Having indoor plants can help your house more then you probably know. Not only are they decorations but also there are many that can help to purify the air in your home.
Ficus benjamina, aka The Weeping Fig Tree, is a lovely beautiful helpful tree that comes from Southeast Asia and Northern Australia.
The weeping fig tree is almost the top plant when it comes to removing formaldehyde from the air and also works hard at purifying the air of toluene, and xylene. The weeping fig tree is one of the most well known plants to help clean the air in your home. This plant is in the top ten plants to have in your homes for cleaner healthier air to breath.
It can grow as tall as 10 feet tall (3M) indoors but a weeping fig tree can also be grown out doors. We see them often in parks, playgrounds and around hospitals and when grown out doors they can reach the height of 100 foot or more if properly taken care of.
With its delicate looks it is sure to bring beauty to your home anywhere you place it. As the plant ages the leaves will turn a darker green. The leaves have a glossy look to them as if they have been polished.
When having this type of Moraceae species, make sure that it has bright indirect sun light for at least 5 to 7 hours a day, it thrives much better in bright sun light then dense light but will still grow in dense lighted areas. They are a slow growing plant but so worth the wait. Due to the fact that they are slow growing plants they should not need to be re-potted but every 3 or 4 years – that depends on you and how big you want it to get. Make sure that when you go to re-pot them that you do very little to no damage to the root systems for this may cause them to die or even be unhealthy for a bit. One more thing is when picking the pot for them make sure to get one that is about three times larger then the size of the plant this is to make sure the roots will have enough room to spread and grow with out worrying about root rot.
Also when getting soil for this plant make sure that the soil will drain well and when planting the tree bring the dirt up the stalk of it about three inches.
The weeping fig tree loves high humidity areas so a perfect place for this tree would be a bathroom perhaps, but once you place your tree it should not be moved, because it has been shown that they don’t like change at all and will start dropping leaves badly due to the change of movement but new leaves will grow back in place of the lost leaves once it gets used to its new surroundings.
These trees shed leaves very highly in the fall, it is normal for it to do this, and there is a way you keep the shedding of the leaves down somewhat by misting the leaves every day to keep the humidity high for it.
These plants do not like to be in soggy soil and will die if over watered. You should let the soil dry out before watering again. Just make sure that you don’t let the soil turn dusty. If this happens the tree will start to drop leaves giving you the sign that is needs water. In the winter time you can allow the soil to go much more drier then you would during the growing season months for this tree for in the winter like most plants it goes dormant.
Watering Tips for the Weeping Fig Tree
These are somewhat delicate trees and are very sensitive to the harsh chemicals found in tap water such as fluoride, chlorine and also the salt that is put into tap water to soften the water. You should only use filtered or distilled water. You can also fill up a jug of tap water let it set over night with cap off so the harsh chemicals will dissipate.
Fertilizer for you Weeping Fig Tree
From the spring to the fall you should fertilize no more then once a month with a well balanced liquid fertilizer that is diluted by half.
One of the best things about this plant is that bugs or fungi hardly ever attack it but in some rare cases you may have problems with this.
The pests that seem to have been seen and treated on weeping fig trees are spider mites and mealy bugs. They will kill your plant if you don’t get rid of them. They will suck all of the nutrients from your tree and will cause it to start turning brown around the stem and making the leaves turn yellow causing them to shed the dying leaves.
The spider mites will leave small webbing’s under leaves that are not too noticeable but if you see your leaves start to curl up under it then you know that you have a pest problem.
Take the plant out side and hose it down to knock these pest off the tree then bring it back indoors and spray it down with a horticultural oil or soap. Continue to spray it every day two to three times daily till the tree starts to look healthy again.
Here is a cool and wonderful thing you can do with your weeping fig tree. They have branches that hang down like a weeping willow tree does but with these because the branches are so thin and bendable you can braid them. Yes that is right I said braid them they are very trainable and flexible plants. You can shape these trees into any shape that you want to. The flowers and fruits that they produce are very beautiful as well as being very appetizing to our bird friends.
Make sure that wherever you may place your weeping fig tree that is kept from strong drafts of cold or hot air it doesn’t like drafts and likes the temperatures to stay about 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the beginning of spring you can take clippings from your tree and let them stay in water for about a week or so then place the clippings in the right soil and you can have many of these helpful trees in your house all from just one plant. Also you can prune them any time you feel that they need to be trimmed with out any harm done to your tree. It can be trimmed and trained easily.
With the proper care you are sure to have this plant for many years giving you beauty and healthy air in your home.
Written by Tasha Slone, Copyright 2012 HousePlantsForYou.com