The House Plant Homeowners Tree
The Ficus benjamina, commonly known as ficus tree, weeping figs, or benjamin figs, is the houseplant most people think of when mentioning an indoor tree. It’s a flowering plant from family Moraceae, originating from Asia and Australia.
This floor plant adds a tropical natural beauty to the home with it’s shinny leaves and attractive trunk.
Over the years, the Ficus benjamina has received the reputation as being difficult in both care and growing plus other problems.
Usually these “Ficus problems” come from not giving the benjamina tree enough light and overwatering. Click for the Ultimate Ficus Care Guide.
As with many things today which continue to improve, the humble benjamina continues to change the indoor landscape with some new additions to the Ficus family. The “weeping fig tree” as it is commonly known has some new members.
These new benjamina ficus species or cultivars look very similar but makes Ficus care easier. These new Benjamina varieties can be found in a wide array of forms:
- Bonsai Tree
Other “Looks” of Ficus Benjamina
Ficus Midnight – Spirals
Ficus Midnight Grown in Arch Form
Ficus Braids in “Net Pots” for Growing On
When braiding young Ficus benjamina plants, 3 to 4 trunks are tied together and fuse as they mature to the point that they will turn into a single trunk. The young and flexible Ficus branch to be used for braiding is pruned first to get rid of side branches.
Here’s a quick rundown of the new Ficus benjamina Cultivars and their Descriptions
Ficus Benjamina ‘Wintergreen’
Ficus ‘Wintergreen’ is probably the first of the new breed of Ficus trees. Benjamina the old Ficus stand-by reacts to fluctuations in temperatures by dropping leaves.
“Wintergreen” provides the benefit of handling these temperature extremes better with less leaf loss and this cultivar features a darker colored growth on the new leaves.
Ficus Benjamina Monique
Ficus Monique is one of the more popular new Ficus varieties with the same upright, bushy growth pattern of the benjamina but with elliptical shiny bright green leaves and ruffled edges. The ruffled edges become more pronounced in lower light levels.
One outstanding feature of Ficus “Monique” is its ability to resistance leaf drop. Many interior plantscapers specify “Monique” simply because of its resisting leaf drop in a variety of conditions.
Homeowners should consider ‘Monique’ as a first Ficus benjamina choice.
Ficus Benjamina Monique grown as a “standard.” This image comes from the CDplants.com Collection of “cut out” images used by interiorscapers for design. The collection contains other Ficus Trees like Alii, Benjamina and more in a variety of sizes.
Over the last few years many people prefer more than a standard but like the unique look of a Ficus braid. A braid is created when 3 or 4 individual trees – usually airlayers – have been braided together and planted on one pot.
Ficus Benjamina Midnight
Ficus ‘Midnight’ as the name suggest has extremely dark, almost bluish to black glossy leaves. Its upright growth pattern make it a good choice in narrow spaces. Although upright “Midnight” still maintains a compact, bushy habit.
The plant does very well as a houseplant even in low light areas. As with most Ficus the more light the better.
The compact habit of “Midnight” may show some initial interior leaf drop in its final acclimation phase. However, new leaves will continue to grow and replace the shedding leaves.
There are three improved Ficus benjamina varieties to consider as a tree in your home. Remember, Ficus trees want as much light as possible and the leaves do accumulate dust. As regular plant care maintenance wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust.
Bonsai Ficus Benjamina
Indoor bonsai which originated from China and Japan, serves as a great ornamental plant. Its rounded canopy and sagging branches making it possible for bonsai.
With proper ficus benjamina care, your bonsai plant will flourish and shine through the years. Keep the indoor plants in bright light. During summer and spring, it’s best to protect them from direct sunlight.
Provide enough water to your ficus bonsai tree. A well-drained soil always works best to help keep the soil moist and the roots healthy. Over watering may lead to root rot.
Pruning ficus benjamina bonsai is essential to maintain its appearance. Assess each tree’s development and apply the appropriate amount of pinching and cutting.