How to Take Care of a Ficus Tree Plant

how to take care of a ficus plant

Ficus trees are trendy indoor plants, likely because it is the closest you will get to having an indoor tree in your home! This houseplant is not the easiest one to care for but can live for up to 20 years with the proper plant care. Here are some suggestions to keep your plant healthy and strong for a long time!


Common Names

  • Weeping fig
  • Ficus Benjamina
  • Ficus
  • Ficus Tree


Where is a Weeping Fig From Originally?

The Ficus Benjamina is native to tropical areas of East Asia, from India to northern Australia.


When is the Growing Season?

The growing season for a ficus tree is April to September. During this time, you can feed your ficus with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer. You can also use slow-releasing fertilizer pellets at the start of the growing season.


The ficus tree may produce a sticky sap, which, if eaten, could cause stomach issues. Keep the ficus away from pets or small children, or make sure to dust and spray the leaves with a damp cloth.


What Soil Works Best for a Weeping Fig?

Any potting mix that allows fast-draining will work for a ficus plant. You do not need to provide your ficus tree with soil that is extremely high in organic matter or nutrients, but if you are repotting, use potting soil that contains sand and vermiculite to improve the drainage. The ficus pot should have a drainage hole, and you should be sure to dump out excess water to avoid root rot.


How Much Sun Does a Ficus Plant Need?

how much sun does a ficus plant need


Even though ficus trees grow in semi-shady areas in their natural habitat, they will need a bright room with indirect light in your home. Search your home for a spot where the ficus can get indirect sunlight during the day. Getting too much direct light can burn the leaves, so stay away from west-facing windows if possible. If you decide to use a west-facing window, consider getting a curtain to help shield the plant from the sun’s rays.


What Temperature Works Best for a Weeping Fig?

The Ficus Benjamina thrives in higher temperature environments. Keep the temperature at 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) during the day and 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius) at night. 60 degrees Fahrenheit is the minimum acceptable temperature to keep your weeping fig happy.


During the winter, you will want to ensure that your ficus tree is not inside a room that will get below 55 degrees Fahrenheit and is not near any cold drafts or drafty areas like a window or AC unit.


Does a Ficus Plant Enjoy Humidity?

does a ficus plant enjoy humidity

Houseplants like the ficus tree generally prefer higher levels of humidity. There are a few ways to achieve high humidity if your home is on the low humidity side. You can regularly mist your weeping fig or place it on a pebble tray filled with water. Another way to produce humidity is with a humidifier in the room with the plant.


How Often Does a Ficus Plant Need Watering?

The Ficus Benjamina needs to be consistently moist but not wet. If you allow the ficus tree to sit in water, the leaves may drop, and the houseplant may develop root rot. It is good to keep a consistent watering schedule.


To check if your ficus tree needs water, insert your index finger into the soil. If the ground feels moist, it is not time to water your houseplant. Allowing 75% of the weeping fig’s earth to dry between watering will set you up for a happy ficus.


While watering, dump out the excess water that comes out of the bottom of the pot to avoid root rot. Overwatering your ficus tree will cause the leaves to turn yellow and eventually drop off. A sign of underwatering is if your ficus tree’s otherwise healthy green leaves begin to fall off.


Most Common Problems

The most common issue when it comes to ficus trees is leaf drop. Leaf drops occur for many reasons, including repotting, overwatering, under watering, low light, new locations, and low temperatures. However, if you follow the plant care steps we discussed above, you should avoid leaf drops.


Most Common Bugs

most common bugs on a ficus plant

Ficus trees are prone to mealybugs, scale, and spider mites. A sign of an infestation is if you see sap dripping from your ficus houseplant, honeydew from one of the pests. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil on the leaves to cure infestation and save your ficus tree from further damage. Wipe the insects away with a soft, warm, soapy cloth.


How Do you Propagate a Ficus Plant?

Ficus trees can quickly propagate from their cuttings. Get a new container, and fill the bottom of the pot with potting mix. From there, cut a piece of the ficus tree that is not green and has developed bark. This practice is called “semi-hardwood” cutting.


Next, place the cutting into the new container. Keep the cutting in a spot with bright indirect light and water every other day, as long as the cutting is not overwatered. Again, you will tell when the plant needs water if you stick a finger into the soil.


Around eight weeks, when new growth begins to show, you will likely need to re-pot your ficus tree into a larger container.


Conclusion: How to Take Care of a Ficus Tree

In summary, taking care of a ficus plant can be challenging, but it is rewarding if you can do it right. The main thing to remember is that the plant enjoys a humid environment, so consider placing this plant in your bathroom with a shower. Also, this plant can propagate, which makes it a great gift to give someone who enjoys plants in their home!


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