Ficus Audrey/Banyan

Ficus benghalensis

Ficus Audrey aka Banyan and strangler fig tree is native to Pakistan and India and is the national tree of India.  In the wild it can grow up to 100 feet tall and several acres wide. In captivity it can get up to 10 ft tall. It grows from seeds dropped in its own leaves and branches and those of other trees. Those sprout and along with existing branches they then send aerial roots down to the ground that eventually harden and have the appearance of trunks.

This ficus isn't as finicky as its cousin the fiddle leaf fig. This one is somewhat rare and very sought out. It is believed that Buddha was sitting under a banyan tree when he received enlightenment.

Light-bright indirect light-best situated neat an East or North facing window-No extended periods of direct sunlight

Soil-they need well draining soil that also holds moisture evenly. A good mix is mix is 50% peat moss, 30% perlite, 10% coarse sand. They like to be root-bound and shouldn't be repotted until they're snug and even waiting until roots are escaping the bottom of the pot is ok.  Don't go up more than 2-3 inches in pot size.

Water-keep soil evenly moist allowing the top 2-3 inches to dry out between watering.  They do well with a brief "drought" but letting too much or the entirety of the soil dry out will cause leaf drop.  When watering keep going until water starts escaping the drainage holes.

Humidity-They prefer moderate to high humidity, 40-50%.  They like leaf misting. Also, because the leaves are lightly fuzzy they hold dust easily and should be wiped with a damp cloth frequently to help photosynthesis.

Fertilizer-feed monthly spring through summer.  Using a ficus fertilizer is best.

Toxicity-the sap of broken stems/leaves can cause skin irritation and stomach upset if ingested.