots of water.

27 Jul, 2020


Thanks so much Seaburngirl - I massively appreciate the time you've taken to come back to me & provide the care instructions. Unfortunately it didnt come with any information whatsoever - fool me for impulse buying. Ive tried to speak with the plant expert at the garden centre but have yet to make contact.

27 Jul, 2020


Hi again Wylieintheazores - man am I jealous you get to live there! Parabens!

Thanks again for helping out - I watched this youtube video & freaked out when I realised how similar the Paulownia leaves looked:

But I'm no expert, so I'm in your hands. Thanks again.

27 Jul, 2020


Update: I have managed to speak to the garden centre plant manager & he tells me its a ficus lutea - mystery solved.

I felt foolish asking if it would keep its leaves year round & he said yes as it's a houseplant.

After getting off the call, I've immediately googled it and found it's a semi-deciduous tree. And will grow to 25 foot.

Lesson learned - don't buy plants before you know what they are & what they will do!

27 Jul, 2020


yes but that is in the tropics so it is a houseplant for us and it wont reach those heights for years. Chances are you will either prune it, give it away or kill it [my daughter's would within a year] so enjoy it while it has space in your home. :o))
it is still a pretty plant. It will drop the odd leaf and if it gets a chill it will drop them all as it will think it is autumn for it. then it will regrow new ones.

27 Jul, 2020


Looks more like a Ficus roxburghii to me. F. lutea doesn't have that cordate base to the leaf.

28 Jul, 2020

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?