Ficus Trees

Ficus Benjamina New Leaves Weighing Down Branches

Davejoyal added on July 11, 2015 | Answered

My ficus has almost doubled in size in the past two months it's been outside. Started it first in shade, then a an hour of sun per day until it was acclimated. It now gets full direct sunlight all day long. The new leaves start out with a hint of red, and then mature to a lighter shade of green than an indoor tree. They also seem thicker too. Anyway, the tree has grown probably 300-400 new leaves in the past month and a half. They also grow much closer together and the weight is pulling the branches down more. I guess that's why they call it a weeping fig? Question is, over time, will the branches strengthen and grow more upright like before when it was inside, or will they keep growing outward now? Lastly, when fall arrives, I'm going to give it a couple weeks in partial shade to acclimate it for indoors. It'll be in a southern facing window and I'm going to place 4 100 watt cfl bulbs 1 foot above the tree. I was thinking about using 3 6500k bulbs for the blue color and 1 2700k bulb for red. However, I've heard red is only for flowering and since the tree doesn't flower, should I just go with all 6500k bulbs? Or add one 4000-5000k bulb instead? I've read the bluer light is what makes the leaves stronger so when it goes back outside next summer it won't get scorched. I also noticed the outdoor grown leaves just seem much healthier and I want to mimic that growth as much as possible. Am I on the right track or do you have another recommendation? Sorry for the lengthy message. I love my tree and want to always give him the best possible situation I can provide. Thanks!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 13, 2015

It's a beautiful Ficus standard and I would love it too!

I am listing a few links for you.
Pruning will help lighten the branches and make the plant healthier. (your's looks very healthy!)
Also a link with lighting information, I myself have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what bulbs to buy for my indoor plants.
I have had good luck with 'full spectrum daylight' bulbs.

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