Benjamina Ficus Tree (Ficus benjamina)

Benjamina Ficus Tree (Ficus benjamina)

The Benjamin Ficus tree is one of the most popular indoor decorative plants. It has deep green, glossy foliage and is easy to grow. These trees have adapted survival characteristics that allow them to grow in the most diverse environments in our homes, apartments, and offices.

The weeping ficus is a well-known and reliable indoor tree, always graceful and attractive. They are a beautiful addition to any interior, traditional or modern, and have the appearance of a true “indoor tree” that brings the outdoors perfectly indoors. They are easy to grow in moderate light and require only basic care, such as watering and feeding, for an elegant appearance all year round.

The glossy oval leaves hang gracefully from gently erect stems and can be easily trimmed to a soft rounded shape or allowed to grow as is for a more open tree form. This tree can be grown for years in a large pot and can be moved outdoors to a sunny location during the summer months to beautify patios, terraces, and balconies. In winter, keep the tree indoors. In warmer regions, it can grow outdoors all year round, becoming a large tree or clipped into an attractive hedge.

Benjamina Ficus Tree (Ficus benjamina)

Benjamina Ficus Tree is a member of the fig family. An evergreen broadleaf tree native to southeastern Asia and Australia and extending to the southwestern Pacific. The tree reaches a height of 40 to 50 feet and a branching height of 25 to 30 feet. As an ornamental plant, however, it is usually kept in the 2 to 10 foot height range.

I. Plant Profile – An Overview of the plant

Common NamesBenjamin Tree, Chinese Banyan, FigIndian Rubber Plant, Weeping Fig, Java Fig, Java Tree, Small-Leaved Rubber Plant, Tropic Laurel, Waringin, Ficus nitida
GenusFicus
Speciesbenjamina
FamilyMoraceae
VarietiesDanielle, Exotica, Golden King, Naomi, Too Little, Dwarf (popular for Bonsai), and Variegata
SunlightIndirect
Drought ToleranceGood
Mature Height10-12 Feet
Mature Width4-5 Feet
Growth RateFast
Water NeedsAverage
MaintenanceLow
Soil TypeChalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil DrainageMoist but Well-Drained
Benjamina Ficus Tree (Ficus benjamina)

II. Appearance

Ficus benjamina is an evergreen broadleaf tree that grows up to 50 feet tall. It is widely grown as an ornamental tree and hedge in tropical regions. Ornamental plants are often grown in the 2 to 10 foot height range.

The conical leaves are densely packed on a light brownish trunk. The trunks are sometimes braided for ornamental use. It has leaves that are glossy, pointed, elliptic to oblong-ovate (up to 4 inches long). Its twigs are gracefully arching. Also, its stems have milky white sap.

This Ficus Tree is very popular as an ornamental plant, it is an evergreen shrub or tall tree with a dense, rounded canopy and gracefully drooping branches. The glossy, narrow-tipped, ovate leaves are abundantly attached to the long, 5″ (12 cm) long branches. Outdoor plants bear small crimson figs that turn purplish black, but few appear on indoor plants.

Weeping figs are widely grown in the tropics and grow to enormous size. Aerial roots descending from branches touch the ground, take root, and eventually form a myriad of sturdy trunks that can spoil the landscape. In warm climates with low humidity, it will grow to a reasonable height, although it does not produce aerial roots. When grown indoors, weeping figs are smaller and make attractive houseplants.

Flowers and fruits are enclosed in fleshy pouches. It turns from green to orange-red, red, and then purple-black. Fruits are encased in a fleshy pouch that opens from the apical end and are pollinated by fig wasps. Figs are spherical to slightly oval, in pairs, ripen from green to red to purple-black.

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Its leaves are alternate, single leaf, long-tipped, glabrous,two to five inches long. Oval to oblong-ovate, acuminate, rounded, smooth throughout, coriaceous, with 8 to 12 pairs of lateral veins. It is bending toward the midrib, drooping toward the ground. There are a variety of cultivars.

Benjamina Ficus Tree (Ficus benjamina)

III. Growing and Care Conditions

The ideal indoor location is in full sun but lightly shielded from strong afternoon light. In darker locations, Weeping Fig Tree will drop its leaves and develop a more open habit. Choose a pot with drainage holes and grow it in a common indoor soil.

This ficus grows best in areas with bright indirect light, but will also survive in shade. It is very sensitive to light, so if the plant is moved, it may drop its leaves and produce new leaves accustomed to the new light conditions. It grows well in a soil-based potting mix. Water frequently enough to keep the soil from drying out completely.

Keep it well ventilated as it is sensitive to cold. In late fall and winter, a light prune to improve shape and size should be done. A light fertilizer is recommended after new shoots emerge and in late summer.

Planting

Choose a location that receives bright or filtered sunlight, but try to avoid direct sunlight or cool areas. When ready to plant, remove the tree from its pot and dip the entire root system into a bucket of water. Submerge the tree roots and make sure there are no air pockets in the root pot. 

While the tree is submerged in the water, shake the tree slightly and twist it back and forth clockwise/ counterclockwise to make sure all air bubbles are out of the root zone. Next, plant/ pot the tree. While backfilling with soil, step at the tree firmly to make sure no air bubbles are present.

Also, choose a pot at least twice as large as the pot the tree was in and make sure there are adequate drainage holes in the bottom. Again, place the tree in a location that receives four to five hours of sunlight per day and where the temperature does not drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Light

Light is a major factor in the growth of weeping figs. If you look at the origin of the Weeping Fig, you will find that it originated in the sunny tropics. Even though they have evolved a great deal, light is still important for them to grow well.

Watering

Always water the plant moderately. The soil does not need to be wet, but it is also important that it is not too dry. Too much water can cause all the leaves to fall off, and in extreme cases, root rot to occur. Another thing to note is that weeping figs are very sensitive to most chemicals found in tap water, such as chlorine and fluorine. Therefore, use distilled water when watering or let the chemicals in tap water dissipate overnight.

Fertilizer

Ficus trees are fast growing and require a lot of nutrients. During the spring and summer, you should feed your potted tree about once a month. In the fall and winter, it is reduced to about once every two months. A 10-10-10 water soluble fertilizer is effective and can be used on both potted and outdoor trees.

Soil Requirements

Weeping Fig grows well in well-drained soil. Soils with high moisture content may cause root rot. Ficus requires very fertile, nutrient-rich soil. They also need good drainage in pots.

Temperature

The optimal temperatures are 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. It is recommended to use a thermostat to control the temperature. In the summer, do not use air conditioning too often, as indoor temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit will affect weeping figs.

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Pruning

The reasons for pruning Benjamins are tree shape and growth. It is best to use a cutter that will cut the fine stems into small pieces. To clean the cut, disinfect the tools using rubbing alcohol.

Find the node where the leaves (or twigs) join the branches and cut downward just before the node. Keep the cut close to the node, but do not actually cut into it. Leave one node to allow new growth to begin on the branch. If removing the entire branch, cut back to the trunk and leave no nodes.

Propagation

Weeping figs can be easily rooted by cuttings alone, without the use of rooting hormones. It is recommended that cuttings be taken during the warm season, when sufficient moisture and warmth are available. Ficus trees are very difficult to grow from seed. Also, plants grown indoors are unlikely to produce fruit or seeds.

Pests and Diseases

Watch out for caecilian beetles, aphids, mealybugs, thrips, and spider mites. Blight and leaf spotting may occur. Leaf drop may occur if the plant is brought indoors in winter or moved to another environment in the home. The most common insect on weeping figs is thrips.

A variety of diseases can attack plants both indoors and outdoors. Some of these diseases can infect your plants no matter what you do. Brown or yellow spots on leaves or leaf drop are typical signs of fungus. The sticking leaves or sticky liquid falling off are signs of a scale or spider mite infestation. Dry leaves may also continue to fall due to pests. 

Benjamina Ficus Tree (Ficus benjamina)

IV. Uses

Weeping figs are very popular houseplants because of their attractive appearance, ease of care, and tolerance of poor growing conditions. Indoors, dwarf varieties may be suitable, as they are usually grown in large containers. Miniature varieties such as ‘Too Little’ are popular in bonsai.

In tropical regions, it is widely grown as an ornamental tree and hedge. Its attractive form and tolerance to a variety of growing conditions makes it very popular as an indoor houseplant for many years.

V. Why should you buy this plant

One of the most popular houseplants for interior decorating, the Benjamin Ficus tree, also known as the weeping cherry, has a spectacular appearance. Its glossy, deep green foliage is densely packed and can be shaped in a variety of ways, making it versatile. Benjamina can be trimmed or carved into any shape you like.

These trees are often seen in entryways, waiting rooms, and office buildings. The ease with which they can be watered occasionally is another reason for their popularity. The tree’s long-lasting shape eliminates the need for trimming, pruning, or pruning.

The tree is only 6 to 10 feet tall when potted, so it will not grow too large in the house. It is also pest and disease resistant, so you don’t have to keep spraying it with chemicals. Its glossy, dark green foliage and interesting trunk make it a great home accent, but it is also a great outdoor plant.

Benjamina Ficus Tree (Ficus benjamina)

Ficus is an ideal potted plant and can live on patios in warmer seasons and temperate climates. In temperate climates, they are evergreen. These are actual trees, not small saplings. The trees are well established and will soon look great in your garden or home.

VI. FAQs

Is Ficus benjamina an indoor or outdoor plant?

Ficus benjamina, commonly called “weeping fig,” is a houseplant that comes in a variety of looks and styles. It can be grown as a tall tree with a braided trunk without leaves, as a tall bushy indoor plant, or even as a short potted plant.

Can Ficus benjamina live outside?

Ficus (Ficus benjamina) is generally grown indoors, but can grow up to 60 feet tall when grown outdoors in USDA plant hardiness zones 10b-11.

How often should you water a benjamina ficus?

Watering should be done when the soil is dry. Therefore, on average, watering should be done once a week. If the indoor air is quite dry or during the summer, it is possible to water more frequently, but always after the top layer of soil has dried out.

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