Botanical name: Ficus benjamina
Weeping Fig is a popular houseplant due to its elegant growth and tolerance to poor growing conditions but it does not like sudden changes in light conditions.
Sudden changes in light conditions for Weeping Fig will lead to excessive leaf fall but it settles down after getting used to the new light conditions.
Weeping Fig bears gracefully drooping branch-lets and glossy leaves, oval with an acuminate tip. The young foliage is light green and slightly wavy, the older leaves are green and smooth.
The bark is light gray and smooth but the bark of young branches is brownish.
When grown indoors, Weeping Fig can grow to a height of 6 ft but in the natural habitat it grows into a large tree.
The inflorescences are spherical to egg-shaped and shiny green. The inflorescences has three types of flowers; male and fertile and sterile female flowers.
According to the NASA Clean Air Study, Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina) was found to be effective in removing common household air toxins like xylene, toulene and trichloroethylene.
There are many varieties of Weeping Fig like Variegata, Starlight, Nuda, Hawaii, Natasha and Gold Princess among others.
Weeping Fig is native to Asia and Australia. In its native habitat, it produces small fruits favored by some birds like doves and pigeons. The ripe figs are orange-red and are edible.
Buy beautiful and healthy Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina) from Etsy.
Weeping Fig grows best in bright light with some direct sunlight. Weeping Fig can adapt to lower light but it will grow much slower.
However, the variegated Weeping Fig requires bright light to maintain its variegation. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
Water Weeping Fig thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.
Reduce watering for your Weeping Fig during the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist. Read more on how to water houseplants.
Ensure the pot for your Weeping Fig has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to leaf drop and root-rot.
The best temperature for growing Weeping Fig indoors is an average warmth with a minumum of 120C.
Protect your Weeping Fig from cold draughts to prevent sudden drop in temperature as it can lead to leaf drop. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.
Average room humidity is ideal for Weeping Fig. If the air is too dry especially where temperature is high, set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Weeping Fig. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
Occasionally clean the leaves of your Weeping Fig by washing them under a steady stream of water from a hose to get rid of dust and discourage pest infestation. Read more on how to clean houseplants.
Feed Weeping Fig monthly during the growing period with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer.
Withhold feeding for your Weeping Fig during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time can lead to fertilizer burn. Read more on how to feed houseplants.
Repot Weeping Fig at the beginning of the growing season only when it has become pot-bound.
Avoid frequent repotting as Weeping Fig prefers to be pot-bound. Repot only when your Weeping Fig has outgrown its current pot; when roots begin to grow through the drainage holes.
Use a pot 1 size larger and one that has a drainage hole for your Weeping Fig to avoid getting soggy soil.
Use a heavy pot as your Weeping Fig can become top-heavy and topple over.
The best soil for your Weeping Fig should be free-draining and rich in organic matter.
Never allow the roots of your Weeping Fig to sit in soggy soil as it may lead to leaf drop and root-rot.
For large Weeping Fig plants which may be difficult to handle, annually replenish the top 2-4 in. of soil with fresh soil.
Pruning Weeping Fig is easy. Remove dead and yellow leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy.
When your Weeping Fig has reached maximum height or it has become leggy, cut back the branches to rejuvenate growth.
The foliage emating from pruning can be used to propagate new Weeping Fig plants. Read more on how to prune houseplants.
Weeping Fig can be propagated during the growing season from stem-tip cuttings.
Take stem-tip cuttings of about 6 in. long from a healthy Weeping Fig.
Strip off the lower lower leaves from your Weeping Fig Cutting and leave at least 2 sets of leaves on top.
Dip the cut end of the Weeping Fig cutting in a rooting hormone to enhance rooting.
Insert the Weeping Fig cutting in moist rooting soil. Ensure the rooting container has adequate drainage to avoid getting soggy soil.
To hasten rooting of your Weeping Fig cutting, create a mini-greenhouse by covering the set up with a polythene sheet or bag.
Ensure the leaves of your Weeping Fig cutting do not touch the sheet or bag too much by propping it up with sticks.
Place the set up in warm, well-lit spot and maintain the soil moist through out until new growth emerges. New growth indicates your Weeping Fig cutting has rooted.
In about 2-4 weeks, rooting of your Weeping Fig cutting will have taken place.
Gradually over a period of two weeks, remove the plastic bag cover to acclimatize the new Weeping Fig plant.
In 4-6 months, there will be adequate root development and and normal care for your new Weeping Fig can begin.
There are four possible causes of sudden leaf drop in Weeping Fig.
One possible cause of sudden leaf drop in your Weeping Fig is any changes in the growing conditions like soggy soil.
Ensure the pot for your Weeping Fig has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent the soil from getting soggy.
The second possible cause of sudden leaf drop in your Weeping Fig is low temperature.
Protect your Weeping Fig from cold draughts to avoid a drop in temperature to maintain an average warmth with a minumum of 120C.
The third possible cause of sudden leaf drop in your Weeping Fig is too little light.
Move your Weeping Fig to a brighter spot and ensure it is receiving bright light away from direct sunshine. Read more on understanding light for houseplants.
The fourth possible cause of sudden leaf drop in your Weeping Fig is overfeeding.
Do not feed your Weeping Fig during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to feed houseplants.
Loss of lower leaves is a normal occurence in Weeping Fig. As your Weeping Fig matures, it losses the lower leaves leaving a bare stem with a crown of leaves at the top.
Cut back your Weeping Fig stem at the desired height to rejuvenate growth.
Yellowing leaf edges in Weeping Fig are due to underfeeding.
Feed your Weeping Fig monthly with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer during the growing period. Read more on how to feed houseplants.
Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other plants and treat it appropriately for the pests.
Keep your Weeping Fig properly pruned at all times to reduce the hiding places for these pests.
Weeping Fig is prone to Root-rot Disease which is enhanced by soggy soil.
Ensure there is free drainage of both the soil and the pot and also reduce watering for your Weeping Fig during the cold season.
Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) is toxic to both humans and pets.
The foliage of Weeping Fig contains latex which may be of particular concern to latex allergy sufferers. Keep your Weeping Fig away from latex sensitive persons.
If parts of the Weeping Fig are ingested, it can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pains. However, the fruits are edible.