How do I care for a Ficus inside my home?


I am having difficulty maintaining a Ficus inside my home. I am unsure about the amount of sun, water, and fertilizer that it requires. I have observed gray spots on some leaves. I would appreciate any advice.


Abi Griffith, Horticulture Community Education Assistant

Following, please find a general synopsis for care of a Weeping ficus (or fig), in the winter.

Weeping ficus grow best in bright indirect or curtain-filtered sunlight. They will handle some direct sun if the humidity is high. During the winter, and times of low growth, you can let the soil dry out slightly between waterings and make sure your plant is not waterlogged or sitting in a dish filled with water.  In general, you should take care not to overwater. This plant also tolerates being slightly rootbound. Weeping figs prefer high humidity levels and warmer temperatures.  As with most houseplants, there is no need to fertilize during the winter and times of low growth. You can wash the leaves (in a shower or wiping down with warm water) every few weeks to get rid of dust and allow the plant to breathe better. This may give you an opportunity to see if there are any pests on the plant which could be stressing it out (spider mites, scales), and most often you will observe this on the underside of the leaves.

During periods of active growth (summer), keep the soil evenly moist, and you can use liquid fertilizer, of your choice, according to the label.

Following, please find links to a few fact sheets and more in depth information about the Weeping ficus or fig (Ficus benjamina), for you to look at:

Weeping ficus fact sheet
Easy houseplants – Ornamental Figs

You may also want to check out this information about houseplant care, from the Cooperative Extension – Tips for Growing Houseplants in Maine.

If the leaves with gray spots are not numerous, you can remove them and see if any of your care changes help. You can check for any evidence of pests on these leaves.

Hope this helps!