Ficus Audrey Care

Placement

PRO TIP: A thin layer of fuzz lines the leaves of the Ficus Audrey. Do not apply leaf shine as it can damage the leaves. Instead wipe them down with water mixed with a tiny bit of dish soap.

The Ficus Audrey (Ficus Benghalensis) is the national tree of India. Some say it is this tree under which the Buddha achieved enlightenment. In its natural habitat its canopy can cover a lot of ground and provide great shade in its warm climate. Similar to most Ficus trees, the Ficus Audrey prefers a spot where it will receive plenty of bright light. Although it prefers bright indirect light, and does not fare well with extended period of direct hot sun. This plant will not tolerate low light conditions. Directly in an eastern facing window, or a few feet removed from a southern or western facing window is ideal.

If you are unsure of the lighting conditions in your home of office, we have a guide for how to measure light in your space.

Ficus Audrey aka Ficus Benghalensis Leaf

According to legend, the Ficus Audrey is the tree that the Buddha achieved enlightenment under.

Routine Maintenance

PRO TIP: The Audrey has a thin latex-like sap which will drip rapidly from the tree when pruning. To keep this sap off of your furniture and floors, place small pieces of paper on the freshly pruned stems and allow to dry overnight.

Always be sure to assess your plants watering needs upon receiving it. Before giving your plant a drink, it is best to check the moisture level in the soil first. Ficus Audrey prefer soil that is consistently and evenly moist, with small periods of drought between waterings. You want to 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, so be sure to check in with the soil regularly until you develop a routine with your plant. In contrast, too much moisture in the soil can lead to root rot and also cause leaves to drop. These plants do particularly well in the self watering containers. Consider aerating the soil of your plant before the initial watering. We compact the soil to avoid shifting during transit, so aerating can help the soil breath and allow for moisture to be released.

For regular upkeep, dust the leaves often so the plant can photosynthesize properly. When dusting, take the opportunity to inspect the underside of leaves and keep an eye out for pests. Using fertilizer spring through fall will enhance your plants foliage and promote new growth. Rotate your plant periodically to ensure even growth on all sides.

Remember each plant is a unique living thing and may have varying needs, especially in their individual locations. Pay attention to the condition of your Ficus Audrey and its watering needs and you will have a long and happy relationship.

Standard Planter Instructions

There are two types of standard planters offered by Greenery NYC—those with drainage holes, and those without. Within those two categories are an array of sizes and styles to choose from. All these factors play a role in the quantity and frequency of water given to your plant. Plants purchased in a pot without a drainage hole have, been set up with a built in drainage system.

A layer of hydro stones (porous, absorbent material made of recycled glass) has been placed beneath the soil to act as a reservoir and retain any excess water that flows through the soil. You will need to be slightly more cautious not to pour too much water into these containers as there is no way for the water to escape. We suggest pouring small amounts of water in bit by bit, until you have reached the desired moisture level in the soil.

For planters with a drainage hole, water until it begins to come out the bottom of the pot and into the catch tray. Always be sure to assess your plants watering needs upon receiving it. Refer to the routine maintenance section for moisture requirements.

Self Watering Container Instructions

The self-watering planters require a good, solid watering of the topsoil after they are first placed. This is important, because the roots of the plants need to grow into the reservoir in order to drink from it. Follow the standard planter instructions for the first four weeks until the reservoir is ready to be tested.

TEST: After four weeks, fill the reservoir until the red indicator reaches the MAX line. If the indicator goes down over the first few days, it means the plant is ready for reservoir servicing. If not, be sure to continue top watering for a few more weeks, until the plant starts drinking from the reservoir.

RESERVOIR SERVICING: Once the indicator goes down, do not refill the reservoir right away. Similar to how humans need a breath of air between gulps of water, almost all plants require a drying out period. Ficus Audrey need to dry out between waterings only slightly, so once the reservoir is empty wait a few days before you refill. Always allow for the reservoir to empty all the way, and after the drying out period, be sure to fill it until the indicator reaches the MAX line.

From here on out, you should NEVER topwater the plant. If you water from the top, it can drown the plant. In the Self Watering Container, the top layer of soil will eventually become extremely dry and hard, and may even pull away from the edges of the pot. This is not a cause for concern, but simply because the plant is drinking directly from its roots in the water reservoir.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Ficus Audrey difficult to care for?

  • The Ficus Audrey is easier than its sister the Ficus Lyrata (fiddle leaf fig tree). It acclimates well to new spaces, it’s less finicky when it comes to water needs, and it doesn’t require quite as much light. We consider it a medium in level of difficulty.

Why are the leaves of my Ficus Audrey dropping?

  • Typically this is caused by either over, or under watering. If your tree is showing brown tips with yellow edging then you are likely over watering. If you see fully yellow leaves, and some crispy brown tips without yellow edging then it is likely due to under watering. Always feel the soil to see if its conditions match your diagnosis, and consider the recent care you have given.

Can I place my ficus next to an AC or heating vent?

  • It is best not to. Ficus are sensitive to hot and cold air drafts. They prefer humidity and warm temperatures, so anything to aid in maintaining a tepid environment will help keep your plant happy and healthy.

How often should I fertilize my plant?

  • In general, house plants will thrive when they are fertilized spring through fall. Fertilize once a month with an organic houseplant fertilizer, following the package instructions for dilution and administration. Greenery NYC uses an organic potting mix with a slow release fertilizer in the soil so your plant will not need fertilizer within the first 6 months of receiving it.

How often does my plant need to be repotted?

  • For larger floor plants, we suggest repotting every 18-24 months. Typically you want to choose a potting vessel 2”- 4” larger in diameter to allow for growth. Don’t choose a pot much larger than the previous as this could drown the plants roots. If you prefer to maintain the current size of your plant, repot into the same vessel, providing new soil and trimming away some roots and foliage. Repotting in the spring or summer is ideal.

Additional Care Guides