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Plant Care Guide >> Indoor Plants >> Ficus benjamina
Ficus benjamina is a very popular indoor plant that can be used in the house, in offices and interior landscaping. The plant is great for indoors with low - moderate or high lighting conditions. The plant has an elegant form and dense, glossy dark foliage. Slender branches arch gracefully from a light grey trunk. These small indoor trees are generally easy to grow if given enough light and proper care.
Common name: Weeping Fig
Botanical Name: Ficus benjamina
Family: Moraceae
Foliage:

Weeping figs are grown for their attractive form and foliage. They have smooth, gray bark and shiny, green oval leaves.

Flowers:

Flowers are inconspicuous.

Light:

Ficus grows best in bright indirect or curtain-filtered sunlight. It can handle some direct sun if the humidity is high.

Watering:

During periods of active growth, keep the soil evenly moist. The soil should be allowed to dry slightly between waterings during the winter and other times of low growth. Plants should never be waterlogged or allowed to sit with water in their saucers. Over watering will cause the lower leaves to fall.

Pest and Problems:

The plant rarely has problems in the home. Too much or too little water plus insects and mites are the main problems. Root rot usually results from a soil mix that does not drain quickly or overly frequent watering.

The most common problem of weeping figs is leaf drop. Weeping figs seem to react to almost any stress by shedding leaves. Overwatering, underwatering, drafts, lack of nitrogen and low light are all causes of leaf drop. Weeping figs often shed leaves when moved to a new location or repotted. If growth conditions are adequate, the weeping fig will adjust to its new location, stop dropping leaves, and healthy new growth will appear. Spider mites and scales are frequent pests of ficus. Weeping figs may also be infested by mealybugs, aphids and thrips.

Growth habit:

For use in the house the plant is sold as a 3ft - 6 ft. dense potted plants. It can grown the way that it is allowed to. If can also be trimmed to form a topiary.

For ground planting the plant is sold in polly bags of the height one desires to buy. It can grow into a large 40ft+ tall tree with dense green foliage.

Fertilizing:

Fertilize the plant with general purpose fertilizer once or twice a month during the growing season.

Pruning:

Plants can be pruned to any shape as needed. They will even tolerate hard pruning to reduce their size if necessary. Reduce watering levels to severely pruned plants. The plant can be shaped in the form of a topiary as well.

Propagation:

Propagation can be done by air layering.

Special Care:

The leaves of the plant should be sponged regularly to free them of accumulated dust. New leaves should be dealt with gently. Wash ficus leaves occasionally with plain warm water. This can help the leaves "breathe" and improves their appearance

Landscaping Use:

When planted in the ground the plant can grow into a large tree. As the plant has dense foliage it can be used to plant where shade is required to be generated. It can also be used as a feature plant in a landscape by pruning it to the desired shape.

Click here to locate a nursery to buy this plant.
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