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The Wonderful Weeping Fig: All About the Ficus Benjamina
The Ficus Benjamina, also known as the Weeping Fig, is one of our favourite botanicals and this week we’re very excited to tell you all about it. This tropical beauty, which is also sometimes referred to as a Benjamin Tree, Java Fig, Small-leaved Rubber Plant, Ficus Tree and Tropic Laurel, is one of three members of the Moraceae family. The other two are the Ficus Elastica or the Rubber Plant and the Ficus Lyrata or the Fiddle Leaf Fig.
Native to Asia and parts of Australia, this gorgeous, green beauty boasts an abundance of small, glossy green leaves. He can grow up to 1m tall indoors, making a fab standout plant all by himself or as part of an indoor jungle. His beautiful, cascading leaves make him a true statement plant and he will bring real character to your home. Read on to discover all you need to know to care for the Weeping Fig. But before we go on, it’s important to note, that just like his Rubber Plant cousin, if you have a latex allergy then sadly, this is not the plant for you.
A Complete Guide to Caring for the Ficus Benjamina
This tropical botanical takes a pleasingly little amount of effort to keep him happy and healthy. Once you’ve found him a perfect position and nailed his watering schedule you’ll have yourself a happy houseplant for years to come. If you’re in the market for a beautiful, easy-care botanical buddy, then the Weeping Fig might just be the plant for you.
How much water does a Weeping Fig need?
Give your Weeping Fig water once a week when the soil is visibly cracked and dry. He prefers consistently moist soil but should not be allowed to sit in waterlogged conditions, as this can lead to root rot. Water him when the top inch of the soil feels dry, and ensure that excess water drains out from the bottom of the pot.
Does a Ficus Benjamina like a lot of light?
The Ficus Benjamina belongs to the Moraceae family and is native to Southeast Asia and AustraliaBeing from the tropics, so it really enjoys sunlight; pop him in a bright spot but avoid overexposure as this will cause his leaves to scorch. Choose a bright spot with plenty of indirect light and your Weeping Fig will thrive.
It can tolerate some shade but may suffer if placed in low-light conditions for an extended period. Placing the plant near a window with filtered sunlight or using sheer curtains can provide the optimal lighting conditions.
Where should you position a Weeping Fig plant?
As a general rule, larger houseplants don’t like to be moved around once they are in position and the Ficus Benjamina is no exception. So, once you have found the perfect, bright spot in your home, we highly recommend against moving him around if at all possible as this could cause him to excessively drop leaves. As well as being bright, make sure your chosen spot is away from radiators and out of draughts. Repotting this beauty can also cause your Weeping Fig to drop his leaves, so this should only be done if absolutely necessary. Thankfully, our Little Botanical pots are built to last so you shouldn’t need to worry about this!
Should you feed a Weeping Fig plant?
Give your Weeping Fig some plant food once a month from April to September when he will be in his growing phase. He will not need any food outside of these months.
A balanced, water-soluble houseplant fertiliser applied every two to four weeks is generally recommended. It’s important to follow the instructions on the fertiliser package to avoid overfertilisation, which can lead to leaf burn.
What temperature and humidity level does a Weeping Fig plant like?
As with most tropical plants, the Ficus Benjamina enjoys balmy temperatures and will do best if the air around him stays above 18˚C. He will also benefit from high humidity. You could consider using a humidifier and use a mister on his leaves every now and again to prevent them from drying out.
Misting the leaves regularly or placing the plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water can help create a humid microclimate. This is especially beneficial in dry indoor environments or during winter when indoor heating can cause a decrease in humidity.
Shop the Weeping Fig at The Little Botanical
Standing up to 1m tall, this stunning botanical will make an impressive impact in your home or office. He will definitely add an abundance of fresh green style to your interiors. Pop him in your kitchen or living room to breathe some new life into your space. Here at TLB, our Ficus Benjamina comes in two sizes and a choice of pots, which will you choose?
First up is the smaller of the two sizes available at The Little Botanical. Our standard Ficus Benjamina can grow up to 40cm in height and will bring a fabulous pop of colour wherever you choose to style him. This plant is available in a choice of pots. Perhaps our almond or grey stoneware ceramic is the perfect choice for your space or our super chic hand-painted grey pot could be right up your street. Have fun making your decision!
Large Ficus Benjamina
Sometimes you just need a plant that’s really going to bring the outdoors in and create a real wow factor. Our Large Ficus Benjamina could be just the green beauty you’re looking for. The gorgeous abundance of green glossy leaves on this big guy is offset super stylishly in your choice of our signature cotton and seagrass, handcrafted belly basket or our hand-painted grey ceramic.
Fun Facts about the Weeping Fig
If there’s one thing we absolutely love here at TLB, it’s the wondrous air purifying power of plants. And this guy certainly fits into this amazing category. Whilst sitting pretty in your home, this green beauty will also be busy lowering toxins in the air you breathe which will help to lower stress levels and encourage higher productivity. Simply amazing.
When Weeping Figs are grown outdoors they have been known to grow as big as 100 feet tall and 50 feet wide. For this reason, they can often be spotted as hedges for property boundaries. However, they are rapid growers and their roots have been known to reach so far underground that they have damaged the foundations of nearby buildings – uh oh. We think we’ll stick to keeping our Weeping Figs safely contained in a pot!
Sadly, this is not the plant for you if you have furry friends in your home alongside your green gang. This is because the leaves of the Weeping Fig can be toxic to cats and dogs. But don’t worry, we have a fab selection of pet-friendly houseplants at TLB so you can still get your green fix and keep your furry friends safe.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Ficus Benjamina
Should I fertilise my Weeping Fig?
You should fertilise your Weeping Fig once a month from April to September when your plant will be in its growing phase. You will not need to give him fertiliser outside of these months.
I’d like to see how my Ficus Benjamina looks in a different coloured pot. Should I go ahead and repot it?
We would strongly advise against repotting your plant unless it is absolutely necessary. Moving the Weeping Fig could prove detrimental to the health of your plant so we would recommend that you leave it be.
Why is my Weeping Fig losing leaves?
A Weeping Fig losing its leaves tends to be a universal symptom for any health problem that your plant might be suffering from. This can make it difficult to diagnose any issues, however, it is widely accepted that the most common cause of leaf drop is overwatering. So do take care to only give your plant water when it is needed; approximately once a week when the soil is visibly cracked and dry. Your Weeping Fig will occasionally shed its leaves – this is entirely normal and not a cause for alarm.
Why is my Weeping Fig turning yellow?
Yellow leaves on your Weeping Fig are caused by under or overwatering. Your plant will need water about once a week, when the soil is visibly cracked and dry. If you think the yellow leaves are caused by underwatering, soak your plant to fully rehydrate him and then continue with a regular, weekly watering schedule.
Why is my Weeping Fig dying?
A number of things could cause the health of your Ficus Benjamina to deteriorate. The cause is most likely to be one of the following; lack of water, too much water, over-exposure to sunlight or too little sunlight. The good news is that once you have identified that there is a problem with your plant, in most circumstances you should be able to revive him by adjusting the watering schedule or the lighting.
How much light does my Ficus Benjamina need?
Your Ficus Benjamina loves lots of bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid too much direct bright light as this will scorch those luscious leaves.
So there we have it; all you need to know about caring for the fabulous Ficus Benjamina and a few fun facts along the way too! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this week’s blog and we’d love to hear from you if you have any questions about your Weeping Fig or any of your other green beauties. Do drop us a line at [email protected]. Until next time plant people.
Lots of love
Team TLB xx