Ficus trees are a common plant in the home and office, mainly because they look like a typical tree with a single trunk though, ficus plants are finicky. If you know how to care for a ficus tree, you’ll be better equipped to keep it healthy and happy in your home for years.
What is commonly referred to as a ficus plant is technically a weeping fig. It’s a member of the Ficus plant genus of plants, which also includes rubber trees and fig fruit trees, but when it comes to indoor plants, most people refer to a weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) as simply a ficus.
Ficus plants can maintain their tree-like shape regardless of their size, so this makes them ideal for bonsais or for massive houseplants in large spaces. These ficus plant leaves can be either dark green or variegated. In recent years, some imaginative nurseries have started to take advantage of their pliable trunks to braid or twist the plants into many otherforms.
Most ficus plants enjoy bright indirect or filtered light with variegated varieties happily able to take medium light. Bright, direct sunlight may result in scalding of the leaves and leaf loss.
Ficus plants also cannot tolerate low temperatures or drafts. They need to be kept in temperatures above 60 degrees F about 16 C and actually prefer temperatures above 70 degrees F about 21 C. Cold drafts from windows or indoora will harm them, so make sure to place them somewhere where drafts will not be an issue.
When growing ficus indoor plants, it’s important to maintain a relatively high humidity around the plant. Regular misting or setting the Ficus plant on a pebble tray filled with water is a great way to increase their humidity, but keep in mind that while they like high humidity, they don’t like overly moist roots. When watering, ficus plants always check the top of the soil first. If the top of the soil is wet, avoid watering as this means they have enough moisture. If the top of the soil feels dry to the touch, this indicates that they required water.
Also while caring for a ficus indoor plant, be aware that they are rapid growers and require plenty of nutrients for proper Grow. Fertilize once a month in the summer and spring and once every two months in the fall and winter.
Almost everyone who has owned a ficus plant has asked themselves at some point, “Why is my ficus plant dropping its leaves?” A ficus tree losing its leaves is the general problem these plants have. Leaf drop is a ficus plants standard reaction to stress, whether it’s from any of the following:
▪︎ Under or overwatering
▪︎ Low humidity
▪︎ Too little light
▪︎ Relocation or repotting
▪︎ Change in temperature (too hot or cold)
If your ficus plant is losing its leaves, go through the checklist of proper ficus plant care and correct anything that you find wrong.
Ficus plants are also prone to pests such as mealybugs, scale, and spider mites. A healthy ficus plant will not see these problems, but a stressed ficus plant (likely losing leaves) will surely develop a pest problem quickly. “Sap” dripping from a ficus indoor plant, which is actually honeydew from an invading pest, is a sure sign of an infestation. Treating the Ficus indoor plant with neem oil is a good way to handle any of these pest issues.