Ficus Benjamina is one of the most commonly grown houseplant throughout the world. It is popularly known as Weeping Fig or Ficus. Ficus Benjamina can offer a great decoration to your house and can create an exotic atmosphere. There are many varieties, shapes, shades and color of Ficus Benjamina leafs and stems but something which is common in all the varieties is – “all the trees resemble weeping tree (leafs lean downstream)”. The plant looks great at outdoors, on the floor or at the window-sills.
Ficus Technical Details
Scientific Name: Ficus Benjamina
Common name(s): Weeping Fig, Ficus tree or Benjamin Fig
Origin: The plant is native to Asia
Height: In natural conditions, the plant can grow to about 30 metres
Light: Weeping fig needs to be kept in sunlight or bright light
Soil: Ficus Benjamina needs a well-drained fertile soil whether you plant it outside or in house.
Moisture: Though this is a drought tolerant tree, but it needs regular water for good growth. The newly planted trees need more water than the mature trees
Hardiness: 10 to 12
Temperature: Ficus does not like low temperature and requires temperature above 20°C.
Pests: Mealy bugs, aphids, scale insects and spider mites
Diseases: Leaf spots, over watering and Yellowing of leaves
Propagation: Through seeding, cuttings, tissue culture and air layering.
Uses: Latex can be obtained from all parts. The root and its parts are often boiled with oil to treat the wounds and bruises. It is an ornamental tree with beautiful appearance.
Ficus Benajmina Care
When you plan to grow this evergreen tree indoors, it is essential to maintain a high humidity content around it. You can set the tree on a pebble tray with water or practice regular misting to maintain high level of humidity. One thing to keep in mind in this regard is not misunderstanding high humidity with overly wet roots of the plant.
It is also essential to be careful when you water the plant, so as to avoid over watering. Make sure that you water the plant only if the top layer of the soil is dry and not wet. Ficus trees are known to be rapid growers and this implies that the tree needs good amount of nutrients. So, make sure that you fertilize at least once in a month to maintain the level of nutrients in the soil and to cope up with the growth.
One more thing to be careful about is that the immature Ficus will find difficult to survive in low temperature. Make sure that you place the tree in an area which is free from drafts.
Ficus Benjamina propagation method
Weeping fig is a very popular plant which can be easily found in the nurseries and garden centres. The tree can be propagated through many ways. It can be propagated through the tissue cultures, seeds, air layering and also stem cuttings.
Seeding- Seed propagation is mostly used for the hybrid varieties, as the ficus seeds are not so easy to find unless you live in a tropical area.
Tissue culture- You can practice cutting plugs of the tissue culture if you wish to have ficus plants which are bushy. The method is generally undertaken in a sterile lab and many ficus plants can be produced in a single go.
Stem cuttings- Taking stem cuttings is one of the most common ways to propagate Ficus Benjamina. In order to propagate you must use the parts with woody bases and green tips. After taking cuttings, small plants are grown from it.
Air layering- This method can be very helpful to produce a large plant and that too it is quicker than the above mentioned methods. In this the new plant develops while it remains attached to the mother tree. You need to make a wound around the branch and after around 3 months the entire branch is removed when the roots are formed.
Common Problems with Ficus Benajmina
Most of the people who grow Ficus trees, ask frequently why their tree is dropping leaves. Well, dropping leaves is the most common way of reacting to stress. So, it reflects the tree is in problem. The tree can have any of following problems:
Over watering or under watering.
Low level of humidity.
Tips for Healthy Ficus Benjamina
Ficus trees are very much prone to the pests, so make sure to take adequate care.
These trees need heavy amount of nutrients. So, remember to fertilize regularly.
Always maintain the adequate light and humidity levels.
Treat the plant with neem oil to avoid any kind of pest issues.
Weeping fig is an extremely popular plant because of its low maintenance feature. The tree is widely grown as an ornamental tree in the tropical regions. The stem of the tree have a milky sap while the twigs of the tree arch gracefully. It is a very popular ornamental houseplant as it is very attractive in shape as well as tolerant to extreme conditions. With so easy maintenance and least amount of care needed, this is one of the trees you can surely have in your backyard or indoors.