Ficus benjamina (Weeping fig): Classification, Distribution, Description, Use, and Management

Ficus benjamina (Weeping fig): Classification, Distribution, Description, Use, and Management


Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Rosales

Family: Moraceae

Scientific name: Ficus benjamina

 Common name(s): Weeping fig


In Latin, English, and other languages, Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig) has several synonyms. Many of the names are derived from its propensity for weeping. It stands out as a highly unique but occasionally overlarge street tree in Sydney. It is, however, possibly best recognized as a bonsai or indoor plant. One of the reasons for its numerous different names is its extensive tropical distribution, which stretches from Northern Australia to India.

Ficus benjamina has traditionally been used to cure a variety of illnesses. Ficus benjamina is used to treat inflammation, wound healing, headaches, syphilis, diarrhoea, and fever, as well as as a tonic. Inflammation, skin problems, cancer, leprosy, malaria, ulcers, and other ailments are treated using this plant’s fruit extract by indigenous people.


The Ficus benjamina L. is a fig tree that is native to a large region that includes India, China, Southeast Asia, Malaysia, the Philippines, the South Pacific, and the northern part of Australia (Riffle, 1998), and has been widely introduced as part of urban tree planting programs in many tropical and subtropical countries due to its ornamental value and adaptability to urban environments. F. benjamina is now found in a variety of cities throughout the world, including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Spain, the United States, Mexico, Turkey, Paraguay, Pakistan, the Dominican Republic, Singapore, Venezuela, mention a few.


1. This is a massive tree that can reach a height of 60 feet and a width of 60 to 100 feet.

2. The weeping fig was once quite popular as a landscaping tree because of its rich, rounded canopy and gently hanging limbs.

3. The small figs gradually turn a yellow, orange, or dark crimson when mature, and the thick, lustrous, two to four-inch-long evergreen leaves liberally coat the long branches.

4. Branches will weep toward the ground, creating a dense canopy beneath which nothing can grow.


 Height: 40 to 60 feet tall

Spread: 60 to 100 feet spread

Uniformity of the crown: symmetrical

Crown shape: Weeping, round, and spreading crown

Crown density: Crown density is high.

Growth rate: Fast rate of growth

Fine texture Alternate leaf arrangement in the foliage

Simple leaf type

Leaf undulate, whole-leaf margin, Narrowly lanceolate to ovate leaf shape, pinnate leaf venation, Evergreen leaves with a long life span, 2 to 4 inches long leaf blades

Leaf colour: Dark to medium green on top, with a lustrous sheen, and a paler green beneath.No colour change in the fall


Color of flower: unknown

Flower characteristics: not spectacular; blooms in bunches within the tree’s syconium.


Fruits are spherical. Fruit size ranges from 1/3 to 1/2 inch in length. Fleshy fig as a fruit cover, When mature, the colour of the fruit changes from green to yellow, orange, or dark red.

Fruit characteristics: Does not attract wildlife, not spectacular, trash problem with fruit/leaves

Chemical constituents

Plants are said to have a variety of bioactive phytoconstituents that function in conjunction with fibres and nutrients to act as a defensive system against a variety of illnesses. Phytoconstituents may be primary or secondary metabolites of the plant, and they may be produced in response to stress. Primary metabolites include carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, and chlorophyll; secondary metabolites include alkaloids, glycosides, terpenoids, tannins, and other compounds. Pharmacological and phytochemical studies on the fruits of Ficus benjamina are possible. This plant has some sporadic phytochemical reports. Phytochemical screening of several extracts of Ficus benjamina fruits was therefore thought to be worthwhile.

Use and Management

The tree’s fruit can stain automobiles and walkways, it should not be placed near streets, footpaths, or parking lots. As the fruit falls to the ground, it creates quite a mess around the tree. The tree is far too huge for home planting unless as a hedge or trimmed screen, but it can be observed growing into massive trees in parks and other large-scale places. Aerial roots fall from the branches, touch the ground, and take root, eventually forming a tangle of strong trunks that can block up a landscape. In this manner, trees can grow to be quite huge and spread.

Roots invade gardens quickly, spreading beneath and lifting walkways, patios, and roads. Fertile fruit has just germinated in several landscapes in south Florida, according to reports. This is a cause for concern since it gives the tree the capacity to spread and become a noxious weed, which is something that south Florida desperately needs. Weeping fig can be used as a clipped hedge or screen, and is probably best employed in this manner, or trained into an espalier or topiary, and can survive severe pruning. Young trees are frequently cultivated in containers and can be found on patios, entranceways, and even indoors.

Weeping figs thrive in full sun or partial shade, and any well-drained soil. Plants should be watered carefully when they are young, as well as during droughts. Plants are extremely vulnerable to frost. The wavy-edged leaves of the cultivar ‘Exotica’ have long, twisted ends. Other Ficus species, such as Ficus rubiginosa, do not generate aerial roots and are better suited as shade trees in the landscape since they do not take over the landscape as the weeping fig does. Cuttings or layering are used for propagation.


Question: What is the Scientific Name of Weeping fig?

Ans: Ficus benjamina

Question: What is the common name of Ficus benjamina?

Ans: Weeping fig

Question: Where is the Weeping fig found in India?

Ans: Weeping fig Ficus benjamina (Linn.) is found in the forests of India’s eastern Himalayas.

Question: What are the various conditions to care Weeping Fig?  

Ans: Light: The light is bright. Ficus may lose the majority of its internal leaves if the light level is too low, leaving only a few leaves at the branch tips. Before watering, allow the soil to dry out. Allow for no more than a few minutes in a saucer of water. The amount of water required in the summer versus the winter may be significantly different.

Pruning and repotting: The weeping fig can withstand being completely confined to its pot. After repotting a weeping fig, some leaf drop is expected. Regular trimming, preferably in the early spring to allow for regrowth during the summer, can keep the size of the tree under check. The Ficus can be pruned severely (by half) and will recover well.

The weeping fig has a peculiar propensity of dropping leaves as its environment changes, so be assured that it WILL drop leaves once you get it home (or inside from outside, or outside from inside, or after repotting) and that this is natural. Only a third to half of the leaves fall off, and the rest regenerate. Look at the surroundings (water, temperature, light, and humidity) and modify anything that might be causing a problem if a higher percentage of leaves fall quickly. Ficus thrive in the summertime, and while they can withstand some direct sunlight, they like to be shaded. It’s critical to gradually adapt to sunny conditions, or the leaves may scorch (appearing to be bleached) and fall. Start with full shade, then go into the brighter shade every 3 to 5 days, then filtered sun, then a few hours of early sun, and so on. Formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene are all removed from the air by F. benjamina.

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