It is not without reason that the Benjamin ficus is one of the most popular house plants and is very popular with bonsai enthusiasts. This very exotic looking ficus is originally from South East Asia yet is very easy to care for in our homes. However there are a number of things you need to be aware of to make sure that your Benjamina ficus keeps healthy and lush looking.
Light and Temperature
Although this plant loves sunlight, too much of good thing can be very harmful and will burn the leaves. Try and place the plant in an area of indirect sunlight and avoid an area which get the sun all day long. Alternatively filter the sunlight through light curtains or blinds. Because plants grow towards the light, you should rotate the plant slightly (45 degrees) every time it is watered. This will prevent it becoming leggy.
Spray the leaves with lukewarm water to keep them clean and help them along with photosynthesis. Be very careful not to over-water. This is one of the most common mistakes people make – they see the leaves falling off so give the plant even more water. This is the worst thing to do. If the leaves are falling off it could be more to do with lack of sunlight or perhaps you have moved it to a new position and the plant is adjusting to the changes.
You can increase the humidity by placing the pot on a tray of gravel. When you give your Benjamin ficus a good watering, the excess water will run out of the pot and onto the gravel. This provides two benefits – 1) the roots will not sit in standing water causing root rot, 2) the water will evaporate though the plant.
Feed your Benjamina ficus monthly during the summer with a weak fertilizer or a slow-release fertilizer. No feeding is required during the winter. Ficus trees also require iron to produce vivid green leaves so some iron tablets or liquid can be a good idea. Just make sure you read the instructions and don’t over-do it. As long as you take note of the information above there is no reason why you can not have a healthy Benjamin ficus for many years to come.