About Weeping Fig or Ficus:
The weeping fig is part of the Ficus plant genus (scientific name: F. benjamina) and tree like, in looks. With large arching branches and long pointed leaves, it looks attractive indoors (apart from leaves dropping).
The Benjamina is one of the most popular small indoor trees from this genus that grows quite slowly and needs a grower to take particular care of a few needs (lighting, watering, etc.), which is fairly easy, when you know how.
|Origin:||South East Asia and Australia.|
|Names:||Weeping Fig (common). Ficus Benjamina (botanical/scientific).|
|Max Growth (approx):||Height up-to 10ft and miniature grown types 3ft.|
|Poisonous for pets:||Toxic to cats and dogs.|
Health Benefits of Weeping Fig or Ficus:
Medicinal Values of Ficus:
Since the evolution of mankind, man had no other source of medicine than plants and figs have served a successful history against an array of human as well animal ailments. A number of medicinal values have been attributed by fig plants.
Different traditional literatures are literal witness of it. Along with the progression of science, herbalists aimed to substantiate scientifically with the help of selected biological assays about the ethno medicinal claims of figs. In this literature, it was attempted to give a view of medicinal uses of some of fig species.
Air purifier :
This fig plant is very good for beating pollutants that can be emitted from carpets or household furnishings and appliances – such as formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene
Weeping Fig or Ficus Care:
During its growing season from spring to fall, weeping fig needs moist soil but should not be kept constantly wet. For houseplants, water the plant thoroughly until water comes through the drainage holes. Allow the top layer of soil to dry before watering again. In fall and winter when weeping fig isn’t growing, reduce watering and allow 1 to 2 inches of soil at the top of the container to become dry. For weeping figs in the landscape, keep young plants well-watered for the first year, applying sufficient water to go beyond the root zone. Dig a small hole or use a probe to check water penetration. Give established trees supplemental water during times of drought in summer, up to once a week. If houseplants begin to drop leaves, it’s usually a reaction to moving the plant or to stresses such as improper watering or light conditions. A common mistake is to increase watering, which can further stress the plant. Investigate the probable cause of leaf drop. The presence of yellow leaves dropping from the plant signals that the plant may need more water. When green leaves drop, it’s usually a sign of overwatering or location change.
Prune weeping fig to keep it to size or to encourage bushiness. Clean all pruning tools with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol to avoid spreading diseases. White sap oozes from pruning cuts. Wear gloves, long sleeves and closed shoes because sap may irritate your skin. Protect surfaces such as pavement, concrete and flooring by laying down a tarp to catch the sap. Make pruning cuts just above a leaf or a leaf scar. You can prune weeping fig at any time, but a good time is in the spring before new growth begins.
Fertilize houseplants every three or four weeks during the spring and summer, using a half-strength solution of a water-soluble fertilizer such as 20-20-20. Mix 1/4 teaspoon with 2 quarts of water and apply the solution until it runs out the drainage holes. Gradually decrease the fertilizer applications as fall approaches, and stop fertilizing altogether during winter unless the plant is actively growing. For outdoor plants, use a controlled-release fertilizer such as 15-9-12, which lasts for 8 to 9 months. Apply it in spring before growth starts at the rate of about 3 pounds per 250 square feet. Calculate the footage from about 6 inches out from the trunk to about 6 inches beyond the tree’s drip line. Mix the fertilizer into the top layer of soil and water well.
Weeping figs are damaged by exposure to freezing temperatures. Bring container plants indoors before the first frost is predicted for your area. When freezing temperatures are predicted for landscaping plants, cover them with frost blankets, burlap or other fabric. Hold it off the foliage with stakes or a framework. Some trees may be too tall to cover. If damage occurs, remove the dead parts before new growth begins in spring.
Pests and Diseases
Weeping fig is generally pest- and disease-free. Sometimes spider mites, aphids, mealybugs or scale insects can infest plants. Remove these pests as soon as they’re observed. Use a strong stream of water to wash off spider mites and a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe off aphids and mealybugs. Scrape off scale insects with your fingernail..