All About the Ficus Tree
Did you know it’s also called weeping fig?
We have a feeling you’ll recognize this one. Ficus benjamina is a popular houseplant and has been for ages. If there’s an empty corner in a living room or office, chances are that someone somewhere has considered nestling a ficus there. This now omnipresent houseplant—or house tree, as the case may be—is also known as weeping fig or Benjamin fig. According to its nomenclature, it belongs to the family Moraceae, the family of the figs, and the order Rosales.
While ficus remains one of the number one choices for indoor tending, it’s not always easy to care for. If you have one, you’ll know that ficus is prone to dropping its leaves. There are a number of reasons for this, all of which can be summed up in a word: change. Ficus hates change. Changes in light, humidity, moisture, and temperature are notorious for causing ficus trees to drop their leaves. To avoid this, the Grumpy Gardener recommends finding an area in your home where the ficus seems to be comfortable. Once you find that sweet spot, leave it there. Keep the ficus tree's light (indirect) and water (regular) consistent, and keep a watchful eye out for any distress. Ficuses can be finicky that way, but we still love them.
Several ficus hybrids have grown in popularity over the past few years, including the selection 'Too Little,’ a very small tree that reaches manageable heights of just over a foot tall. Its foliage is attractive; it produces tiny green leaves that are smooth in texture and shiny in appearance and grow in great big masses. If you’re tight on space, this is the ficus for you. 'Midnight' ficus is another relatively new favorite, and its foliage is also distinctive. It produces thick, dark green leaves in dense clusters. The leaves appear glossy and almost black to the eye once they’ve aged, while new growth is bright green. Unlike the tiny ‘Too Little,’ hybrid ‘Midnight’ grows to heights of around 8 feet tall and is great for homes with high ceilings and lots of space to grow.
WATCH: The Hidden Health Benefits of Indoor Plants
Do you have a ficus tree in your home? What are your favorite houseplants?