How to grow a ficus benjamina (weeping fig)
The weeping fig loves bright, soft light – aim for indirect sun or partial shade. Be careful, as bright, direct sun can scorch their leaves, turning them brown! If you're worried, move the plants further back from the window, where they'll still receive the light, but not the heat that goes with it.
Thankfully, the preferred temperature for a ficus benjamina is room temperature – around 21°C. They don't do well in cooler climates and won't thrive in anything below about 16°C.
Humidity is an essential consideration, and as tropical plants, these guys like to stay hydrated! Mist their leaves often and be sure to keep them away from air conditioning units or vents, which will likely dry them out or shock them with sudden temperature changes.
Premium quality potting mix is the best bet when it comes to growing and nurturing your ficus. Plant your ficus in a pot 2-3 times bigger than what you bought it in to allow for growth, and ensure that the soil can drain properly,
The ficus does not respond well to being overwatered and will drop leaves if this happens. A good rule of thumb (literally!) is to allow the soil to dry out up to about 5cm, about the length of your thumb or first two knuckles of your fingers, before watering again. Don't overwater in winter, your ficus will require it more in the hotter months.
Ficuses, as a general rule, love food. Feed your plant with a slow-release fertiliser (a 6 month variety) every spring and autumn. In peak growing season, give it additional monthly doses of liquid fertiliser, such as Seasol.
Pests and disease
Scale and mites may pay your ficus a visit. If this happens, a horticultural pest oil or natural pesticide should bring them under control. They tend to be pretty disease-free, so if you notice browning leaves or leaf drop, it's likely a sign that you need to reassess your plant's conditions.
How to prune a ficus
Because these plants are, indeed, tree-like, you'll want to keep up to date with your pruning schedule. Given the right conditions, they can grow vigorously and become quite large, but if you keep them trimmed you'll encourage the right type of growth. Nip out the tips regularly and trim branches that are becoming too large or high, and once the desired shape and size have been achieved, be sure to maintain it.