How to Grow a Ficus Benjamin Indoors
Do you have a benjamin ( ficus benjamina ) or do you plan buying one? In that case I have some great news just for you, you better do so! Benjamins are so easy to be taken care and have few demands. And as a reward they will thank you with their luch green foliage. ( once you have this green bush of yours, create some foliage shadows on your wall ) Some care tips now:
Benjamins are considered to be some of the most popular indoor plant and "outdoor" plants. Outside is between quotation because in places with a harsh winter ( a.k.a. some regions of Greece) a benji outside of the house during the night means a frozen benji ( below -4 degrees of Celsius). As for the photosynthetic process, they need sunny spots, but not a direct exposure to sunrays. Also, they need watering 2-3 times a week when they are outdoors during the warm months and once a week when they are indoors. Water only when the surface soil dries. Moreover they love washing their leaves with water during the warm months ( = a balcony errand). However, the leaves' shower should take place in the morning/afternoon, 'cause the strong midday sunrays would burn the wet leaves. In the winter your benji will need extra humidity indoors and it's effective to put some pebbles in a tray and on these to place the benji's pot. Thus the evaporated water will be absorbed by the plant. Just make sure to leave your pot in stationary water, for your roots not to be rotten.
A good liquid fertilizer for green plants every 15 days during spring and autumn will keep your plants perky and greener. If the benjis stay permanently indoors, you can fertilize them every 30 days all year round. Prune the dried twigs and remove all the yellow leaves, so the plant will focus to the healthy and strong leaves. If your benji grows more tall than you can stand, prune its top and thus the plant will divert more energy growing its lower branches and become bushier.
:: the leaves turn yellow and fall: over watering. Allow the soil to dry and limit watering. Also if you have changed the plant's position/ pot, you should be prepared for yellow leaves until it get used to the new circumstances.
:: the leaves fall: move the plant to spot with more sun/less air streams.
:: the leaves turn yellow and have spider webs below them: spider mites (=spider like little crabs that suck the leaves' juices). Sprinkle with a special insecticide.
:: there are brown insects underside of the leaves/stems and the leaves' color is altered: grains (manges). Clean the leaves with cotton ball dipped in alcohol or with a special insecticide.