Let’s put the focus on the ficus plant! A beacon of good luck, prosperity, and happiness, the ficus plant has been a popular indoor plant for years.
Veteran gardeners and budding plant parents, we welcome you to our little section about the ficus plant. No matter how long you’ve had your green thumb, we hope that this little read will teach you something new about one of the most well-known indoor house plants!
We’ll give you a little background, share some basics, and even take on some common concerns people might have about the indoor ficus tree. Let’s get into it!
What’s a Ficus Plant?
The ficus plant goes by many names. They’re often referred to as fig trees, ficus trees, weeping figs, benjamin figs, or just ficus. Ficus plants look like small trees with glossy, dark green leaves that are generously spread. No matter what the size, they’ll usually maintain their tree-like appearance.
Here are a few fun facts about the ficus plant. It’s the official tree of Bangkok! In the Middle East, it is seen as a symbol of peace and abundance. It is also said that Buddha gained enlightenment under a large ficus tree. That’s why you can often see them surrounding Buddhist shrines. Who knew there’d be so much culture hiding behind such a tree?
Ficus plants come in many shapes and sizes. They could be as large to provide shade and shelter to the Buddha and even come as small housed in a little pot for your home. That said, they can be grown indoors and outdoors.
Here, we’re all about the indoor ficus tree. They’re popular picks for their looks and what they symbolise. Generally, they’re considered to be finicky plants but are still beginner-friendly. Don’t worry, you can find ficus trees that are easier to care for like the Ficus Elastica Tineke! If you’re still interested in getting to know the weeping fig, let’s get to some helpful tips.
Ficus Plant Care Basics
When it comes to watering, a good rule is to always keep ficus plant soil moist. As long as its soil is moist, that means your ficus plant has enough water.
During the winter, your ficus plant requires less water. In the summer, expect to water your plant more and it’s best to keep checking its soil throughout this period.
If you find visual checks to be unreliable, you can always place your hand on the soil. If it’s damp, resist the urge to water your plant.
Remember, your ficus does not like dry or soaked soil. It likes it moist. So you’ll need something that’ll help you achieve that. Get some well-draining potting soil and make sure their pot has ample drainage holes.
If you want to take your potting mix to the next level, add gravel or orchid bark and a little vermiculite into your ficus plant soil. This should work well in keeping moisture while draining excess water.
Your indoor ficus plant loves basking in bright, indirect sunlight. You can place your ficus plants by a window and just shield them from direct sunlight using a light curtain.
You can also get by with artificial lighting, but it’s best if it gets about 4,300 lumens worth. You’ll find that the ficus plant can tolerate lower light better than the other indoor trees.
The indoor ficus plant loves the humidity and likes warm temperatures. It does have tropical roots, being native to Asia and Australia after all! The sweet spot for the plant is between 16 ºC and 21 ºC. It’s better if never let it drop below 16 ºC.
If you have trouble keeping this plant happily humid, try misting it with a spray bottle every so often.
If you’re getting some food for your ficus tree, then get slow-releasing water-soluble or liquid fertilisers. Your ficus plant won’t need to eat during its dormant seasons, which are during autumn and winter. If you give fertiliser while it is dormant, do note that this will do more harm than good.
Pruning and Trimming
Many people get a ficus tree for indoor aesthetics. That said, pruning and trimming must be done when needed.
When your indoor ficus plant’s leaves come into contact with its surroundings (tables, couches, or other furniture), then it’s time to cut a little off. Using a clean pair of shears or scissors, you may cut off leaves that are touching other objects. Remember to avoid cutting off more than a third of the foliage during each trim session.
If you're planning to do some heavy shaping and pruning, best to do that while the plant is dormant in the winter. Trimming may be done throughout the year, but heavy pruning should exclusively be done during dormant periods. While you’re doing so, best to put on a pair of gloves because ficus plants have been known to produce a liquid that’s toxic and can cause an allergic reaction.
What the ficus going on? When this plant feels stressed, its leaves will tend to drop. These stressful conditions may be the result of overwatering, underwatering, getting minimal light, and enduring the wrong temperatures. If you notice the leaves not doing well, go over the conditions we mentioned above to make sure your plant is in ideal shape.
While on the topic of leaves, they might get dirty as days pass by. You can wipe away excess dirt and dust from the leaves using a clean, wet washcloth.
Ficus On The Good
There’s quite a bit to remember, but you’ll get the hang of ficus plant care in no time. If you treat it right, your ficus plant can live a happy life spanning 20 to even 40 years! It does pay off as you’ll have a plant friend for life.
There are many different kinds of ficus plants - about 850 kinds of them exist! While we covered basic ficus plant care tips, it’s always best to read the information we’ll have ready for you on each of the product pages to get into specific details. Not all plants are the same!