Variegated Ficus benjamina
Ficus benjamina 'Variegata'
Variegated Ficus benjamina is one of the most common houseplants. The green and cream colored leaves can be trained as a tree with a clear trunk or as a bush with leaves from the top of the plant to the soil level. These plants need bright, direct light and they prefer to dry out some between watering. It's best to keep this Variegated Ficus benjamina in the same location, because any change in moisture, light or location will cause the plant to drop some of its leaves to adjust.
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Variegated Ficus benjamina is a graceful, gentle tree with green and cream colored leaves that prefers to be in bright, direct light. These trees would do best with exposure to a western or southern window. Variegated Ficus benjamina can be trained as a tree with a clear trunk or kept as a bush, serves as an excellent backdrop for any room in the house. These versatile trees can even be placed outside in full sun if hardy, or for a summer vacation if not hardy. There is a tendency for these trees to lose their leaves if light, watering, or their location changes. This is a perfectly normal process as the tree adjusts to its new situation. These elegant trees come originally from Asia and Australia, where they grow upwards of 80 feet tall. Indoors, in a container the trees height is limited by the quantity of roots it can produce in a small container. Typically, the Variegated Ficus reaches about 6 to 10 feet tall indoors. Regular pruning can contain the tree and encourage branching and new leaf growth without damage. Outdoors, the trees produce a very small flower and then a reddish fruit that is edible. Eating the fruit is not recommended because it has not been bred for flavor and is not intended to be eaten.
History and introduction of Variegated Ficus benjamina:
Ficus benjamina is a low maintenance houseplant that originates in Asia. These standards have been pruned to keep a tree form, but they also make attractive, compact hedges if planted outside in a hardy location. A relatively smooth, brownish gray trunk gives way to a sphere of tear drop shaped leaves. Sometimes the trunks are braided or twisted to provide more ornamental interest. Ficus benjamina tolerates a wide range of conditions: bright light to full sun, very dry to wet, and a variety of soil. They make a great houseplant, and clean the air inside your home of formaldehyde as well. Ficus benjamina is the Latin name, from the family of Figs, Ficus, and benjamina is from the name in Hindi, Benjan. Ficus trees are sacred in Southeastern Asia because Buddha found enlightenment under one.