Ficus Benjamina Care – Care for a Weeping Fig

In this post, I explain how you should care for your weeping fig. I’ll also give you some valuable tips and help along the way!

Ficus benjamina care
© Tanya –


The weeping fig (lat. Ficus benjamina) enjoys great popularity. It can be found in many homes and offices in our country. It is often called “Benjamini” or simply Ficus.

However, what is always meant is the weeping fig. Although it is called a weeping fig, it belongs to the mulberry family (Moraceae). Benjamini is considered low maintenance and is therefore suitable for beginners.

Home of the Ficus benjamina

The weeping fig likes it warm. It originates from the subtropical and tropical areas of Australia, East Asia and Oceania.

It can be sighted from India to northern Australia. Today, it is found in many tropical and subtropical areas where it has spread due to its use as an ornamental plant.

In warm regions, the fig is also popular as a hedge or ornamental tree. Ficus benjamina is also not uncommon as a bonsai.

Growth of the weeping fig

The Ficus is one of the smaller representatives of its species. In nature, it reaches a height of up to 33 feet.

The width is about 26 feet. At these dimensions, the weeping fig reaches a trunk diameter of up to 20 inches. In the home, it reaches sizes of two to 16 feet in height.

Characteristics and appearance

The ficus is especially recognizable by its leaves. These are elongated and pointed. In many species, the leaves also have a slight sheen.

They are evergreen and can have a wide variety of patterns.

Among the best known and most popular patterns are marbling, veining and bordering. The patterns are usually whitish or yellowish in color.

The branches are very thin and covered by a smooth bark. In old trees, it can be seen that it comes off in places similar to birch.

If the tree develops buds they are long and pointed. Often they are interpreted as part of the branch.

Hard to believe, but true: the ficus is blooming! Here with us, however, we very rarely get to enjoy the flowers of the weeping fig.

They develop only under optimal conditions. These are usually obtained in greenhouses or the winter garden. The flowers are spherical and orange-red. They are often interpreted as fruits.

If the tree has an injury, a white sap comes out. This contains latex, as the Benjamini is considered a natural rubber plant. Therefore, latex allergy sufferers should choose not to use this plant.

Weeping fig – location

Benjamini during the growth period needs a bright, but not too sunny location. This should not fall below the 72 °F.

Direct sunlight can cause leaf injury. Species with colored leaves are more susceptible to these leaf injuries.

However, just these species should get more sunlight, so that the pattern comes out beautifully. So you already realize, it’s a fine line between too much and too little light!

The weeping fig is sensitive to site changes as well as temperature fluctuations and drafts. It also does not tolerate ground cold well.

As a reaction, shedding of some of the foliage occurs. As before, species with colored leaves are more sensitive.

Tropical trees do well with warm to hot air. With lack of light, however, not.

In winter, one should lower the temperature to 61 to 64 °F. This will make the plants more adaptable to the little sunlight over the winter months.

Weeping Fig Care
(Image: © montikreativ –

Optimal substrate for the weeping fig

Many of us want to do something good for the weeping fig and put it in nutrient-rich plant soil. This is not recommended. They need a soil that gives them good support and is not too rich in humus.

Since the soil must achieve certain properties, many people mix their own substrate. Here is a guide to the perfect soil for weeping figs:

  • Measure out two parts of plant soil.
  • Now add one or two parts of mineral-rich substrate.
  • Now mix the soils well until you have everything well mixed.

A supplement: Sand, lava stones or clay granules are suitable as mineral-rich substrate!

Now you have made a substrate suitable for the weeping fig.

If you don’t want to do the work, you can also buy ready-mixed substrate*. Make sure that the soil has a pH of 6 to 7.

Watering Ficus benjamina

During the growth phase, you should water your Benjamini regularly.

In the meantime, you should let the substrate dry out again and again to avoid waterlogging. Finger testing is recommended for this.

Like many other tropical plants, weeping figs prefer water that is low in lime. Rainwater is optimal.

The finger test

The finger test is a simple way to find out if your plant needs to be watered again. To do this, stick a finger into the substrate.

If the substrate sticks to the finger like baking a cake, your plant still has enough water.

If the soil feels dry and you have only a little residue of the substrate on your finger, it is time to water your plant again!

Fertilize a weeping fig

During the growth phase from March to September you have the possibility to fertilize your ficus every two to three weeks.

I recommend a No products found. because you can dose it better. It is also administered through watering. In winter, during the regeneration phase, the interval should be stretched to six to eight weeks.

The plant does not need many nutrients during this period and can be easily over-fertilized.

Weeping fig without pattern
Weeping figs are also available without or with only light patterns. (Image: @zbrutskii –

Repotting a weeping fig

Repotting according to a fixed interval is not necessary. Nevertheless, it is recommended to put the Ficus benjamina in a new pot about every two years and renew the substrate.

This is not infrequently rewarded with new vigorous growth! Even if your Ficus is brand new, we recommend repotting it.

For this we have written a short guide:

  1. Choose a pot that is about 2 inches wider than your current flower pot. Make sure you have a drainage hole to prevent waterlogging. This will also ensure that the root ball is sufficiently ventilated.
  2. Prepare the new pot by placing an approx. one inch thick layer of expanded clay in the pot.
  3. Cover the expanded clay with a water- and air-permeable fleece.
  4. Pour a layer of substrate about one inch thick on top of the fleece.
  5. Take a knife or a sharp-edged object and run it between the root ball and the pot. This is how you detach the plant from the pot!
  6. Lift the ficus out of the pot and remove the substrate as best you can. Grab it as close to the root ball as possible to prevent injury.
  7. Place the weeping fig in its new home! Now fill the pot with substrate. Be sure to also place substrate between the roots. You can also use a stick for this purpose. The container should be filled with substrate until it has a three finger wide distance to the edge of the container.
  8. Now water the plant until water collects in the saucer. This you pour away after 10 minutes to avoid waterlogging.

Congratulations! You have just safely delivered your weeping fig to its new home!

Cutting Ficus benbamina

A weeping fig can grow quite large. In order for it to fit in the apartment sooner or later will require pruning.

This can be done throughout the year. However, we recommend that you prune your plant before the growing season. Are you ready to prune your Ficus benjamina? Then go for it!

When it comes to pruning, you should definitely do it outdoors. Not only will you have more space, but you won’t ruin your soil with the resulting sap. This can also cause allergies.

After cutting, you should let the sap dry. This will prevent it from dripping on the floor of your home.

If you wish, you can also rinse the plant outside. This way you will have less sap residue later.

Propagate Ficus benjamini

The easiest way to propagate Ficus benjamini is by cuttings. You can get these from your cuttings. Cut off the tips of the shoots. If possible, use a sharp knife or scissors.

This way you will not hurt the plant. Now remove the lower leaves and put the cutting in growing soil. Moisten the soil and cover the pot to maintain high humidity.

For species without a pattern, you can often root the cuttings in a glass of water.

If roots form, transplant the cuttings into peat soil and shorten them a bit. This will ensure that they branch and develop dense foliage.

If you wish, you can also turn them into bonsai this way!

Diseases of the weeping fig

The ficus is hardly susceptible to diseases. If your plant is not doing so well, it is usually due to a care error.


Benjamini has an arch enemy: the scale insect. Hardly any other pest can harm the tree. You can recognize scale insects by their sticky secretion, the honeydew.

You spread this on and around the plant. If you detect an infestation, you should isolate the plant as soon as possible. This will prevent the pests from spreading.

You can spray the plant with either No products found. or a solution you mix yourself. Here are instructions for the solution:

Mix soft soap and mineral spirits in a ratio of 1 to 1. Spray your plant with this mixture three times a day.

Important. Please be sure to follow the instructions! Otherwise you can harm yourself and your plant.

Further hints and tips

  • Shoots of a different color should be removed immediately. Otherwise they will quickly take over.

Let me answer your questions!

Where does the weeping fig grow?

The weeping fig grows in the subtropics and sub-tropics of Oceania, Australia and East Asia.

Pests on the weeping fig?

Has, your weeping fig pests are probably scale insects. See the pests section to find out how to get rid of them!

When should the weeping fig be repotted?

The weeping fig should be repotted when its pot becomes too small. Also, if the substrate loses nutrients, you should repot the plant. You can recognize this by a lighter color compared to the original substrate. For tips and tricks, check out this article!

When should the weeping fig be pruned?

The weeping fig should be pruned as soon as it grows too large. You should also prune cuttings to get a full crown. More tips can be found in this article!

How often should you water the weeping fig?

Water your Benjamini regularly in moderate amounts. Let the substrate dry out in between and use the finger test!

Why does my weeping fig get yellow leaves?

The following reasons can lead to yellow leaves:
change of location
too little light
too much water (waterlogging)
too cold location
infestation by pests
In this article you will find out how to pep up your weeping fig!

Why is my weeping fig losing leaves?

The weeping fig quickly sheds its foliage when it becomes uncomfortable. The most common reasons are a change of location, improper or poor substrate, or waterlogging.

Is Ficus benjamina toxic to dogs, cats and pets?

Ficus benjamina is highly toxic to pets. Even the smallest amounts of the sap or foliage will cause severe poisoning. These range from stomach upset to fatal respiratory paralysis.

Is Ficus benjamina poisonous?

The weeping fig is mildly toxic to humans. However, it is a different story for animals.

What are the effects of Ficus benjamina?

Benjamini is poisonous. If the sap or foliage is consumed, mild to moderate symptoms of poisoning can be expected. These range from abdominal pain and nausea to vomiting, diarrhea, and mucous membrane irritation.

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About the author
Richard Schmidt
Hey, my name is Richard! In my spare time, I write about the care of indoor plants on this website. Indoor plants have long fascinated me. That's why there are many plants in my little urban jungle - from the mainstream Syngonium to true rarities. Besides my passion for houseplants, I'm a real sneakerhead.

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