Ficus Hundred Species And Varieties
The Ficus family is a diverse one with over eight hundred species and thousands of varieties. Most of these species originate in the Old World tropics. Ficus benjamina, commonly known as the “weeping fig” can originally be found in India, northern Australia, and Southeast Asia.
The Ficus benjamina can grow very large 30-40 feet high or more and is found growing both in full sun all the way down to the heavy shaded dense forest.
As far as light goes – Ficus is a very versatile plant. Growig in full sun it will develop a thick canopy of leaves. But, in the dense forest it will grow very open with fewer leaves and thin weeping branches. This explains some of the leaf loss when plants move from a higher light level to a lower light level.
Just as birds migrate south for the winter season, the benjamina comes from an area that has very distinct seasons. The exception is that the seasons are wet and dry.
How does a benjamina prepare for the dry season?
It sheds its leaves. It reduces the amount of leaves to survive since the plant will not have enough water to support the full leaf canopy during the dry season. When the rainy season returns, new growth comes out and the canopy returns.
This offers another reason for leaf drop. When plants move to a new location – Is it the wet or dry season? The survival mechanism for benjamina is leaf drop.