Ficus benjamina
Common Name: weeping fig
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Moraceae
Native Range: Southeastern Asia through Malesia to northern Australia and southwestern Pacific
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 40.00 to 50.00 feet
Spread: 25.00 to 30.00 feet
Bloom Time: Rarely flowers indoors
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-12. Grow as a houseplant in St. Louis. Easily grown in a soil-based potting mix. Site in bright indirect light or in sunny areas with some afternoon shade. Water regularly during the growing season, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Avoid overwatering. Reduce watering from fall to late winter. This plant may be taken outside in spring after last frost date and brought back inside in fall. Prune to shape as needed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Native from India to northern Australia, weeping fig is a broadleaf evergreen tree that grows to 50’ tall. It is widely grown in the tropics as an ornamental tree or hedge. For many years, it has been an extremely popular indoor houseplant because of its attractive shape and tolerance for a variety of growing conditions. Houseplants are more often grown in the 2-10’ tall range. Pale brownish trunk with a dense cone of foliage. Trunks are sometimes braided for ornamental interest. Glossy, pointed, oval to elliptic leaves (to 4” long). Twigs arch gracefully. Stems have milky sap. This tree rarely flowers or fruits indoors. Even if flowers were produced, fruit production would still be unlikely in large part because of the absence of the necessary pollinating wasps. Variegated forms of this species feature leaves splashed with white or yellow.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for scale, aphids, mealybugs, thrips and spider mites. Dieback and leaf spots may occur. Plants may lose some foliage when brought indoors for winter or if moved to a different environment within the home.

Garden Uses

Low maintenance houseplant in St. Louis area.