Ficus Audrey (Ficus Benghalensis) – Care Guide

The Ficus Audrey plant is often used as a replacement for the fiddle leaf fig plant, which is much harder to take care of.

This plant is strong and grows quite tall. It can take up an entire corner of an apartment or office building. The Ficus Audrey has a few alternative names like the Strangler fig and the Indian Banyan Tree.

Light Requirement

Bright indirect light is best for this ficus tree plant, although it can handle conditions with lower light. Although the light will affect its growing speed, it will do just fine and be healthy for a short period of time. If the tree’s color starts to fade and the leaves begin to wilt, it needs more indirect sunlight. 

Placing this plant in direct sunlight may harm the leaves and burn them. Plus, the soil will dry faster, and it will need to be watered more often. This could cause over-watering, especially if it’s in a large pot.

Water

It’s not like to be kept moist. But it is hardy, and it will also do well if it is allowed to dry out a bit between waterings.

Before each watering, check if the soil is dry or if it is damp. If it is damp, save the watering for another day. In the spring and summer, it will have to be watered more often than in the winter or the fall.

Climate and temperature

This Ficus likes to be warm and humid since the original home of this type of plant is in India and Pakistan. Keep it away from any room that is cold or windy. To improve humidity in the room, place it next to a humidifier. A good temperature for this plant is 65 to 80 degrees.

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If it is exposed to temperatures that are too cold, the plant leaves could be shocked and fall off. They can also curl up or wither.

If this tree is to be planted outside, it’s best hardiness zone is 9 to 11.

Soil

The soil should be loose and well-draining, and also well aerated.

If it is to be fertilized, only fertilize this plant from the spring to the fall. Just fertilize it once a month with a basic houseplant fertilizer. It also does well with a slow-release fertilizer. A slow-release fertilizer can fertilize the plants over many months, so check the package to see the time frame.

The best type of soil for The Ficus Audrey is one that is slightly alkaline but not too alkaline. If you cannot find alkaline soil, then it does well in the basic tree potting mix.

Repotting

This plant will need to be repotted, but how often depends on its size. If the Ficus Audrey is on the larger size, it needs to be repotted once every two years. Place it in a container that is usually three to four in larger than its current pot when its time to repot it.

If the Ficus Audrey is on the smaller side, it needs to be repotted once a year.

Speed of Growth

Most ficuses are fast-growing trees that need to be trimmed and be maintenance often. It needs to be repotted often as well. If left alone, ficuses can grow to be 25 ft in only ten years.

Height and Spread

Since this is a tree, it can grow to be at least 6 ft in height. It’s width usually extends to 3 ft.

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Trimming

To keep this plant at a certain size, trim it during its dormant season, which is in the winter. When you cut off stems, do not cut off the node. Cut it right before the node so that it can produce new leaves.

Is the Ficus Audrey tree poisonous?

Since this plant is part of The Ficus family, it is known to be toxic to both humans and pets. It is more toxic to pets, though. If an animal or human were to eat the stems or leaves of this plant, they would experience irritation in the mouth, stomach problems, indigestion, vomiting, and diarrhea. If your animal shows any of these signs that it has eaten from The Ficus Audrey, they are to be taken to a veterinarian immediately. You can also call animal poison control.

If you’re working with this plant for a while, it is recommended to use gloves as the sap is irritating to the skin.

Can the Ficus Audrey Grow in Water?

No, ficus trees cannot grow in water. This plant likes to be soaked, but then the soil needs time to dry out before the next few watering. It can become waterlogged if there’s too much stagnant water around its roots.

Does the Ficus Audrey have flowers, and how do I get them to bloom?

Yes, The Ficus Audrey does have flowers, but they are extremely small and aren’t much to look at. 

Common Pests and diseases

  • Spider mites are a constant nuisance for this ficus plant. They attack this plant by sucking out nutrients and sap from the stems and slowly destroying it. You can tell you that spider mites one sign of spider mites is that there is tiny thin webbing all over the plant. 
  • To fight off spider mites rinse them off in the sink or with the hose if you can and then apply an insecticide. You can also apply dish soap to the plant as well
  • Leaf spot fungus occurs in Ficus plants once in a while when conditions are humid but wet. When this fungus attacks a plant, small black dots appear all over the leaves. These leaves can turn yellow and then die off. 
  • To fight off this fungus, the diseased parts must be cut off from the tree, and a fungicide must be applied. If it is too late the fungus might kill the entire plant and It will have to throw it away.
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Conclusion

  • You’ll find this tree around the countries of India and Pakistan. This tree is also the national tree of India.
  • This tree has a few other names like the Peepal and the Banyan.
  • The most common reason the leaves of this plant start to fall off is because of over-watering. Always let the soil dry a bit before re-watering it.
  • It has flower but they are small and not important
  • The soil needs to be dry out a bit between waterings.

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