The weeping fig, scientifically known as “Ficus Benjamina”, is a woody, ornamental plant belonging to the family “Moracear”. It is one of a few plants which can be kept in the bedrooms to prevent the growth of fungus and deadly microbes.

See also Is it Healthy to Eat Dry Figs and 15 Best Shade Loving Plants.

This plant has been a very popular indoor houseplant because of its attractive shape and variety of growing conditions. According to a study in Chemical Central Journal, weeping fig is rich in antimicrobial properties, which can help prevent microorganisms that can cause diseases. In reforestation projects in Thailand, this plant is grown as a pioneer species.

This plant can be found in India, Malaysia, Southern China, Northern Australia and the islands of the South Pacific. It is cultivated in various parts of the world, including French Polynesia (cult), American Samoa (Tutuila), Majuro (cult.), and Marshall Islands (Kwajalein). This plant is also used outdoors as an ornamental shrub in tropical places.

The tree naturally grows in Northern Australia and Asia but is a very popular houseplant in Europe. This tree is also common with many other names like weeping banyan, Java fig, Benjamin’s fig, Java tree, Ficus tree, Jejawai, and Fico-choral. The genus name of this plant comes from the Latin name of edible fig. another reason behind the name is that the trees are succulent, and they store water in their branches and trunks, as the name weeping fig.

This tree is harvested for many different purposes, as it is widely used in medicine and is a good source of fiber and low-quality wood. It is very attractive and ornamental and is cultivated in the tropics to be used as a shade-providing tree and avenue.

weeping fig tree in a garden

Plant Description

The weeping fig is a slow-growing and spreading fig tree which can grow up to 15m outdoors and 3 to 6 feet tall indoors. The tree naturally grows in moist mixed forests near towns, villages, hammocks, roadsides, and disturbed thickets. It usually thrives in moist soil but can also tolerate drought and a wide range of soil, including loams, sands, and clay. The weeping fig plant is a very popular house plant because of its tolerance for poor conditions and elegant growth. It grows well under bright sun but can also tolerate little shade. This plant needs some watering in summer and in winter, only enough to keep it away from drying. It may need replacing while growing indoors as it can grow too large.

  • Leaves:

    Leaves of weeping figs are simple, green, and leathery, with an ovate or elliptical shape. The dimensions can range from 3.6 cm to 12 cm in length and 1.5 to 6 cm in width. They are arranged alternately on the shoots, connected by petioles with permanent skin. The base of the lamina is rounded, the cystoliths are visible from the outer surface of the blades, and the waxy glands can be both present or absent at the base of the midvein, at the junction with the petiole.

  • Flower:

    these figs are a special form of inflorescence and not a botanical fruit of the tree. They bear three types of flowers, including males, females, and sterile females, which all are hairless. The male florets are very few in number and carried on short peduncles, with a stamen on the long filament. These are surrounded by a three or four-lobed calyx with broad ovate lobes. The female ones are sessile, with a short, curved style and enlarged stigma. They are also surrounded by a three-lobed calyx, the short spatulate lobes. The sterile females are large in numbers. Sometimes they peduncle, and sometimes not; they also have short and curved styles.

  • Fruits:

    the fruits, scientifically known as syconia, are joined to the hypanthium, growing in the axils of the leaves. They are usually present in pairs, mostly have a spherical or elliptical shapes and are sometimes found as pear-shaped. They have green color at first and then become purple or dark red when ripe, with rounded white spots on the surface. The size of the fruit varies from 0.7 to 1 cm in width and 0.8 to 1.5 cm in length.

Varieties of Ficus Benjamina:

There is a wide range of ficus varieties; some are larger, while others are smaller. Each variety has completely green foliage or a mix of colors like white, yellow, or green. The plant with the dark leaves usually needs more light, while the completely green plants can also grow in partial shades. Some of the common varieties of Ficus Benjamina include:

  • Ficus Benjamina Natasja: This focus is small with bushy growth and can reach a height of 80 cm. It has beautiful leaves with vivid green color.
  • Ficus Benjamina Barok: The specification about this plant is that its leaves are rolled up, with curly hair. And this type of weaving fid tree grows compactly.
  • Ficus Benjamina Twilight: This type of weeping fig has light green foliage with white edges. It needs bright places and can grow larger.
  • Ficus Benjamina Golden King: This variety has golden yellow-green color foliage. It can grow taller, up to 1 m, but the growth largely depends upon the size of the pot.

The length and width of these plants are highly dependent upon the environment they are growing in, as keeping them indoors is not very healthy for their growth as they thrive in direct sunlight and humid atmosphere.

Benefits of Planting Weeping Fig Plant At Home

When cared for properly, weeping figs can provide a lot of benefits, both for health and decoration. Each part of this plant offers a specific benefit, including cleansing air, relieving stress and releasing antioxidants to antimicrobials.

Here are five benefits that you can get by keeping weeping fig plants at your home:

1 Increase Aesthetic Appeal

One of the reasons most people buy houseplants is to increase their home décor. Weeping fig has that type of structure that can be used for that purpose. This plant’s tall and wide stature separates it from the other room decorations and can easily capture the onlooker’s eyes.

In the suitable condition and with proper care, they can even manage to become a 6-10 feet-tall plant with arching branches, pointed leaves, and bushy foliage. This plant can be placed close to the window, with enough sunlight exposure.

This constant exposure to sunlight can make them visible items in the room. And if you want them outdoors, they can be added to the other plants to make a perfect-looking garden.

2 Cleanse Air Toxins

According to a Clean Air Study conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, (B.C, 1989) growing weeping fig plants at home can be very helpful in cleaning the air toxins and pollutants. The weeping plant can clear the air of all the toxins that can be present inside our houses, like xylene, toluene and formaldehyde.

Home appliances like laptops, refrigerators, and smartphones emit such toxins. These toxins can enter the body through the nostrils and end up in your lungs. Weeping fig plants can remove these toxins with the help of “photosynthesis”, where the green leaves of this plant will take in all the toxins and release the fresh oxygen in the air.

Moreover, this plant’s soil also has healthy soil microorganisms found in potted plants. These microorganisms can also trap the toxins in the soil and dissolve them. Weeping fig plants can also be planted with other air-purifying plants, like golden pothos and Boston fern, to cleanse the air thoroughly.

3 Medicinal Benefits

Weeping fig is also used as a medicinal plant in different parts of the world to treat different ailments and health conditions. According to a Study (Imran, 2014) of the Biological and Chemical Composition of Ficus Benjamin, different communities of Asia use this plant to treat vomiting, piles, malaria, inflammation, and various skin disorders.

The same study on Ficus Benjamina also found that essential oil obtained from this plant’s fruit extract and latex is rich in antioxidants, and antimicrobial and antinociceptive properties, which have various medical uses. This oil is also used as a general tonic as an anti-dysentery remedy.

Its root extract is also rich in flavonoids, an antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of diabetes, renal failure, and degenerative diseases. The leaves and stems contain phenolic acid, which has antifungal and antimicrobial properties. These properties can prevent the growth of fungi and deadly microbes present in the house.

4 Provide Miniature decoration

Most people don’t like to have weeping figs at their house because of their long and huge size, but the Weeping fig plant does not have to be wide and tall to look pretty, as you can create a beautiful bonsai plant by containing its size. Yes, this plant can also make a great bonsai.

So if you have a master skill of pruning plants to a small size, you should get a young Ficus Bonsai. You can also have a matured Ficus Bonsai, which only needs occasional pruning and maintenance.

Another best thing about Ficus Bonsai is that you don’t have to arrange a specific place for this in your house; it can be placed anywhere, including wall drawers, a fireplace, over the table, and more. However, you should be careful about potting, watering, and fertilizing, as these plants are very selective about it. Make sure to follow the rules to maintain your favorite plant.

5 Culinary Purposes

The flowers and fruits of the weeping fig plant are vitamin and sweet, which can be used for culinary purposes. The weeping fig tree has a medium-sized fruit in the second to third year, which can be eaten raw or added to various cuisines to enhance the flavor.

There are various ways to add weeping fig fruit into your diet; you can directly eat them from the tree, but make sure to rinse them properly. Or cut the fruit in half, put it into the dryer, and you can have it later on. Drying it can help in preserving vitamins in the fruit.

This fruit can also be added to breakfast or morning porridge. You have to cut small slices of it and add them to your desserts and porridges to make them delicious. 

Important Tips to Take Care of Weeping Fig

No doubt, the weeping fig is a low-maintenance plant that can be grown indoors. But it also needs some care and love for its proper growth. Here are a few things which you can do to make sure your beloved plant doesn’t slow down:

  • Light: Weeping Fig is a plant that enjoys warm weather and thrives In indirect sunlight. So, make sure that your plant is in a lightly shaded, sunny location. So do not turn it around or move it because it can shed its leaves.
  • Watering: This plant needs proper watering during its growing season and can survive within one to two weeks during winter. While watering, make sure that the top few inches of soil are dry out between watering.
  • Potting & Soil: Weeping fig plants do not like to re-pot much. So keep your plant to be pot-bound, and re-pot it only when it is very necessary. And make sure to have fast-draining soil. Keep the soil moist around the base without overwatering the plant.
  • Fertilizers: Fertilizers can be used twice a month when it is the growing season. You can use a water-soluble fertilizer, which is rich in nitrogen. Avoid fertilizing in autumn and during the winter season.
  • Humidity & Pruning: Weeping fig plants love to be in humid environments, so try to install a humidifier to maintain the required humidity level. Mist the leaves during the hot summer to keep the plant alive and fresh. Moreover, to maintain the appearance and indoor decoration, pruning is necessary. The best season for trimming is winter, as there are fewer chances of injury. But remove the dead growth regularly.

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Bottom Line

Weeping Fig or Ficus Benjamin is one of the few house plants which can fit perfectly in any place of your house. This plant varies in size and height depending on its condition and environment. It can even make a great bonsai. You can showcase it in your living room or keep it in your bedroom privately to refresh your mood and make your place look beautiful. But whether it is weeping fig or any other houseplant, make sure to take good care of those. As they need proper care and love to grow healthy and properly.

weeping fig plant growing on wall

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