Ficus benjamina: houseplant of the month for January
Big, green, plain, flaming – Ficus benjamina is an amazing indoor tree to help you through the dark months of the year.
Ficus benjamina is perfect for filling the space left by the Christmas tree. This beautiful green plant comes in many forms, and is available both with a full crown packed with small leaves, and as a more stylised plant with larger leaves. It’s also an excellent housemate, since Ficus was in the top 10 air purifying plants in a NASA study. It’s also an easy plant that needs little looking after. Do wrap it up nice and warm when you’re bringing it home from the shop though, because as a subtropical plant it’s not fond of the cold.
Ficus benjamina doesn’t just offer a choice of different shades of green and markings on the leaf. The plant also comes with exciting trunks: spiral, double spiral, woven, straight. Not only does that make the plant a real feature in the room, but also a fun eccentric that fits perfectly into the current interiors trend bursting with eye-catching and playful shapes.
If you’re looking for an attractive green personality, you’ll find Ficus benajmina to be an easy companion who will grow alongside you for years. The special air-purifying effect and the size mean that a row of Ficuses make an excellent indoor hedge or room divider. Be bang on trend by displaying the plant in a surprising pot, such as a plastic inner pot with an embroidered sleeve or a pot with exciting relief.
Caring for Ficus benjamina
- Ficus likes a light or partially light spot and hates draughts.
- Turning the pot by 90 degrees every so often allows the Ficus to grow nice and straight.
- Make sure the soil doesn’t dry out. Ficus likes slightly damp soil.
- Ficus enjoys some houseplant food with its water once a month.
- You can place the plant under the shower or out in a summer rain shower to rinse off the dust from time to time.
Ficus benjamina is a member of the mulberry family and is native to South-East Asia and Australia, where it can reach a height of 30 m. It remains more manageable indoors. It’s one of the most widely described plants in the world. Over 800 species are known, and it is estimated that there are more than 3000 varieties. The fact that it’s such an attractive and easy housemate means it’s also one of the world’s most popular houseplants.
Ficus benjamina trivia
- You can practice bonsai techniques on a Ficus benjamina to make the shape even more exciting.
- The plant has famous relatives, such as the Ashvattha (‘Holy Fig’). This fig’s unusual growing habit (roots that grow upwards and branches that grow down) means that special powers are attributed this variety.
- Ficus was one of the first plants to be brought from Asia to Europe for agricultural cultivation some 11,000 years ago.
- Ficus can go out on the patio or balcony during a spell of good summer weather.
- Ficus has a special spiritual meaning in both Buddhism and Hinduism, and has an inspirational, calming effect as a houseplant as well.
For more information see: www.thejoyofplants.co.uk
Published on: 29 December 2016