The weeping fig is part of the Ficus plant genus (scientific name: F. Benjamina) and tree-like, in looks. With large arching branches and long pointed leaves, it looks attractive indoors (apart from leaves dropping).
The Benjamina is one of the most popular small indoor trees from this genus that grows quite slowly and needs a grower to take particular care of a few needs (lighting, watering, etc.), which is fairly easy when you know how.
Ficus Tree Description
The weeping figs’ natural habitat is within rainforests. There’s the green leaf type and variegated, miniature-sized trees (indoor bonsai), which may only grow up to 3ft tall. A fair few other cultivars exist that have various leaf colors and patterns.
Does Not Like Being Disturbed
The F.benjamina really doesn’t like being moved around a home. Moving them kind of gives them a shock (they decide its time to drop leaves to produce new ones from the change in lighting, temperature, and humidity provided ), which can leave the ficus plant looking pretty bare. My advice would be to find a spot with the correct lighting (see care information below), not close to any drafts in the home (from doors or windows) and then leave it to get comfortable. Only move if you realize it is not the best place or if you really have to.
A nice bright spot is their preference and somewhere with enough space for height and width growth, ready for when it matures. Large plants look great standing within corners, seated inside a patio, or near a fireplace (that is being used for decorative purposes). You are likely to have seen these displayed in hotel foyers, in offices, or in shopping malls. The smaller fig and bonsai types can sit where you find enough room (shelves, table tops) as long as there is enough bright light.
Leaves, Branches, and Trunk
As mentioned above, the leaves can be a shiny green, or variegated, and there are other cultivars. The pointed leaves, when grown indoors, are approximately 4 inches long and slim in width. The branches and leaves arch over, and the flexible trunk can grow in a twisted form, similar to a banyan tree and with more than one trunk from the roots. At the end of summer, you are likely to see some leaves falling, which is normal, so do not be worried about this.
Most plants improve air quality to some degree. F. Benjamina is particularly good at filtering formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
|Origin:||South East Asia and Australia.|
|Names:||Weeping Fig (common). Ficus Benjamina (botanical/scientific), Ficus Tree|
|Max Growth (approx):||Height up to 10ft and miniature grown types 3ft.|
|Poisonous for pets:||Toxic to cats and dogs.|
Types of Weeping Fig
Weeping Fig plant comes in different varieties:
It has narrow and glossy green leaves and it usually grows into a small shrub. Less tolerant of cold and shade than the rubber tree.
It has large, violin-shaped up to 18 inches long. Sometimes it is placed near the windows, living room or in the hallways.
Ficus Elastica or rubber tree has large and thick leaves. Varieties include the F. Elastica robusta with wide, large leaves and the F. Elastica Decora.
How To Take Care of Ficus Benjamina?
|Temperature:||Room temperatures of around 65°f / 16°c — 75°f / 24°c is ideal. Try not to allow temperatures to decrease lower than 50°f / 10°c, although they can handle a bit lower without problems. Great indoor plant.|
|Light:||Bright indirect light is what keeps the Ficus Benjamina happy, which is partially shaded. A spot that receives some sun and shade during the day is great. As mentioned previously, do not move the tree, not even turning it around to prevent leaves from being shed.|
|Watering:||Allow the compost to dry to a certain extent (at the top) between each watering with tepid filtered or distilled water. Over-watering and under-watering can cause the leaves to drop. To identify the problem, check if the leaves are crispy or if they fold easily. If they fold, then the problem could be over-watering, and if crispy, the tree could be under-watered. Add enough water that can seep from the topsoil to the drainage holes at the bottom of the container and remove the leftover water to allow enough oxygen to the plant roots. Less watering in the winter is to be carried out.|
|Soil:||A fast-draining soil-less mix is advised.|
|Re-Potting:||These can be allowed to become pot-bound to a certain extent, and as mentioned above, the weeping fig tree does not like to be disturbed. I would only re-pot when necessary, which could be every couple of years when it’s growing in height and spread.|
|Fertilizer:||I would only use fertilizer once a month from April until September, which has to be diluted. October – March should be a rest period without fertilizer.|
|Humidity:||Misting the leaves in the summer is advised.|
|Propagation:||The F. benjamina is easy to propagate during summer with a few inches of good branch cuttings (from the tip), placed into soil.|
|Grooming and pruning:||Your growing tree will enjoy having old leaves removed and pruned to the size that suits its indoor living space, especially if it is healthy and growing well where it now sits. Pruning is best done after summer and before the next spring.|
Frequently Asked Questions
These plants can grow up to 10ft in their regular sizes in the wild, but the miniature variations, which are more likely to be household plants, can reach up to 3ft.
Yes – these plants are perfect for removing toxins and pollutants from your indoor space. They are known to purify the air from formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. These are all common pollutants that can be found in carpets and furniture.
As previously mentioned, this plant will remove its old leaves on its own, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a helping hand. Pruning some of the older leaves can help your Ficus Benjamina grow. It is advised that pruning take place between late summer and the following spring.
Yes – the Weeping Fig should be kept away from all pets and children. Also, if you’re an adult that suffers from allergies, this plant may be one to avoid.
You can use coffee grounds but only in small amounts. As a large tree, these plants love the nitrogen in coffee grounds, but you must remember that the smaller varieties won’t appreciate large quantities of coffee grounds.
If the humidity levels in your house are low, or you’ve placed your Weeping Fig in a centrally heated room, it’s encouraged that you mist it regularly. Just watch out for signs of overwatering.
The Weeping Fig plant is a great indoor decorative piece. Its tree-like features make it unique as a potted plant, and its slow-growing nature makes it a very manageable and chilled-out plant.
Originating from the rainforest, this easy indoor plant uses varied sunlight and decent amounts of water. Make sure to position this plant in a spot that gets a mixture of sunlight and shade throughout the day. The important thing you need to remember is not to move this plant once it’s settled, so choose wisely first-time round!
You should allow the topsoil to dry out before you rewater your plant. If you’re unsure whether your plant is getting too little or too much water, the leaves can be a great indicator. If the leaves are flexible and fold, it’s receiving too much water. So, if they’re crispy and feel dry, you need to increase the amount of water you’re giving your Ficus Benjamina plant.
Weeping Figs are fussier about their living conditions than other houseplant varieties and will drop their leaves if they’re unhappy. They need consistent temperatures, a mixture of sunlight, and a regular watering routine. Be sure to keep your plant away from draughts and dark areas, it won’t be happy!
The best time to buy a new indoor Fig plant is during the spring when the temperature and humidity levels are best. This way, you can get a great head start. When humidity starts to waver, misting your leaves is recommended.