Plants A to Z

How to Grow and Care for Weeping Fig

In tropical and subtropical climes, the weeping fig (also known as the ficus tree) grows as a broadleaf evergreen tree. Still, it is more commonly cultivated as a houseplant in homes, workplaces and featured in indoor business landscaping.

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This attractive plant has slender branches that arch gently from a light grey base with dense, glossy dark foliage. The plants are generally clipped to maintain them between 3 and 6 feet tall when planted inside, and their trunks are occasionally braided for decorative appeal.

It is a fast-growing plant that may require repotting up to once a year but do so in the early spring for the best results. Humans and pets are both poisoned by the weeping fig.

Weeping Fig Care

Weeping figs can be grown as specimen trees that reach up to 60 feet in height in tropical areas, and they are sometimes planted and maintained as hedges.

Indoors, weeping figs grow well in containers filled with soil-based potting mix and placed in bright indirect light or sunny regions with afternoon shade. It should be watered regularly during the growing season, but it should be allowed to dry out from fall to late winter.


When growing this plant, it needs a bright room with plenty of indirect light; it may even benefit from a few hours of direct sunlight in the morning. It thrives in semi-shady settings in its natural environment, but it requires bright light to thrive indoors. You must place it in a bright, well-lit area and keep it there.


Any decent, quick-draining potting soil should suffice. Weeping figs don't need a lot of fertilizers or organic matter in their soil. Use a soil-based potting soil with perlite, sand, and vermiculite for enhanced drainage during repotting.


Keep the plant moist but not soggy; if it sits in water for too long, it can drop leaves and develop root rot. Plants in their natural environment drop their leaves at the start of the dry season, making them extremely sensitive to fluctuations in moisture. Make sure you're watering regularly.

Humidity and Temperature

Ficus trees thrive at temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Consider adjusting your thermostat to keep your home's temperature stable.

In the summer, avoid using a lot of air conditioning because weeping figs will suffer if the temperature inside falls below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Weeping figs prefer high humidity because they are tropical natives. Leaves that are dry and withered might be caused by low relative humidity.

To control humidity levels in your house, consider utilizing a humidifier. Keep the soil around the base of your tree moist and spritz the leaves now and then to keep them from drying out.


These plants require a lot of fertilizer throughout the growing season because they are big feeders. At the start of the growing season, feed your focus slow-release pellets.

They are fast growers who will benefit from fertilizing once every two months in the fall and winter and once a month in the spring and summer. If your plant is losing leaves despite having ideal lighting, temperature, humidity, and fertilizer levels, try adding magnesium and manganese to the mix.

Types of Weeping Figs 

  • F. Benjamina: This type of weeping fig has narrow, glossy green leaves and grows into a small shrub or tree. This plant is not as cold and shade tolerant as the rubber tree. F. benjamina variegata and F. Benjamina 'Starlight' are two variegated types.
  • F. Elastica: The rubber tree is known for its big, glossy leaves. The F. Elastica robusta has wide, big leaves, and the F. Elastica decora are two varieties.
  • Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata): The fig has huge, violin-shaped leaves that can grow up to 18 inches long.


If the plant is touching the ceiling or you want to make it smaller or shape it, you'll need to trim it. The importance of timing cannot be overstated: When a plant is no longer actively developing, prune it.

The majority of ficus plants are active in the spring and summer, with development slowing in the fall. By winter, the plant has gone dormant and is less prone to pruning injury.

Also, cut away dead branches and take off dead leaves to prevent the spread of illnesses or fungal infections that might harm your plant; this pruning can be done at any time of year. When pruning, use a sharp, sterilized set of pruners.

Weeping Fig Propagation

Even without rooting hormone, weeping fig cuttings can be reasonably easy to root. When you can more easily provide warmth and moisture in the spring, it's ideal for taking a trimming. Ficus is rarely grown from seed, and the majority of indoor plants never produce fruit or seed.

  1. Cut a 3 to 5-inch cutting from the tip of a healthy branch that has at least two sets of leaves. Make a 1/4-inch cut just below a set of leaves. Leaves from the lowest half of the cutting should be removed. If desired, the rooting hormone can be applied to the cut end.
  2. Place the cut end of the cutting in a damp peat moss container. Cover the container with a heavy plastic bag, making sure the bag does not contact the chopping board (sticks or skewers can prop up the bag). Close the bag by tying it around the bottom.
  3. Place the container in a bright, indirect light source that is not in direct sunlight. Maintain a temperature of at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit in the pot. To maintain high humidity levels, mist the cutting daily. If the soil feels dry at the top, moisten it.
  4. The cutting should have enough roots to allow you to cut slits in the bag to allow it to acclimatize to room conditions in two to four weeks.
  5. Transplant the cutting into a 6-inch container after six weeks and continue to grow it into a little tree.

Replanting and Potting Fig Weeping

A healthy ficus is a fast-growing plant that requires special care in its container. If your plant appears to be developing more slowly, it is most likely due to a lack of water or cold conditions.

The re-potting requirements are also dependent on how the plant is being grown—ficus is a very adaptable plant. Standard, topiary, braided standards, normal houseplants, and even bonsai are all options.

In many cases, take your signals from the plant and be prepared to repot every year. If you're repotting an existing plant or giving a new plant a more permanent home, move a weeping fig plant to a new pot in early spring.


Your weeping fig can appreciate time outside even if it is a houseplant. Weeping figs can be placed outside for the summer after the last frost date in the spring. When the weather turns chilly again, remember to bring it inside. Place the plant away from any heat vents or draughts, as the constant temperature changes will stress the plant.

Typical Pests

Aphids, mealybugs, scale, and spider mites are typical pests that produce leaf dropping factors that don't explain that. To protect your weeping fig from pests, use insecticidal soap or other natural remedies tailored to each pest.

Common Issues With Weeping Fig

Leaf drop is the most typical issue with the easy-going weeping fig. The ficus tree can lose leaves owing to a variety of factors, including 

  • Repotting 
  •  Nitrogen deficiency
  • Overwatering
  • Under-watering 
  •  Low light 
  • Plant moving to different sites regularly
  • Sitting indoors with frequent temperature fluctuations

A weeping fig tree will stop dropping its leaves once it has adjusted to its surroundings or is content with the amendments made to its soil.

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Elissa Sanci
Elissa Sanci
Elissa Sanci, the owner of the website, and senior writer of New York Garden; graduated from Santa Barbara City College – a famous public school in California with many diverse training professions, and she majored in horticulture.