Ficus benghalensis is part of the Moraceae family and it is native to India and Pakistan. Banyan is considered a type of strangling fig. It starts it’s life growing on other trees, it produces aerial roots that eventually become trunks, it is this circle of trunks which eventually envelop the original tree. Leaves are ovate to elliptic, both primary and lateral veins are prominent.
In Hindu mythology banyans are known as 'the wish-fulfilling tree', they represent eternal life.
Its pollinator is a single species of wasp, Eupristina masoni, which is not present in the UK, meaning no viable seeds are produced away from the tropics.
Genus name refers to the commercial edible fig (Ficus carica). The specific epithet is named after the Bengal region.
Pot: ø 21cm.
Height: Approximately 90cm from base of pot.
Light: Bright indirect light, meaning the plant sees the sun for 0-4 hours per day - this could be through trees or a translucent curtain, it’s important for the plant to see the sky in order to thrive. 3-4 hours of direct sun is tolerable for Ficus.
Water: Allow the first 2-3 inches of the mix to dry out. Before watering, ensure the substrate isn’t compacted, if it is, aerate it with a few pokes of a skewer or blunt stick, pour water slowly over the top and allow the water to pass through the drainage holes.
Potting mix: A well draining mix composed of coco coir, perlite or vermiculite, orchid bark and worm castings.
Fertilising: Feed your plant every other watering during the growing season or when you observe active growth. You can dilute fertiliser to half the recommended amount but never add more.
Humidity: Ficus would prefer higher humidity (over 60%) but do well to adapt to average home humidity. You can increase humidity by placing the plant on a watered pebble tray or using a humidifier.
Ficus benghalensis is keep out of reach of pets and children.