Scientific name: Ficus
Common name(s): varies by species
Origin: very widespread: Africa, South America, Asia, North America, and even Europe
Family: Moraceae (mulberry)
Light: medium to high diffused light
Watering: allow soil to dry somewhat between watering, then water thoroughly
Fertilizing: all-purpose mix every 1-2 months
A.) Ficus benjamina (weeping fig) A slow-growing tree with graceful arching branches, the weeping fig makes an ideal accent in the home or office. Small trees can be trained as bonsai, or braided together as they grow. This plant has a habit of dropping some leaves if exposed to a sudden change. The leaves will grow back however, but for this reason a person should be as consistent as possible with their care to avoid this. As the seasons naturally change, some leaves may drop. This is how the tree adapts to the new season. There are many varieties of benjamina available: green, variegated, some with ruffled leaves, or leaves with different shapes, and a dark green “Midnight” that resists leaf drop.
B.) Ficus lyrata (fiddle leaf fig) A large leaved tree named for it’s leaf shape which resembles a lyre, or a violin. Avoid full sun or leaves may scorch. A very unusual choice for home or office decor. An easy to care for and adaptive plant.
C.) Ficus pumila or Ficus repens (creeping fig) It may be hard to believe that this low- creeping vine is related to the larger Ficus varieties. Unlike the others, it needs consistent moisture and should only be allowed a little surface drying. A great hanging plant alone, or a ground cover in a mixed planter, it also makes a great terrarium plant. Commonly available in a green and a variegated form.
D.) Ficus elastica (rubber plant) A slow growing tree with large waxy leaves, this plant is a very tough decorator. It also makes a great addition to mixed planters when young. Comes in green, burgundy, and occasionally a variegated form.