How to Grow and Care for Ficus Audrey (2023)

For those who have loved and lost the finicky fiddle leaf fig, we introduce ficus Audrey (Ficus benghalensis). A close relative of the fiddle leaf fig, ficus Audrey is easier to grow and care for indoors and has a similar growth habit and appearance. However, it can be distinguished from the fiddle leaf by its smaller, slightly fuzzy oblong leaves and smooth, light-colored trunk. Similar to fiddle leaf figs and other relatives in the Ficus genus, ficus Audrey is considered toxic to pets so be sure to keep it out of reach of any curious fur babies

Fun Fact

Recognized as the national tree of India, ficus Audrey is also commonly known as the banyan tree. In the wild, the banyan tree grows long aerial roots that can reach from the canopy all the way to the ground and become supportive trunks. This means that the tree can actually grow wider than it is tall over time, which is no small feat considering it can grow up to 100 feet tall. Some mature banyan trees stretch over acres!

Botanical NameFicus benghalensis
Common NameFicus Audrey, banyan tree, strangler fig
FamilyMoraceae
Plant TypeTree
Mature Size5-10 ft. indoors, 65-100 ft. outdoors
Sun ExposurePartial
Soil TypeMoist but well-drained
Soil pHAcidic
Hardiness Zones9-11, US
Native AreaAsia

Ficus Audrey Care

While it is easier to grow than the fiddle leaf fig, ficus Audrey usually isn't considered a beginner plant as it still requires some specific attention and care. Proper light and watering are the most important elements to get right when it comes to keeping this tree happy indoors. Plus, it benefits from regular pruning to help keep its size and shape in check.

Tip

Dust and debris can build up quickly on the leaves of this ficus tree. Make sure you dust the leaves of your ficus Audrey regularly to ensure that the leaves can photosynthesize properly. Avoid using commercially-available leaf shine as this can damage the fuzzy leaves. Instead, use a damp washcloth to gently clean the leaves.

How to Grow and Care for Ficus Audrey (1)

How to Grow and Care for Ficus Audrey (2)

(Video) Loving Your Ficus Audrey | The Plant Doctor | Apartment Therapy

Light

Choose a location that receives several hours of bright, indirect light for your ficus Audrey, such as a south or west-facing window. This indoor tree can tolerate some direct morning and evening sun, just be sure to avoid extended periods of direct sunlight during the afternoon as it may burn the leaves.

Soil

Plant your ficus Audrey in a moist but well-draining soil mixture. A combination of indoor potting soil, perlite, and sand is a good option for this tree.

Water

Allow the top 2 to 3 inches of soil to dry between waterings and then water thoroughly. Ficus Audrey does best in consistently moist soil and should never be allowed to dry out completely.

Temperature and Humidity

Native to India, ficus Audrey is accustomed to warm, humid conditions. It does well in typical household temperatures, just ensure that it is not exposed to temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Standard household humidity levels are also usually fine, although be sure to keep this tropical plant away from drafty windows or AC/heat vents that may dry out the air around it. If your ficus is showing signs of drying out (such as browning edges on the leaves) placing a humidifier nearby or moving the plant into a humid room such as a bathroom or laundry room will help.

Fertilizer

Ficus Audrey appreciates regular fertilizing during its active growing period. Fertilize once a month from the early spring to early fall with a balanced liquid fertilizer. You can also add natural fertilizers such as compost, worm castings, or bone/blood meal to the soil of.

Pruning

Since ficus Audrey can grow up to 10 feet tall indoors, pruning is a necessary part of caring for this indoor tree. Not only will pruning help to control the size of your plant, but it encourages the tree to branch more vigorously which will make it more aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound.

It is best to prune in the spring or summer months when the ficus Audrey is in its active growing period. Before you start, make sure that you lay down a protective sheet below the plant. Similar to its cousin the rubber tree, pruning causes this ficus to expels a thin latex-like sap that is extremely sticky. Keep any stem cuttings that you remove during pruning and repurpose them for propagation!

These indoor trees do not need vigorous pruning every year, but pruning a few branches will control the shape and encourage a fuller appearance. Target any branches that are leggy or give your plant a lopsided appearance. If your tree doesn’t have any branches yet and is just a single tall stalk, you can cut the top of the stalk off wherever you would like branching to start.

Propagating Ficus Audrey

In the wild ficus Audrey propagates readily through seed and offshoots, but indoors it is easiest to propagate this tree by stem cuttings. If you have ever propagated a fiddle leaf fig or rubber tree the process for this ficus is pretty much the same. Make sure that you lay down a sheet and wear protective gloves before getting started to avoid getting the Audrey’s sticky sap on yourself and the surfaces around you. Follow these simple steps to propagate ficus Audrey.

(Video) Ficus Audrey - Houseplant of the Week

  1. Identify a spot along the stem that you would like to propagate. Ensure that each stem cutting will have at least 2 to 3 leaves.
  2. Using a pair of sharp, sterilized pruning shears or scissors, cut the stem to separate it from the main plant.
  3. Prepare a small pot with well-draining potting soil and moisten it slightly with a spray bottle.
  4. Add a rooting hormone to the end of each cutting and push the end of the cutting into the soil mix.
  5. Place a plastic bag over the pot to create a greenhouse-like environment and put the cutting(s) in a location that receives bright, indirect light. Water as needed to ensure that the soil stays moist.
  6. After 3 to 4 weeks roots should begin to grow, and you can remove the plastic bag.

Potting and Repotting Ficus Audrey

Ficus Audrey does not require regular repotting and does well in the same container for 2 to 3 years at a time. It doesn't mind being a bit rootbound, and should only be repotted once you see signs that the roots are outgrowing the container (such as roots growing through the pot's drainage holes).

Once you have determined it is time to repot, it is best to do so in the spring or summer months. Choose a new pot for that is around 2 to 3 inches wider. You want to avoid increasing the pot size by more than 3 inches as this can lead to overwatering. Remove the tree from its previous container and gently loosen some of the old soil around the roots before moving it to its new pot. Add fresh well-draining soil to the pot, keeping the rootball at the same level as in the original pot. Then water your freshly planted ficus Audrey well and return it to its original location.

If you are trying to control the size of of the plant and do not want it to grow any taller, you can choose to refresh the soil but not increase the pot size. You will need to prune back the roots at this time so the tree can continue to grow in its original container.

Common Pests

Ficus Audrey is prone to sap-sucking pests that love its sticky sap. Keep an eye out for pests like mealybugs, scale, and aphids. Although they aren’t a sap-sucking pest, fungus gnats can also be a problem as they love to lay their eggs in moist soil. Check for pests as part of your regular care routine in order to catch potential infestations early.

Common Problems With Ficus Audrey

The most common problems with growing a ficus Audrey indoors usually come from improper watering. Compared to other ficus trees, the Audrey is relatively resilient to some occasional over- or under-watering. However, it will suffer over the long term if it is not cared for properly. Here are a couple of things to watch out for.

Leaves Turning Yellow

Yellow leaves can be the result of a couple of different problems. First, if you notice one or two older leaves yellowing and falling off this could just be a natural part of the tree’s life cycle. It is normal for older leaves to fall off eventually. However, if you notice newer or an unusual number of leaves turning yellow and falling off, this is likely due to either over- or under-watering.

Dropping Leaves

While ficus Audrey is less fussy than its relative, the fiddle leaf fig, they both share the habit of dramatically dropping leaves if their watering schedule is off. If your ficus Audrey is dropping leaves it is most likely because it is under-watered. While these trees can tolerate a short period of drought after each watering, they should not dry out completely and will start to drop leaves if they dry out too much. A good watering should stop leaves from dropping.

FAQ

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(Video) Saving My Boyfriends Ficus Audrey | spider mites, repot, and root rot?

FAQs

How do you take care of a ficus Audrey plant? ›

Ficus Audrey prefer soil that is consistently and evenly moist, with small periods of drought between waterings. Allow the top 2”-3” of the soil to dry between waterings. Allowing the soil to dry more than a few inches will lead to leaf loss.

How do I encourage my ficus to grow Audrey? ›

Humidity: Moderate humidity and regular misting during Summer will be beneficial. A good level of humidity contributes to healthy growth and larger leaves on your Ficus Audrey. Temperature: Ideal temperatures range between 16-25°C, try to avoid sudden drops in temperature and be wary of draughts and open windows.

What kind of soil does Audrey ficus like? ›

Make sure to plant your ficus Audrey in a light, well-aerated, fast-draining soil. Cactus soil with extra perlite mixed in can work well.

Are Audrey ficus hard to care for? ›

Like its sister variety, the Fiddle Leaf Fig, the Ficus Audrey is not considered to be entirely low-maintenance- but it is well worth the effort to care for and maintain this gorgeous tree. Read on to learn all you need to know about caring for and growing a stunning Ficus Audrey.

Why are the leaves falling off my ficus Audrey? ›

If your Ficus Audrey begins to drop leaves, it's a sign she is not happy Jan, so try moving her to a spot that has more light. If that doesn't help after a couple of weeks, you could be over or under watering so try and change up your watering routine.

How often do you water Audrey ficus? ›

You'll want to let the first 1 to 2 inches of its topsoil dry out completely between waterings. Depending on the amount of sunlight yours gets, you'll probably have to give it a good watering once a week during growing season and once every other week during winter.

How can I make my ficus grow faster? ›

If you grow a ficus outdoors, it grows most quickly when it's in full sun for at least part of each day, and slows its growth rate if sited in partial or full shade. Whether a houseplant or an outdoor plant, you can help boost the growth rate of a plant in low light by moving it into brighter light.

Should I mist my ficus Audrey? ›

Humidity Needs

Can adapt to average room humidity, but will thrive in higher humidity, especially in the summer or hot, dry conditions (like near a heater). Your Ficus Audrey will also appreciate occasional misting to help remove dust from their large leaves.

How often do you fertilize ficus Audrey? ›

You can start fertilizing your Ficus Audrey once it has been growing in its place for a year. It will respond well to a monthly dose of balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer. Fertilize this plant only during the growing season, and don't forget to dilute, as overfeeding can lead to plant damage.

Where do you put Audrey ficus? ›

Not unlike its cousin the fiddle-leaf fig, ficus Audrey prefers bright, indirect light, so place it in front of an east-facing window or a couple of feet from a south- or west-facing window.

How long does it take a ficus Audrey to grow? ›

After some period of time, say, 3 to 4 weeks, the leaves should begin sprouting. If you're looking to grow your Ficus Audrey outdoors, remember to transplant it as soon as new leaves begin to bloom.

When should I repot my ficus? ›

Potting and Repotting Ficus Trees

Repot only every other year to slow growth and keep the plant a manageable size. Check to see if the roots are coming out of the drainage holes and if so, repot. Repotting is best in the springtime when the plant is growing.

Does ficus Audrey like to be root bound? ›

Potting and Repotting Ficus Audrey

It doesn't mind being a bit rootbound, and should only be repotted once you see signs that the roots are outgrowing the container (such as roots growing through the pot's drainage holes). Once you have determined it is time to repot, it is best to do so in the spring or summer months.

Which ficus is easiest to care for? ›

The Rubber plant (Ficus elastica), or Rubber tree, is a very popular species of leafy indoor plant from the ficus genus. For many plant lovers, this is the type of ficus that is the easiest to care for.

How much light does a ficus Audrey need? ›

The Best Light Exposure for Ficus Audrey Plants Grown Indoors. Ficus Audrey plants thrive in bright indirect sunlight or areas where they get up to 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. They do not grow well in areas that receive low light or too much shade.

Can a ficus come back after losing all leaves? ›

A few leaves dropping off a ficus tree will not hurt it and they will regrow, but if your ficus is losing more than a few leaves, the following reasons could be why: Change in environment – The most common cause for dropping ficus leaves is that its environment has changed.

Are coffee grounds good for ficus trees? ›

If the pH falls far out of this range, ficus trees may have difficulty absorbing nutrients from the soil. The perfect pH for a ficus is 6.5-7. Anything under 6 will be too acidic. Brewed coffee has a pH of from 5.2 to 6.9, so depending on the coffee, it could be harmful to your fiddle leaf fig.

What does an overwatered ficus tree look like? ›

Overwatering sometimes causes root rot. Symptoms can develop within 7 to 10 days and include yellow lower leaves, wilting, leaf drop and brown, soft roots.

How tall can a ficus Audrey get? ›

How tall does the Audrey ficus get? I mentioned that this plant can grow to be up to 100 feet tall in its natural habitat with an even wider canopy. However, you can expect it to grow up to 8–10 feet max indoors. And this is with ideal care, too.

Does ficus Audrey purify air? ›

This plant filters airborne toxins and is part of our clean air plant collection.

How do you use neem oil on Audrey ficus? ›

Simply spray the entire plant—leaves, stems, and soil— with neem oil once a week until there are no more signs of pests on the plant. There is no need to wipe it off. Be careful— some neem oil comes in concentrate and will require diluting. Our Super Neem Oil is pre-diluted and ready to use.

Is Miracle Grow good for ficus? ›

Fertilizing. Ficus trees are rapid growers, and they require adequate nutrients in order to grow well. Fertilize once a month in the spring and summer, and once every two months in the fall and winter. A general Miracle Gro All-Purpose Plant Food will suffice; follow the instructions on the box for appropriate amounts.

What is the best fertilizer for ficus? ›

What fertilizer should I use for ficus trees? The best fertilizer for ficus trees is a balanced blend, such as 8-8-8, applied monthly in spring and summer and every other month in fall and winter.

How can I make my ficus grow thicker? ›

Prune your ficus in the spring if you want it to grow fuller. If you've noticed excessively thin areas on your ficus, pruning can encourage branching. Try trimming your ficus in early springtime to encourage branch and foliage growth during the next season.

Can you propagate a ficus Audrey? ›

PROPAGATION: Water propagation is simple with a Ficus Audrey! Prepare your materials first by cleaning your garden shears, gloves, and paper towels. Cut a young branch with 4 to 5 leaves at the base right up against the trunk of three. Be careful as the cuts will produce a sap that is a skin irritant.

Is Ficus Audrey a rubber plant? ›

Ficus Audrey bears a striking resemblance to the rubber plant, but it swaps out the glossy, moody, burgundy leaves for some that are small, matte, and emerald green; and the leggy and dark trunk for one that's thick and white, almost birch-like.

Why are ficus leaves curling? ›

Low humidity or dry air will increase moisture loss from leaves. In response, your Ficus elastica will curl its leaves inward or upward to help reduce the loss. The tell-tale signs of low humidity include leaves with crispy brown tips and edges, increased water needs, drooping and wilting, stunted growth, etc.

When should I repot my ficus Audrey? ›

The ideal time to repot your Ficus Audrey plant would be in the early spring. This is when your plant actively starts growing after its rest in the winter. Springtime is your Ficus' strongest season. You can repot any time of year if you need to repot urgently due to stunted growth or pest and disease issues.

Why does my ficus Audrey have brown spots? ›

Ficus Audrey Leaves Turning Brown

Leaves of ficus Audrey will turn brown when the plant is not getting enough water or when the humidity level is too low.

How often do you water a ficus tree? ›

The Ficus plant prefers to dry out some between watering, but do not let the soil completely dry out. We recommend that you water your tree every 5 to 7 days, or when the top inch of soil is dry.

Should I mist my ficus Audrey? ›

Humidity Needs

Can adapt to average room humidity, but will thrive in higher humidity, especially in the summer or hot, dry conditions (like near a heater). Your Ficus Audrey will also appreciate occasional misting to help remove dust from their large leaves.

Where do you put Audrey Ficus? ›

Choose a location that receives several hours of bright, indirect light for your ficus Audrey, such as a south or west-facing window. This indoor tree can tolerate some direct morning and evening sun, just be sure to avoid extended periods of direct sunlight during the afternoon as it may burn the leaves.

How often do you water a ficus plant? ›

The Ficus plant prefers to dry out some between watering, but do not let the soil completely dry out. We recommend that you water your tree every 5 to 7 days, or when the top inch of soil is dry.

When should I repot my ficus Audrey? ›

The ideal time to repot your Ficus Audrey plant would be in the early spring. This is when your plant actively starts growing after its rest in the winter. Springtime is your Ficus' strongest season. You can repot any time of year if you need to repot urgently due to stunted growth or pest and disease issues.

How often do you fertilize ficus Audrey? ›

You can start fertilizing your Ficus Audrey once it has been growing in its place for a year. It will respond well to a monthly dose of balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer. Fertilize this plant only during the growing season, and don't forget to dilute, as overfeeding can lead to plant damage.

Which ficus is easiest to care for? ›

The Rubber plant (Ficus elastica), or Rubber tree, is a very popular species of leafy indoor plant from the ficus genus. For many plant lovers, this is the type of ficus that is the easiest to care for.

How tall can a ficus Audrey get? ›

How tall does the Audrey ficus get? I mentioned that this plant can grow to be up to 100 feet tall in its natural habitat with an even wider canopy. However, you can expect it to grow up to 8–10 feet max indoors. And this is with ideal care, too.

How can I make my ficus grow faster? ›

If you grow a ficus outdoors, it grows most quickly when it's in full sun for at least part of each day, and slows its growth rate if sited in partial or full shade. Whether a houseplant or an outdoor plant, you can help boost the growth rate of a plant in low light by moving it into brighter light.

How long does it take a ficus Audrey to grow? ›

After some period of time, say, 3 to 4 weeks, the leaves should begin sprouting. If you're looking to grow your Ficus Audrey outdoors, remember to transplant it as soon as new leaves begin to bloom.

Does ficus Audrey purify air? ›

This plant filters airborne toxins and is part of our clean air plant collection.

What is the best fertilizer for ficus? ›

What fertilizer should I use for ficus trees? The best fertilizer for ficus trees is a balanced blend, such as 8-8-8, applied monthly in spring and summer and every other month in fall and winter.

How do I know if my ficus needs water? ›

Drainage and a watering schedule

Water your ficus when the top two to three inches of the soil dries out—you can easily measure this by using the first two knuckles on your finger. The larger the plant, the more water it needs. A plant in a 12-inch pot needs at least 1-1.5 liters of water a week in the summer.

Are coffee grounds good for ficus trees? ›

If the pH falls far out of this range, ficus trees may have difficulty absorbing nutrients from the soil. The perfect pH for a ficus is 6.5-7. Anything under 6 will be too acidic. Brewed coffee has a pH of from 5.2 to 6.9, so depending on the coffee, it could be harmful to your fiddle leaf fig.

What is the best soil for ficus? ›

Plant your ficus tree in a humus-rich, well-drained potting medium, augmented with one-third cactus potting mix or bark chips to improve drainage.

How much sun does a ficus Audrey need? ›

The Best Light Exposure for Ficus Audrey Plants Grown Indoors. Ficus Audrey plants thrive in bright indirect sunlight or areas where they get up to 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. They do not grow well in areas that receive low light or too much shade.

Is Ficus Audrey a rubber plant? ›

Ficus Audrey bears a striking resemblance to the rubber plant, but it swaps out the glossy, moody, burgundy leaves for some that are small, matte, and emerald green; and the leggy and dark trunk for one that's thick and white, almost birch-like.

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