The Q&A Archives: Low Light Ficus (Weeping Fig) Care

Question: How do I care for a ficus (small) tree in a house that gets little or no natural sunlight?

Answer: Ficus trees (weeping fig), like most plants, need light to survive. In reduced light situations some plants will survive but not grow much, others will eventually fade away. Ficus trees do best in a bright situation but luckily do not require direct sunlight to thrive. Your tree will very quickly show you if it needs more light by leaning toward the available light. If it is in a truly dim location you might try supplementing the natural light with fluorescent or other lights set on a timer. You can also try to maximize the effects of reflected light by setting it in a room with white or light colored walls.

In winter, water your tree lightly and do not fertilize it. In late spring and summer when your tree kicks into active growth, give it plenty of water (but not so much that it collects in the saucer) and use a water soluble fertilizer according to the label instructions.

If your tree is new or if you move it, it may drop all of its leaves as it adjusts to its new location. Don't worry if this happens, be patient and it should releaf quickly as it adapts to its new spot. Enjoy your tree!

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