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Ficus spp

Ficus benjamina, Weeping Fig

click pic to enlarge

Zone 10 or common Houseplant

Ficus of all varieties are the most over planted tree/hedge plants in South Florida. One plant left to grow alone looks like the tree above which is still VERY young and has been on the "don't plant" list of the State of Florida for years

The reasons include their size, and their aggressive roots...

click pic to enlarge

and ability to squeeze out almost all types of other trees and shrubs as they grow

Other varieties to show size, one plant

The world's largest tree is a ficus growing in India covering an astonishing 550 acres !!!

Ground roots are often exceeded by aerial roots 

There are many varieties of this ficus available:

  • Ficus benjamina - Weeping Fig
  • Ficus benjamina - Braided Ficus
  • Ficus benjamina - Braided Weeping Fig
  • Ficus benjamina - Corkscrew
  • Ficus benjamina - Exotica
  • Ficus benjamina - Indigo pp#9491
  • Ficus benjamina - Jacqueline
  • Ficus benjamina - Little Gem
  • Ficus benjamina - Monique pp#8637
  • Ficus benjamina - Spire
  • Ficus benjamina - Too Little pp#8939
  • Ficus benjamina - Variegata
  • Ficus benjamina - Wintergreen

Almost every benjamina bought and planted ends up in a hedge. They look great to start, usually planted 3-feet on center. They are desired for their fast growth and thick foliage which provides privacy. However, it is their fast growth and roots that causes the problems as well.  More roots

The main point is that ONE plant in the hedge wants to grow up to be the tree in the photos. You get the idea

Care of ficus is not an issue. Plant, water to establish and forget about further attention. Even fertilizer seems to be optional. Indoors, be sure to provide maximum light and consistent warmth and fairly moist soil. A newly acquired  ficus houseplant may decline

Some exotic ficus trees include:

Other ficus varieties commonly locally sold:

  • Ficus - Fig
  • Ficus altissima - Loft Fig
  • Ficus aurea - Stranger Fig
  • Ficus benghalensis - Banyan Tree
  • Ficus binnendijkii
  • Ficus binnendijkii 'Alii'
  • Ficus buxifolia x Ficus lingua
  • Ficus carica - Edible Fig
  • Ficus citrifolia - Short Leaf Fig
  • Ficus cyathistipula
  • Ficus elastica 'Ahahi'
  • Ficus elastica 'Cabernet'
  • Ficus elastica 'Melany'
  • Ficus elastica 'Robusta'
  • Ficus elastica 'Tineke'
  • Ficus lyrata - Fiddle Leaf Fig
  • Ficus macleilandii 'Alii'
  • Ficus microcarpa - Indian/Cuban Laurel
  • Ficus microcarpa crasifolia
  • Ficus nerifolia - 'Mexicana'
  • Ficus nitida
  • Ficus pandurata / Ficus lyrata
  • Ficus retusa - Indian Laurel
  • Ficus rubiginosa - Rusty Fig
  • Ficus salicaria

But ficus, including many thousands of miles of Florida ficus hedges, seem to be in serious trouble.  All ficus now have a serious enemy, the newly found/introduced Fig Whitefly or Ficus Whitefly

Another up-to-date info source is here

If you get infected, you need to act fast to try control.  If you shake the plant and get a cloud of white (flies), you are infected.  The initial appearance is rapid defoliation ...heavy leaf loss