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FICUS benjamina

Image of Ficus benjamina

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Moraceae

Botanical Name

FICUS benjamina

Plant Common Name

Weeping Fig

General Description

Weeping fig is a very large evergreen tree native to the tropical areas of India, Asia, Australia, and Malaysia. It is typically grown as a large tree, shrub or houseplant. The inconspicuous flowers bloom in spring and are followed by small fruit that may be orange, pink, or red. A very small, non-stinging wasp is required for pollination and fertile fruit. The simple dark green leaves are glossy and attractive.

Planted in warm, frost-free climates the weeping fig becomes a huge tree with invasive ground roots and spreading aerial branches. It is only suitable for very large gardens and parks. Weeping fig is also used extensively as a hedge. Wherever planted as a hedge or tree, weeping fig roots can invade water lines and lift pavement. In hurricane prone zones, weeping fig is very susceptible to falling during a storm. The pollinating wasp for weeping fig has not been found in the United States yet, but is on some Pacific Islands where weeping fig is now invading by seed.

A beautiful interior plant, weeping fig requires well-drained soil, even moisture and moderate to high light conditions. If a weeping fig is to be used as an interior specimen, be sure the plant is acclimatized which means the grower has subjected it to interior-like growing conditions before shipping to avoid shock. The most common complaint about weeping fig houseplants is dropped foliage. Any change in environment, light, temperature, location, even the heating or air conditioning coming on, causes weeping figs to drop their leaves. The good news is the leaves are quickly replaced and will stay put if conditions are corrected.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 13, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    80'-200' / 24.4m - 61.0m

  • Width

    100'-125' / 30.5m - 38.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Southern Asia, Southeastern Asia, India, Melanesia, Australia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Thicket/Colonizing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Red, Green, Pink, Orange Red, Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Slate Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Hedges, Houseplant, Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes