Ficus benghalensis  “Banyan Fig or Audrey Ficus”

Light: This Ficus prefers more sunlight than some of the other species. An unobstructed eastern window, allowing morning sun, may be sufficient in some climates, but typically a western exposure with afternoon sun will be better. Southern is also acceptable as it is often the strongest light scenario. 

Water: Water evenly and thoroughly until the water drains from the pot.  Allow the soil to dry by about ⅓ of the depth of the pot before watering to saturate, leaving no excess water below. These trees cannot be kept wet. Room temperature water is best. Cold water can cause leaves to fail and drop. 

Environment: Humidity is not as much of a necessity, but in more arid homes, amplifying humidity will certainly be helpful. Increase humidity with frequent misting or keep near a humidifier. Keep away from drafty areas and hot/cold air blowing vents. Wipe the leaves gently periodically to keep them dust free. 

Toxicity: Ficus are reported to be toxic to Cats and Dogs

Of Note:

  • Ficus are sensitive to changes in their environment. They react to these changes by dropping leaves - the leaves will turn yellow and fall off. If you have just moved your Ficus to a new location, expect leaf drop. New growth will fill out from the top when the plant adjusts. If it has not been moved, it may be reacting to a change in lighting conditions as the seasons change, or an increase or decrease in its watering frequency. Try to keep its environment as stable as possible to prevent shock and leaf drop. 
F. benghalensis can sometimes shed older leaves just prior to a substantial growth period.
*When planting in a pot without a drainage hole, avoid over watering by estimating 25% of the container’s overall volume, with appropriate drainage materials incorporated when planting.