Insider's Guide to Living in the NY Suburbs
Weeping Fig (Ficus Benjamina) is a very popular houseplant beloved for its beautiful arching branches and elegant leaves. It is a fast growing plant. Your Weeping Fig can grow to 8 feet tall. It is also available as a Bonsai plant. Compared to its cousin Ficus lyrata (Fiddle-Leaf fig), your Weeping Fig is a low maintenance plant. Here are tips on how to care for your Weeping Fig.
Weeping Fig will thrive in filtered light from a South, West and East window. Filter the sunlight using sheer blinds or sheer curtains. Know that once your Weeping Fig has settled into a spot, it does not like to be moved. When you move your Weeping Fig, it will drop some of its leaves. But don’t worry, the leaves will quickly grow back!
Water your Weeping Fig when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it is time to water your Weeping Fig is to feel the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water your Weeping Fig. If the soil is wet, then don’t water your Weeping Fig.
Also take into account the environment, if it’s in the middle of summer you can probably water your Weeping Fig more frequently. If it’s during winter you can err on the side of less frequent watering.
Weeping Fig needs a well-draining, organic potting mix. Only buy organic soil mix because the fertilizer is not as concentrated in organic soil. Non-organic soil should really only be used for outdoor plants.
Weeping Fig should be fertilized once a month when it is actively growing. When it’s dormant, during the winter, don’t fertilize.
Repot your Weeping Fig every 2-3 years. Buy a larger pot, around 4 inches larger (diameter) than the current pot. Make sure you buy a pot that has drainage holes at the bottom so water doesn’t accumulate and cause root rot.
Know that repotting your Weeping Fig will make it grow larger. When it reaches the size you want it to be at, you should stop repotting your Weeping Fig.
After watering your Weeping Fig and you see water draining out of the pot’s drainage holes, make sure you empty out the accumulated water in the saucer. Don’t let your Weeping Fig’s pot sit in the puddle of water. It will cause root rot!
Your Weeping Fig is happy in low temperatures. It needs to have daytime and nighttime temperatures of 65 to 75 Farenheit (18-24C).
Your Weeping Fig is a tropical plant that thrives in humid conditions. Indoor air can be drying. Make sure you do your best to increase indoor humidity. You can do this by spraying your Weeping Fig with water twice a week. Turn on the humidifier. Keep Weeping Fig in a saucer filled with water. But make sure the pot is elevated with pot feet or pebbles so your Weeping Fig is not sitting directly on the water.
Related Ficus Plants: How to Care for Rubber Plant or How to Care for Ficus Audrey
The common problems for Weeping Fig plants are scale, leaf drop and leaf spot fungus.
Problem: The leaves of your Weeping Fig are falling off, that is a sign that something is wrong. It’s normal if one or two old leaves fall off your Weeping Fig but if a lot of leaves fall off all at once that is a sure sign that something is wrong.
Cause: It’s possible your Weeping Fig leaves are falling because it’s been overwatered. Leaves dropping can also be caused by underwatering. Moving your Weeping Fig to a new location where it is not happy can also cause the leaves of your Weeping Fig to fall. Your Weeping Fig can also drop leaves if it’s too cold.
Solution: You need to do a little bit of digging around. Did you overwater or are you underwatering your Weeping Fig? What is the daytime and nighttime temperature of the room, is it suitable for your Weeping Fig? You can resolve the leaves dropping problem, once you pinpoint what is causing the leaves to fall from your Weeping Fig.
Problem: There are roundish black and brown spots on the leaves of your Weeping Fig.
Cause: This could be a sign of leaf spot fungus infection. Leaf spot fungus is contagious because the fungus spores can travel in the air to infect other plants in the room.
Solution: When you see these black and brown spots on the leaves of your Weeping Fig, immediately cut off the infected leaves and throw it away. You can also spray your Weeping Fig with a homemade baking soda spray to prevent new infections. To make the baking soda spray, simply mix 1 teaspoon baking soda to 1 quart water and put it in a spray bottle. Don’t overspray since it can get in the soil. The key is to remove the infected leaves and that should hopefully stop the spread.
Problem: There are little brown bumps all over the leaves and stems of your Weeping Fig, that can be a sign of scale. Try picking the bumps off, if it’s easily removed then that’s a telltale sign of scale. The little bumps can also be gray, yellow or black.
Cause: Scale is common on houseplants and is caused by scale insects.
Solution: You can get rid of scale by picking them off one by one. Or the easier way to get rid of scale is to spray your Weeping Fig with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.
Fiscus benjamina Variegata or Starlight– Variegated leaves
Weeping Fig is also called Benjamin tree, Fig, Weeping Fig, Small-leaved Rubber Plant, Chinese Banyan, Ficus tree, Ficus and Fig.
Weeping Fig can be watered with tap water but be mindful of the water temperature that you are using to water your Weeping Fig. Don’t use straight cold water from the tap to water your Weeping Fig.
Weeping Fig prefers cool water that is not hot and not cold. When you turn on the cold water from the faucet add a little bit of warm water. You can also get to this ideal temperature by filling a watering can or pitcher with water and leaving it out overnight until the water is at room temperature.
Use organic fertilizers with a higher ratio of nitrogen content.
Use organic fertilizers with a higher ratio of nitrogen content.
Weeping Figs are large plants that can grow to 8 feet tall.
Weeping Fig Plant is easy to propagate. Below are steps on how to propagate your Weeping Fig Plant.
Pick a stem with a node. Cut below the node.
Place the Weeping Fig stem into a jar of water and wait for it to grow roots. To help it focus its energy on growing roots, make sure your stem has a maximum of 2 leaves. Cut off extra leaves as needed.
Another way to stimulate root growth is to dip your stem cutting in root hormone and plant it in moist sand. I personally prefer the jar method so you can easily see the roots come out. Know that not all stem cuttings of Weeping Fig will grow roots, so to be safe, cut a few stem cuttings so you will at least get one with roots.
Once the roots grow, plant these stem cuttings into a new pot. Water the new plant immediately after planting. Then water every 2-3 days until the roots are established.
Place your new Weeping Fig plant in a spot with bright indirect sunlight. Don’t put it in direct sunlight.
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8 Tips on How to Care for Your Weeping Fig (Infographic) – Suburbs 101