Ficus benjamina as an indoor plant gives both natural and aesthetic feature to the interior. The smaller size of Ficus tree in a pot can be put in the corner to brighten up the room, while the larger one is considered an excellent foyer decoration. Whichever you choose, it is necessary for you to take care of the tree and keep it in the best condition. This article will tell you how to do so.
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About Ficus benjamina
Weeping fig tree or Ficus tree (Ficus benjamina) is classified under the mulberry family or Moraceae. The tree is categorized as an evergreen plant, meaning that it can bear foliage throughout the year. It is native to the continents of Asia and Australia but can also be found in some tropical areas and countries across the globe. Some varieties of Ficus tree are largely found in South Asia and Oceania, including China, India, and Malaysia.
Ficus tree bears shiny leaves in various colors. The color of the leaf’s ranges between dark and light green or creamy white shades in some varieties. The shapes of the leaves are also varied. Common types of weeping fig plants have oval-shaped leaves. Meanwhile, other types have ovate leaves with a smooth or curly edge. Some of them also feature leaves that shape like a lance head with narrow and pointed apex.
In indoor cultivation or when it is arranged as a bonsai tree, Ficus tree can only reach its maximum height of 200-300 centimeters. This is very different from its natural habitat in which it can grow much taller and bigger. In the summer, the tree occasionally bears flowers in yellow or creamy white colors.
Several Varieties of Ficus Tree
The following are some ficus varieties that can be used as an indoor plant as well.
- Ficus Wintergreen, a Ficus variety with longer stem and green or white leaves.
- Ficus Alii or Ficus Amstel King, a hybrid variety that turns out to be an easy-care houseplant. It features narrow leaves that are glossy in nature.
- Ficus Midnight, a variety of Ficus benjamina that has bluish or blackish-green leaves. Because of its dark leaves, this variety can adapt to low light.
- Ficus Monique, one of the most popular varieties that have bushy features with small, glossy leaves. Similar to Ficus Midnight, this variety can also thrive in low light.
Growing Ficus benjamina Indoor
Ficus houseplant needs to fulfill some requirements so that it can thrive well indoor. To begin with, the house humidity level should be at 30 percent state with the average temperature of 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Such conditions are considered the best place to grow and cultivate weeping fig tree.
When placing Ficus tree in a pot, use fast-draining potting soil to support the tree. This type of soil works well with the tree, particularly during its growing state. Moreover, regarding the best position, indoor ficus tree should be put in place with bright light. While the tree thrives in a shady area in its natural habitat, its indoor version needs good light to grow.
Ficus benjamina Care Guide
The following guide will tell you some essential procedures regarding Ficus benjamina care.
Watering the Tree
When taking care of a plant, watering procedure is important and needs to be taken seriously. The same rule also applies to Ficus tree care. You need to water it in moderate level because both excessive portion and lack of water can cause the tree to suffer. Don’t allow the plant to sit in water for a long period.
You can fertilize Ficus tree every two weeks during its growing state. Liquid fertilizer is highly recommended. It is both convenient for the tree and largely available in store. However, to avoid over-fertilization that can damage the tree, it is better to play safe by reducing the dosage from the fertilizer’s intended use.
Pruning the Tree
Although it is slightly less urgent than the previous ones, pruning is still needed to be done. This procedure can be done once a year, preferably in spring. While pruning the tree, cut the long shoots using scissors or shears. You also need to remove any noticeable dead or dried twigs.
Cautionary Regarding Ficus benjamina
It is important to mention that all parts of Ficus benjamina tree are toxic and poisonous. Children should be strictly prohibited from making any prolonged contact with the tree. Also, intentional or unintentional consumption by pets should be prevented. Consuming the parts of the tree in any way will lead to several poisoning symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, or even diarrhea. It can occur to both animals and humans.
Some Problems of Ficus benjamina and How to Deal with Them
In its growing state, Ficus benjamina may face up various problems. The most common one is when the leaves are starting to fall off. This is a nonverbal cue to tell you that the tree is not feeling well. Nevertheless, a set of intensive weeping fig care should be done immediately to prevent the worst-case scenario.
Several factors can cause ficus tree’s foliage loss. These include adaptation to a new location, draught or cold air, and cold potting soil. You can be less worry when the leaves start to fall off after you move it to a new location. The condition is only temporary as the tree adjusts its current state. Meanwhile, if the foliage loss is caused by cold air or cold potting soil, you should act by moving or repotting it to the warmer state.
Besides foliage loss that seems to be a natural problem for Ficus tree, the tree can also suffer from pest attacks. Scale, spider mites, and Mealy Bugs are some common pests that are harmful to Ficus tree. To deal with this problem, you can spray the tree or the leaves by using a pesticide solution.
If you follow the right instructions to take care of Ficus benjamina, the tree can live and thrive indoor for a long period. Always remember that in addition to fulfilling all the plant requirements to grow, Ficus tree needs to be watered, fertilized, and pruned on a regular basis. Therefore, it can present its best condition while serving as a natural decoration at home.