Ficus Audrey Care: Light, Water, Soil
The Ficus Audrey, also known as Ficus benghalensis is a much less dramatic cousin to the ever drooping fiddle leaf fig. This plant is a good choice for intermediate to advanced plant parents as it does not tend to be forgiving of fluctuating light or water conditions.
Audrey Ficus Care Guide
As the ficus benghalensis audrey is the national tree of India, this plant prefers conditions similar to the canopied warm environment it calls home. As such, the ficus audrey tree thrives in homes with moderate to warm temperatures, dappled light, and high humidity.
Ficus Audrey Care Overview
Light: Bright Indirect or direct
Watering: Keep consistently and evenly moist
Soil: Light, airy well draining mix
Feeding: Use houseplant fertilizer every 2 weeks in spring and summer
Preferred lighting for the ficus audrey plant is bright indirect light. If you want to keep an audrey ficus in direct sun, you will have to acclimate it slowly or you’ll risk burning the leaves.
This ficus plant can not be kept in low light. We suggest keeping your audrey plant in a shaded west window or directly in an east facing window.
All varieties of rubber trees enjoy being in consistently moist soil. While some varieties of the rubber trees are drought tolerant, such as the tineke, the audrey plant does not recover well from drying out.
An ideal water schedule is once a week in the summer and once every other week in the winter. To help avoid root rot, it may be best to use a moisture meter before watering your audrey ficus plant.
Preferred Soil / Potting Medium
The ficus audrey plant prefers a soil that allows for ample oxygen to reach the roots, is fast draining, and retains moisture consistently.
We suggest a mix of 2 parts general, local potting mix with one part perlite and one part worm castings or your preferred fertilizer. Make sure your chosen pot has a drainage hole to prevent root rot.
The audrey ficus can be very forgiving to low humidity levels, but prefers and thrives in 60-90% humidity. A good option to ensure the right amount of humidity is to group it with other plants, place on a pebble tray, or use a humidifier.
Ficus Audrey Propagation Tips
The ficus audrey plant can be propagated from a stem cutting. It is important to be careful when propagating this plant as its sap can cause both skin and eye irritation. It’s best to wear gloves and wash your hands after cutting the plant.
For a stem cutting, locate a spot below a node and ensure that the branch is at least 6 inches long with 4 nodes above the cut. While a shorter cutting with fewer nodes can survive, taking a larger cutting will increase your chances for success.
Once cut, remove the lower leaves to encourage growth of roots rather than foliage. Dip the end of the cutting into the rooting hormone and then place in a well draining potting mix. Water and cover with a ziplock bag.
Finally, find a sunny, warm location. It can take up to three months to see root results from a stem cutting.
*If propagating in water, follow all steps until rooting hormone. At this point place the cutting into water and place in a bright, warm location. It can take up to 6 months to see roots begin to grow.
Is Audrey Ficus Toxic?
The main toxicity of this plant lies in the sap. Like many varieties of rubber trees, it produces a milky white milk when cut. This sap is a skin irritant and can also cause stomach issues if ingested. This plant is best kept out of reach of children and pets.
Common Problems With Audrey Ficus Tree
Ficus audrey plant care can be a challenge, and many plant parents face these common problems when caring for this species of rubber tree.
Ficus Audrey Leaves Curling
If the leaves of your audrey plant are curling, the plant likely requires more water. If upon further inspection the soil is moist to the touch, you may be giving the plant too much direct sunlight.
Make sure that the plant isn’t being under watered and isn’t exposed to too much direct sunlight during the day.
If you find spider mites, mealybugs, or other pests on your audrey rubber tree, immediately keep it away from your other plants.
Give the plant a thorough shower, and then wipe down each leaf with a rag and neem oil or your preferred pest treatment.
Keeping these leaves free of dust, debris, or water can help prevent the likelihood of pests.
Why are the leaves of my Ficus Audrey dropping?
The leaves of your audrey ficus usually drop due to over or underwatering. If the leaves are fully yellowing or browning at the edges before they drop, the plant likely needs more water. If the soil is moist, you’re likely overwatering.
This plant is also likely to drop leaves when left too close to a draft, AC, or heating vent like many of its ficus family cousins.
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