Weeping Fig Plants Care: Guide & Tips

Weeping Fig Plants Care: Guide & Tips

The weeping fig plant – also known as ficus benjamina – is a fast-growing evergreen tropical plant that makes for a great indoor or outdoor addition.

About Weeping Fig Plants

Weeping fig (also known as the ficus tree, or ficus benjamina) is a large broadleaf evergreen tree in tropical and subtropical climates, but it is more often found as a potted plant in homes, offices. Ficus benjamina plants are very hardy, and one of the easiest houseplants to grow.

This elegant plant has slender branches that stem from a light gray trunk, with dense, glossy dark leaves. When grown indoors, the plants are normally pruned and kept about 3 to 8 feet tall, and their trunks can be braided for decorative appeal.

As most tropical plants, weeping figs are fast growers and may need to be repotted up to once per year, but do so in the early spring for best results. Weeping fig is mildly toxic to humans and pets.

Common Name

Weeping fig, ficus tree, Benjamin fig

Botanical Name

Ficus benjamina

Family

Moraceae

Plant Type

Evergreen tree usually grown as a houseplant

Mature Size

3-6 ft. tall indoors; up to 60 ft. tall outdoors

Sun Exposure

Filtered, bright sun

Soil Type

Rich, fast-draining potting soil

Soil pH

Acidic, neutral to acidic 

Bloom Time

Rarely blooms indoors

Flower Color

N/A

Hardiness Zones

Grows outdoors in zones 10-11 (USDA)

Native Area

Asia, Australia

Toxicity

Toxic to humans and animals

 

Weeping Fig Tree Outdoors

How to Plant Weeping Fig Plants

A healthy ficus is a fast-growing plant and will need careful attention to its pot. If you notice your plant is growing more slowly, it is either because of low water or low temperatures.

The repotting requirements for weeping figs also depend on how you are growing your plant as ficus are incredibly flexible. They can be grown as standards, topiary, braided standards, regular houseplants, and even bonsai. Take your cues from the plant and be prepared to repot annually in most cases. Move a weeping fig plant to a new pot in early spring, whether you're giving a new plant a more permanent home or repotting an existing plant.

Are Weeping Fig Poisonous?

Yes. Despite being a very popular houseplant, weeping fig plants are mildly toxic. Ingestion of weeping fig can cause swelling and a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, and their white sap can cause skin rashes.

Due to its toxicity, this plant should be grown with caution around curious pets and children.

Weeping Fig Indoors Potted

How to Care for Weeping Fig Plants

Basic Care for Weeping Fig Plants

Light

The weeping fig needs a bright room with plenty of indirect sunlight, and even a little direct sun in the morning. In its native habitat, it is often grown in semi-shady conditions, but indoors it needs a good light source to thrive. You must find a good, bright spot for it and don’t move it from there.

Soil

Any good, fast-draining potting soil will do fine. Weeping figs do not require soil that is especially high in nutrients or organic matter. If repotting, use a soil-based potting soil that contains perlite, sand, and vermiculite for better drainage. 

Water

Keep the plant moist, but do not allow it to sit in water or it will drop leaves and may develop root rot quickly. In their native environment, plants typically drop leaves at the beginning of the dry season, which makes them acutely sensitive to changes in moisture. Make sure your watering schedule is as consistent as possible.

Fertilizer

These plants are heavy feeders and need fertilizer throughout the growing season. Feed your weeping fig with slow-release fertilizer pellets at the beginning of the growing season. They are rapid growers and will benefit a lot from monthly fertilization in the spring and summer and once every two months in the fall and winter.

Weeping Fig Pest and Diseases

  • Mealybugs, mites, aphids, whiteflies and scale insects are the most common pests of weeping figs.

  • Root rot can occur from a soil that does not drain quickly or overwatering.

  • Other common plant diseases are very rare.

Weeping Fig Plant

How to Propagate Weeping Fig Plants

Weeping fig can be relatively easy to root from cuttings, even without using rooting hormone. It is best to take a cutting in the spring when you can more easily supply a warm and moist environment.

  1. Take a 3 to 5-inch cutting that contains at least two sets of leaves from the tip of a healthy branch. Make the cut about 1/4 inch below a set of mature leaves and take off the leaves from the lower half of the cutting.

  2. Embed the end of the cutting in a container filled with moistened peat moss. Cover the container with a large plastic bag, making sure the plastic does not touch the cutting. Tie the bag closed around the bottom to create a “greenhouse”.

  3. Set the container in a spot with bright, indirect light but out of direct sunlight. Try to keep the pot above 60° F. Mist the cutting daily and moisten the soil if it feels dry at the top.

  4. In three to four weeks, the cutting should develop sufficient roots to allow you to cut slits in the bag to allow it to acclimate to room conditions.

  5. After about six to eight weeks, transplant the cutting into a 10-inch pot and continue to grow it into a small tree.

Weeping Fig Varieties

Different varieties of weeping fig are not hard to come by in most garden centers, and they have been increasing in popularity a lot in recent years.

  • Ficus benjamina: The F. benjamina has narrow glossy green leaves and grows into a small shrub or tree. This plant is less tolerant of cold and shade than the rubber tree. Variegated varieties include F. benjamina variegata and F. benjamina 'Starlight'.

  • Ficus elastica: The rubber tree has large, thick glossy leaves. Varieties include the F. elastica robusta with wide, large leaves and the F. elastica decora.

  • Ficus lyrata: The fiddle leaf fig has large, violin-shaped leaves up to 18 inches long.

Ficus Lyrata

Weeping Fig Did You Know

  • The plant’s sap can cause skin rash.

  • Weeping figs grown outdoors are considered invasive in a number of regions.

Weeping Fig Summary

Weeping figs are arguably one of the easiest houseplants to grow, even if you're someone who forgets to water your plants often enough. This evergreen tropical tree, has deep green leaves that are sometimes variegated with white, dark green, or pale green striations.

When it comes to automated plant care systems, weeping figs are one of the plants that usually struggles with them, as it only require infrequent but heavy watering with intermittent dry periods. Only truly smart plant care systems like KORU can adapt to each plant's different needs, helping them to thrive by measuring light, temperature, humidity and soil moisture.