Ficus Audrey: How To Grow and Care For Ficus Benghalensis

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Ficus Audrey is a selected variety of Ficus Benghalensis [FY-Kus, Ben-gal-EN-sis]. This evergreen tree is the strangling fig and belongs to the Moraceae family.

Its cousins are the popular Ficus benjamina (Benjamin tree), Ficus elastica varieties, and Ficus pandurata (fiddle leaf fig).

Attractive leaves of Ficus Audrey (a select variety of Benghalensis Ficus)Pin

This Ficus species is native to Pakistan and India, grows in rain forests, and its leaves have a fuzzy surface.

The specimens of this outdoor plant in India are the largest in the world and offer canopy coverage.

In India, this plant is considered a sacred tree as it is believed to be a tree under which Buddha received enlightenment.

Ficus Benghalensis Quick Care Tips

  • Botanical Name: Ficus Audrey Benghalensis
  • Common Name(s): Audrey Ficus, Banyan Fig
  • Synonyms: Ficus Benghalensis, Ficus Lyrata
  • Family & Origin: Moraceae family, native to Pakistan and India
  • Growability: Easy to grow
  • Grow Zone: 10-12
  • Size: Grows up to 98′ feet tall in the wild, but typically grows to 5-10 feet indoors
  • Flowering: Rarely flowers indoors
  • Light: Bright, indirect light
  • Humidity: Prefers high humidity, mist regularly or use a humidifier
  • Temperature: Thrives in temperatures between 60-75°F
  • Soil: Well-draining soil, preferably with peat moss or perlite
  • Water: Water when the top inch of soil is dry, do not overwater
  • Fertilizer: Fertilize once a month during growing season with a balanced fertilizer
  • Pests & Diseases: Susceptible to spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. Can also be affected by root rot if overwatered.
  • Propagation: Propagated through stem cuttings or air layering
  • Plant Uses: Makes a great statement plant in a large room or office space. Can also be used as a bonsai tree.

The common names for Audrey include:

  • Banyan Tree
  • Peepal
  • Bahupada
  • Indian Banyan
  • Banyan Fig

Ficus Audrey Care Instructions

Ficus Audrey is an easy-to-grow plant as long you provide the proper ficus benghalensis care, including the lighting, soil, water, and temperature.

Size and Growth

This Ficus is a fast-growing tree with a spreading crown and grows 65’ – 98’ tall. When grown as a potted house plant, indoor specimens reach 5′ – 10′ feet tall.

Benghalensis Audrey has a light-colored trunk with white bark, velvet green leaves, and pale leaf veins running through the leaves.

Typically, this plant starts its life as an epiphyte as it grows in another tree’s branch.

Ficus Audrey, branches, glossy green leavesPin

As it grows, the aerial roots are sent down to the ground, quickly forming roots.

The roots rapidly start becoming more vigorous and thicker.

Flowering and Fragrance

The Banyan ficus does flower, but the flower is insignificant.

Lighting Conditions and Temperature

Cartoon of man shining flashlight on a Ficus Audrey.Pin
Photo Credit: AI
  • Just like the rubber tree, the Audrey tree grows best when given plenty of bright indirect light conditions.
  • Ficus plants don’t tolerate prolonged periods of low light or direct sun. They revolt with leaf loss and foliage scorch.
  • Therefore, pick a spot where it receives indirect light, like near an east-facing window.
  • These plants also don’t tolerate drafts or low temperatures.
  • Ensuring the temperature stays above 60° degrees Fahrenheit (15° C) is essential.
  • For optimal growth, the temperature should be above 70° degrees Fahrenheit (21° C).
  • Cold drafts through air-conditioners, doors, or windows will harm the plant.
  • Avoid placing them in a drafty spot.
  • This plant prefers a humid environment, so mist its leaves regularly or add a pebble tray with water at the bottom of the pot of the floor plant.
  • The recommended USDA hardiness zones are 10 – 12.
Twisted potted plant at a nursery.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @rosegardenplants1300

Watering and Feeding

The Ficus tree doesn’t like overwatering.

Before watering, check the soil for its moisture level.

If the soil is not moist under the surface, then water the plant.

The Audrey Ficus grows best in evenly and consistently moist soil, with small drought periods between watering.

Moreover, this plant thrives in humid regions, so ensure to replicate its natural environment with a humidifier.

Ensure 2″ – 3″ inches of the soil surface is dry before you water.

Fertilize the plant at the start of its growing season using slow-release pellets.

These plants are fast growers and benefit most when fertilized every month during the summer and spring seasons and once after two months during the winter and fall seasons.

Potted indoor plant on a tablePin
Photo Credit: Instagram

Soil Type and Transplanting

The Ficus benghalensis audrey requires fertile soil with plenty of drainage holes when being grown in a pot.

The ideal potting mix for this plant is soil-based, providing the plant with the nutrients it needs for optimal growth.

When this plant is healthy, it quickly outgrows any pot and even the house.

Repotting annually is recommended to slow down its growth and maintain a manageable size of the plant.

Utilize high-quality potting soil and a pot with drainage holes when repotting.

Grooming and Maintenance Care Tips

The plant care for Audrey is far easier to maintain and care for than other trees.

It is more tolerant to shifts in the environment than the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree.

While excess water is not suitable for this plant, it easily bounces back to health.

To maintain its shape and size, prune the plant during the winter season when its growth is slow.

Use a sharp pair of scissors and wear gloves when pruning.

Cut the plant back a little above the node to encourage new growth.

Lush potted plant with vibrant green leaves indoors.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @boolsflowershop

How To Propagate Ficus Audrey Tree

The propagation of the Audrey plant is done using tip cuttings and seeds.

When growing this plant with stem cuttings:

  • Use a rooting hormone, and opt for non-woody stems.
  • Include at least half an inch of stem above and below the leaf.
  • Place the cuttings in a rooting mixture, and the roots will start developing after a few weeks.

If growing as an outdoor plant, once the new leaves start emerging, transplant it in its permanent position.

When using seeds to propagate this plant, it is recommended to let the seeds dry before removing them from the plant.

Indoor plants by a window.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @littlegreenforest_ehv

However, growing the Banyan Ficus trees from seeds takes a longer time.

Benghalensis Audrey Pests or Diseases

The Ficus plants might face issues with thrips, root-knot nematodes, spider mites, especially during winter, scale bugs, and Ficus mealybugs

Neem oil is a good control option to eliminate these insects.

Moreover, the plant might experience Southern blight, twig dieback, crown gall, and leaf spots due to bacterial and fungal problems.

Be sure to treat the Indian banyan houseplant immediately.

Another common problem for Ficus Audrey is yellow leaves, which can be caused by overwatering and root rot.

Uses For Ficus Tree Audrey Uses

The Benghalensis is used as an ornamental tropical plant, and it works well with the rubber plant, Ficus Lyrata, and Ficus Benjamina (Weeping Fig).

Potted plant with lush leaves against a brick wall.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @special_support.dandelion

This floor plant provides materials and timber for tying.

The Indians plant this tree for religious purposes, as the Benghalensis Ficus is considered sacred.

The Indian banyan plant is also grown along roadsides and in large gardens and parks to provide shade.

Moreover, the milky latex from all parts of the plant is toxic to humans and pets. The latex in the plant may cause skin irritations. Be careful when handling this Audrey plant.

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