Houseplant of the Week: Ficus Benjamina

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Another member of the fig tree family, the ficus benjamina is also known as the weeping fig or ficus benjy.

Like other ficuses, it features nice thick foliage with dark rich leaves. It needs a bright room and steadily moist soil.

So why does it weep? Well, it doesn’t like being distressed and when it is, it responds by dropping its leaves. But if you put it in a nice bright room and leave it there (it doesn’t like moving around) and don’t overwater it, it should stay calm and beautiful.

You’ll often see a household Benjy grown to almost six feet, although in nature, these trees can soar to 10 times that height. You’ll also sometimes see braided trunks with this plant to augment their ornamental beauty.

Caring for your Benjy

  1. Light: Place it in a room with bright, but indirect sunlight. Again, once you find a good spot, keep the plant there, as it has a high intolerance for being moved.
  2. Water: Steadily moist soil is great, particularly during growing season, but don’t let the plant sit in water as this will cause root rot. In the fall and winter, you can scale back and let the plant get drier.
  3. Food: This is a plant that likes its meals. To keep up with its heavy feeding schedule, you might want to use slow release pellets at the beginning of the growing season in spring. After that fertilize monthly during the spring and summer and then scale back to once every other month during the fall and winter.
  4. Pruning: This plant is a fast grower and should be pruned, but wait until the growing season is over.