Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) is a common houseplant, but can grow outdoors in United States Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10b through 11. Indoors and out, weeping figs are grown for their 5-inch long leathery, shiny green leaves over droopy branches. Reducing the weeping fig grows up to 60 feet tall, but indoors the tree may grow in a container and be pruned to control size or trained as a bonsai. Like other plants, weeping fig has certain light requirements for optimum development.
Light and Temperature Requirements
Outside weeping figs grow well in full sunlight to partial shade and the trees are shade-tolerant. Indoor weeping figs grow best in bright sunlight filtered by curtains. After growing a weeping fig indoors, set the plant near a south- or west-facing window. The plants need warm temperatures to prosper with night temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and daytime temperatures between 75 and 85 F.
Leaf Drop and Lighting
A common issue with weeping figs is leaf drop. This can happen for many reasons and substandard lighting is one of these. After the plant encounters a change in light from bright to dark, this frequently causes significant leaf drop. You are able to move the plant to a brighter location, but present the plant to more light gradually and let it get acclimated to the narrower place in periods. For an outdoor container-grown weeping fig, put the plant on a shaded patio or porch for a couple of days before bringing indoors to reduce the risk of leaf drop.
Sunlight Duration and Intensity
The duration of sunlight is as essential as the intensity. Indoor plants, like weeping figs, need at least six or more hours of sunlight daily. If the plant does not get enough sunlight, it may have problems with development and leaf drop. Because weeping figs need filtered light, placing them in area using bright, direct light or too close to a sunny window may cause the leaves to burn.
Weeping figs can reach around 15 feet tall when grown indoors and this can cause problems with self-shading. You might have the plant in an area where it receives the appropriate amount and duration of sunlight, but because of its size, one portion of this tree is becoming sunlight when shading the rest. You might notice leaf drop on only portion of the tree. You’re able to provide light to the shaded portion of the tree by using spot lights around the base of the tree or utilize vertical grow lights which provide light in the top to bottom. It is also possible to put the tree next to a huge window, such as a terrace door.