Ficus benjamina is a very popular houseplant in temperate areas, due to its elegant growth and tolerance of poor growing conditions; it does best in bright, sunny conditions but will also tolerate considerable shade. It requires a moderate amount of watering in summer, and only enough to keep it from drying out in the winter. It does not need to be misted. The plant is sensitive to cold and should be protected from strong drafts. When grown indoors, it can grow too large for its situation, and may need drastic pruning or replacing. Ficus benjamina has been shown to effectively remove gaseous formaldehyde from indoor air.
The water demand of a Ficus tree is on a moderate level. A wet substrate is as unfavorable as dryness of the root ball, because both extremes cause leaf loss.
This is how you water a Ficus benjamina correctly:
do not water until the substrate has dried to a depth of 2-3 cm
give room temperature, lime-deficient water to the root balls until the saucer is full
pour out the saucer after 20 minutes or fill with pebbles to avoid waterlogging
Alternatively, adjust the water balance according to the immersion watering method. Soak the well-dried root ball in a bucket of stagnant water until no air bubbles rise. Ficus tree is watered once again only when the substrate is largely dried. Depending on the season and pot size, several weeks may pass.
During the growth phase, fertilize your Ficus tree every two weeks with a liquid fertilizer for green plants. To avoid over-fertilization, reduce by half the dosage indicated by the manufacturer. From October to February the fertilizer dosage is reduced by 6 weeks.
It is important to remember that you should never give fertilizer to dried soil. The salts contained therein can cause root burns, whereupon the suffering plant loses its leaves. Water before and after with clear, room temperature water, avoid the source of danger without problems.
Normally, every growth of a Ficus tree is noted with joy. An annual pruning is therefore not included in the care program. If the tropical plant outgrows, cut down the very long shoots in the spring. You promote a bushy growth by using scissors at a short distance from the leaf nodes. If you notice any dried or dead twigs remove them promptly.
Please bear in mind the toxicity of the milky sap, especially when pruning. Wear gloves and do not discard the cuttings into a compost bin, but in the household waste.