This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol2", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
This is still largely grown for market. The large elliptic glossy-green leathery leaves constitute the chief ornamental feature, and when coupled with the fact that the plants will stand almost as rough treatment as the Aspidistras one need not wonder at its popularity. It is easily raised in the same way as Dracaenas by taking off the tops of the plants, and also by cutting the stems up into one-eyed pieces with a leaf, and plunging them in bottom heat in coconut fibre, or leaf mould. The overhead temperature at this time is kept up to 75° or 80° F., and a very humid atmosphere is maintained. Single leaves root readily, but will not throw new shoots. Once rooted the young plants are potted up in 3-in. and afterwards into 5-in. pots and grown on quickly for sale. They are gradually given more air and light and a lower temperature, to enable them to stand the rough usage of transit. The prices realized now are lower than in former years, being 9s. to 12s. per dozen for plants in 5-in. pots.
Another species of Ficus, namely F. pandurata, with large fiddle-shaped leathery leaves, has attracted the attention of one or two large market growers of late years on account of its ornamental appearance. It is a stove plant and requires abundance of moisture and heat to bring it along quickly. Quite nice plants can be obtained in 5-in. and 6-in. pots, and their culture pays at 2s. 6d. to 5s. per plant. Other ornamental-leaved Ficuses are macrophylla, with larger but narrower leaves than F. elastica; and nymphoeoefolia, with large heart-shaped leaves, but they are not yet known amongst market growers. Another species, F. Canoni, also known as Artocarpus Canoni, is often met with in nurseries, and is remarkable for its beautiful bronzy-purple leaves.
There are a few popular climbing species, amongst the best being the well-known F. repens and its variety minima, so useful for clinging to walls in warm greenhouses and stoves, covering them with a dense mass of small green leaves. F. radicans and its variegated form is another scandent Ficus in which a fair trade is done by nurserymen; and the same may be said of F. Parcelli, from Polynesia, an ornamental species having the bright-green leaves irregularly blotched with ivory white and deep green.