How to Care for Ficus Benjamina
One of the most common tree species that is used as an indoor potted plant is the Benjamin Fig (Ficus Benjamina). Although it is very well suited to be used in indoor settings the fact that it is a tree requires that it cared for following a few simple tips.
1. Make sure that your Ficus plant is getting the right amount of sunlight. Ample light is necessary and some direct light for part of the day is fine but avoid a location that exposes to plant to direct sunlight for too long. Also keep in mind that these plants are very sensitive to changes. It is not uncommon for a Benjamin Fig to drop all of its leaves in response to a dramatic change. The trick is to find a good location and then don't move it!
2. Take care of your plant’s roots. The two main things you need to worry about are root rot and becoming root bound. To avoid root rot it is a good idea to not let you plant sit in standing water. If you over water and allow the plant to sit in a tray with the excess water root rot may develop which in turn will cause the leaves to start spotting and falling off. Water the plant only when the soil is almost dry, make sure the moisture gets to the roots but don't allow the excess water to collect at the base of the plant. In between these watering you can also keep the plant happy by misting it every few days or so. To avoid the plant becoming root bound it will be necessary to trip back the roots every 3-5 years and possibly change up to a larger pot.
3. Keep your plant well fed. It is generally recommended to fertilize a Benjamin Fig monthly during the months that the plant is growing with a basic fertilizer diluted to at least half strength. It is important to feed your plant but it may be equally important to not overfeed it as well.
4. Find a location free from drafts. Place your ficus benjamina away from opening doors or heater vents. Also avoid large windows that change temperature throughout the day.