Ficus Audrey (Ficus benghalensis) is the low maintenance version of the Fiddle-Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata). With Ficus Audrey, you will still be able to make a bold statement and add drama to your interior space without the high maintenance care of Fiddle-Leaf Fig. If you are looking for a good centerpiece houseplant that kind of looks like a tree then Ficus Audrey is for you.
Similar to the Fiddle-Leaf Fig, Ficus Audrey is a big, evergreen indoor tree. It is not as sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and inconsistent watering as the Fiddle-Leaf Fig. Here is a guide on how to take care of your Ficus Audrey.
Ficus Audrey Infographic
10 Tips on How to Take Care of Your Ficus Audrey
1. Your Ficus Audrey is Happiest in Bright Indirect Light
Ficus Audreys will thrive in a bright area with indirect sunlight. Too much shade will result in poor growth. You can filter direct sunlight using sheer blinds or curtains. Filter intense afternoon sun. Direct sun from south facing windows will also need to be filtered.
2. Moderate Water is Best for Ficus Audrey
Water your Ficus Audrey when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it is time to water your Ficus Audrey is to feel the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water your Ficus Audrey. If the soil is wet, then don’t water your Ficus Audrey.
Also take into account the environment, if it’s in the middle of summer you can probably water your Ficus Audrey more frequently. If it’s during winter you can err on the side of less frequent watering.
3. Plant Your Ficus Audrey in Organic Soil
Ficus Audrey needs a well-draining, organic potting mix. Only buy organic soil mix because the fertilizer is not as concentrated in organic soil. Non-organic soil should really only be used for outdoor plants.
4. Fertilize Your Ficus Audrey
Ficus Audrey should be fertilized once a month when it is actively growing. When it’s dormant, during the fall and winter, don’t fertilize.
5. Don’t forget to Repot Your Ficus Audrey
Repot your Ficus Audrey every year. Buy a large, heavy pot, around 4 inches larger (diameter) than the current pot. If you have a big Ficus Audrey plant, get a heavy pot so it doesn’t topple over. Make sure you buy a pot that has drainage holes at the bottom so water doesn’t accumulate and cause root rot.
Know that repotting your Ficus Audrey will make it grow larger. When it reaches the size you want it to be at, you should stop repotting your Ficus Audrey.
6. Drainage is Essential for Ficus Audrey
After watering your Ficus Audrey Plant and you see some water draining out of the pot’s drainage holes, make sure you empty out the accumulated water in the saucer. Don’t let your Ficus Audrey’s pot sit in this puddle of water. It will cause root rot!
7. Ficus Audrey Has Tropical Temperature Requirements
Your Ficus Audrey is a tropical plant. It needs to have daytime temperatures of 70F to 80 Fahrenheit (21-26C). Nighttime temperature should be at 60-70 Fahrenheit (15-21 C).
8. Keep Your Ficus Audrey Dust Free
Dust accumulates on your Ficus Audrey leaves overtime. The layer of dust decreases the plant’s ability to photosynthesize. Periodically wiping down the leaves of your Ficus Audrey with a damp cloth will help keep your plant healthy. You can also use a duster or dry duster cloth to wipe off the layer of dust on leaves.
9. Humidity is Vital for Your Ficus Audrey
Your Ficus Audrey is a tropical plant that thrives in humid conditions. Indoor air can be drying. Make sure you do your best to increase indoor humidity. You can do this by spraying your Ficus Audrey with water twice a week. Turn on the humidifier. Keep Ficus Audrey in a saucer filled with water. But make sure the pot is elevated with pot feet or pebbles so your Ficus Audrey is not sitting directly on the water.
10. Rotate Your Ficus Periodically
You should occasionally rotate your Ficus Audrey so all sides get the same amount of light exposure. If you don’t rotate, your Ficus Audrey will start leaning over to one side.
Related: How to Care for Your Rubber Tree Plant (Ficus elastica)
3 Common Ficus Audrey Problems
Common problems that affect Ficus Audrey are spider mites, leaf drop and leaf spot fungus.
1. Yellow and Brown Spots with Spider-Like Webs on Leaves and Stems
Problem: There are yellow and brown spots on the leaves of your Ficus Audrey. You also see spider web-like webbing on the leaves and stem.
Cause: The spider webbing and yellow and brown spots are signs of spider mites attacking your Ficus Audrey. Spider mites are tiny pests that are too small to see with your bare eyes.
Solution: To treat spider mites on Ficus Audrey, spray off the leaves with water from a garden hose. The force will cause the little spider mites to wash off the leaves. You can also wash mites off with soapy water or rubbing alcohol. There are also horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps that you can use to kill off spider mites.
Check out our article on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap
2. Ficus Audrey Leaves are Falling Off
Problem: Leaves are falling off your Ficus Audrey. It’s normal to occasionally see one or two old leaves drop from your Ficus Audrey but if a lot of leaves fall off all at once that is a sure sign that something is wrong.
Cause: Ficus Audrey leaves dropping can be caused by overwatering. The leaves dropping can also be a result of being too cold.
Solution: Investigate to find out exactly what is causing your Ficus Audrey leaves to drop. Below is a list of things to look for.
- Did you move your Ficus Audrey to a new location? It may not be happy there causing the leaves to drop. Move your Ficus Audrey to a different location.
- Is your Ficus Audrey too close to the HVAC vent? That fluctuation in temperature can be causing the leaves to drop. Move your Ficus Audrey away from the HVAC vent.
- Are you overwatering your Ficus Audrey? Overwatering can result in Ficus Audrey leaves to drop.
- What is the daytime and nighttime temperature of the room, is it suitable for your Ficus Audrey? Your Ficus Audrey can also drop leaves if it’s too cold.
You will need to investigate using trial and error to pinpoint what is causing the leaves to drop from your Ficus Audrey.
3. Black and Brown Spots on the Leaves of Your Ficus Audrey
Problem: There are roundish black and brown spots on the leaves of your Ficus Audrey.
Cause: This could be a sign of leaf spot fungus infection. Leaf spot fungus is contagious because the fungus spores can travel in the air to infect other plants in the room.
Solution: When you see these black and brown spots on the leaves of your Ficus Audrey, immediately cut off the infected leaves and throw it away.
You can also spray your Ficus Audrey with a homemade baking soda spray to prevent new infections. To make the baking soda spray, simply mix 1 teaspoon baking soda to 1 quart water and put it in a spray bottle. Don’t overspray since it can get in the soil. The key is to remove the infected leaves and that should hopefully stop the spread.
Ficus Audrey at a Glance
|Scientific Name||Ficus benghalensis|
|Light||Bright Indirect Light|
|Daytime Temperature||70 to 80 F (21-26C)|
|Night Time Temperature||60 to 70 F (15-21C)|
|Potting||Well-draining, organic, all-purpose potting soil|
|Fertilizer||Once every 2 weeks at half strength but not in the Fall or Winter|
Other Ficus Audrey Facts
Ficus Audrey Size
Ficus Audrey are large plants that can grow to 8 to 10 feet tall. You will need a heavy pot for your Ficus Audrey so it doesn’t topple over.
Ficus Audrey is also called Banyan tree. Banyan tree is the national tree of India.
Ficus Audrey in Bonsai Form
Ficus Audrey is also popular as a bonsai. It is appealing as a bonsai because Ficus Audrey looks like a miniature tree.
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