The gorgeous large-leaved Ficus Audrey adds drama and height to any large space big enough to accommodate this Indian tree. As they can grow to about 10 feet in an indoor pot, do bear in mind that you will probably have to prune your Ficus to keep it looking its majestic best!
Our complete guide to growing and caring for this striking tree will tell you everything you need to know about growing and caring for your Ficus Audrey.
What Is a Ficus Audrey?
Ficus Audrey is a variety of Ficus Benghalensis. This evergreen tree’s common names include Banyan Tree, Indian Banyan tree, Peepal or Banyan Fig. It belongs to the mulberry family of Moraceae.
Ficus Benghalensis comes from India and Pakistan where it is loved for its shade-giving huge canopy and the characteristic fuzzy surface of its leaves. This Ficus grows into an enormous tree in its native habitat.
The tree is considered sacred in India as local belief and lore say it was under a Banyan Tree that Buddha took on enlightenment. The (Ficus benghalensis) is the national tree of India and can grow into an enormous tree with a dense and large canopy. They are loved in hot and humid India for their deep shade.
How To Grow Ficus Audrey
Like most house or garden plants, there are three factors to consider when growing Ficus Audrey. Light, humidity and temperature.
The said plant prefers bright indirect light, so next to an east-facing window is a good place. In the garden, don’t grow it near your walls as its roots are strangling and invasive. This tree needs a lot of space in the garden and should be grown in a free-standing spot.
Ideally, the plant needs an average temperature of 70°C.
More importantly, this plant needs some humidity. So you can either group it with other indoor plants or place it on a pebble tray which is cheaper than buying a humidifier.
To grow Ficus Audrey from cuttings, follow these steps:
- Step 1: You will need a sharp and clean pair of scissors or small pruning shears and a pot with a good rooting mixture.
- Step 2: Snip a new branch and leave 2 leaves on the cutting.
- Step 3: Wet the cutting and dip it into rooting hormone powder, the one for non-woody stems is best.
- Step 4: Plant your cutting in a rooting mixture in a pot and water. Roots should begin developing after a few weeks.
Plant it into your chosen pot or out in the garden.
When To Plant Ficus Audrey
Plant Ficus Audrey in the spring for the best results.
Where To Plant Ficus Audrey
Like most Ficus trees, this plant thrives in bright light (indoors) and full sun (once mature in the garden). It does not do well in low light conditions. But most Ficus Audrey is usually grown in a pot indoors.
Keep your plant near an eastern-facing window if growing indoors.
How To Plant Ficus Audrey
Plant your Ficus in rich soil in a pot with drainage holes and stones in the bottom. Water your Ficus once a week and fertilise it through the growing months of spring through to autumn.
Before you water or fertilise, aerate the soil by plunging a dibber or stick in the soil to allow water and nutrients to reach the roots. Do this gently as you don’t want to damage the roots.
Water weekly on average or when the top few inches of soil have dried out.
Frequently Asked Questions?
Are Ficus Audrey Difficult To Care For?
The Ficus Audrey is an easy grower and far less fussy than its cousin, the Ficus Lyrata (Fiddle Leaf Fig tree). It adapts to new areas or spaces and it is considered to have a moderate care level.
Causes Of Leaf Drop
Usually, leaf drop is caused by under watering. Brown tips and yellowing edges of the leaves are a sign of over watering.
Should You Place Your Ficus Next To An Aircon Or Heater?
Avoid doing this as these trees are very sensitive to draughts, hot or cold. Rather they prefer good light and a bit of humidity.
How To Feed Your Ficus
Feed your Ficus a slow release balanced fertiliser during the growing season － spring, summer and autumn. Fertilise them once a month during these seasons.
How Often Does Ficus Audrey Need Repotting?
If you have a large Ficus growing in a pot on the floor, most experts suggest a re-pot every 18-24 months. The new pot should be at least 2 inches larger in diameter than the original pot. Avoid a much larger pot than the original as using it could drown the roots. Spring or summer is the ideal time to re-pot a Ficus Audrey.
Where Do Ficus Audrey Grow Best?
As a native of the Indian sub-continent, this plant thrives in a warm and humid climate. Don’t let your location put you off growing a Ficus Audrey if you live in colder northern areas.
Most household humidity levels and temperatures will be fine for your Ficus as long as the inside temperature does not drop below 18°C.
Grow them in a draught-free area with good indirect light.
What Does Ficus Audrey Symbolise?
The aerial roots of many fig varieties represent a physical link between the world we know and the world of spirits.
While the symbolism and meaning vary in different places, overall the Fig symbolises abundance (due to its size and vigorous growth) and spiritual wealth.
Do Ficus Audrey Like Sun Or Shade?
While Ficus Audrey is usually grown indoors as potted trees in the western world, they grow quite happily in full sun in the garden.
How To Care For Your Ficus Audrey
When pruning your Ficus Audrey, save your floors and furniture by placing small pieces of paper towel around the pruned area as the tree drips a sticky latex sap.
Check the soil surface before watering your Ficus. If the soil is moist near the soil’s surface then wait a bit longer before watering. When the top 2-4 inches are dry, then water. The said plant prefers its soil to dry out between watering. Weekly watering is about right.
Turn or rotate your Ficus Audrey once every two weeks to ensure it grows evenly into a good shape. Leaves can be cleaned with water every two months using a soft cloth with a little dishwashing soap. While you are doing this, check under the leaves for any pests.
Common pests found on Ficus Audrey include sap-sucking insects, soil gnats and some fungal leaf-spot diseases. Your local garden centre can advise you on treating any diseases and which insecticides to use.
Treat them promptly and you can manually remove most insects.
The biggest problem associated with Ficus Audrey is over watering. They need steady water in the soil but they do not like wet feet. If in doubt, rather water less.
So if you are lucky enough to have high volumes or ceilings in your home or apartment, This plant is a majestic house plant to grow.
It will provide a dramatic effect to any space with its light trunk and huge leaves.