Ficus benjamina bonsai care | Gardening On

Ficus benjamina bonsai is perfect for beginners

Image – Wikimedia Commons / PierreSelim

Ficus bonsai are the most suitable for those who are just starting out, as they resist pruning very well. Also, as there are many species that remain evergreen, such as the f. Benjaminthey beautify the area where they are.

However, when they are to be taken care of there are a number of things or tasks that must be done. Choosing the right time for each of them is very important, since otherwise you would run the risk of losing them. So, below you will know how to care for a bonsai from Benjamin fig tree.

What is there to know about Benjamin fig tree?

Before starting to care for a bonsai, it is highly recommended to first know what the basic characteristics of the tree as a species are, since the care that will be given to it will depend largely on it. Thus, from Benjamin fig tree you have to know that it is an evergreen tree native to South and Southeast Asia, and South and North Australia. It lives in places where the climate is tropical and subtropical, but even so, it can withstand weak frosts of up to -4ºC once it is acclimatized.

In the wild it grows as a tree up to 15 meters, with a trunk that tends to branch from very low. Its crown is composed of oval leaves about 6 to 13 centimeters long, and it produces small fruits (figs) that are eaten by various birds.

What are the bonsai cares for Benjamin fig tree?

Bonsai from Benjamin fig tree they are a miniature version of the large trees that they can become if planted in gardens. They are very beautiful, but since their roots have a very limited space and amount of substrate in which to grow, they become a plant that requires special care, which are the following:


  • Outdoor: it is preferable to have it outside the home, in illuminated areas but without direct sunlight. Indoors it tends to lose its leaves.
  • Interior: if where you live there are significant frosts, you can keep it indoors, or better in a greenhouse outside, until spring returns.


As a substrate for your bonsai we recommend 100% akadama, or mixed with 30% perlite or kiryuzuna. It is a tree that fears waterlogging, so with this mixture it will be possible for the plant to root well, easily, thus achieving better health.


Generally, It has to be watered several times a week during the summeralways depending on the weather and the location. This means that if the temperatures in your area exceed 30ºC and there is a drought, you will have to water often, as the substrate will dry out quickly. On the contrary, if it usually rains frequently, you will not need to water as much.

During the rest of the year irrigation will be less. If you are in doubt about when to water, scratch the substrate a bit to see if it’s dry or not. In the event that it has akadama, you will know that it is dry when it has recovered its original color (brown); If it is wet, you will see that the brown it has is darker.

Use rainwater or lime-free water, and water with a specific bonsai watering can.


In spring and until the end of summer it must be paid with a fertilizer for bonsai (like this one they sell here! for example). But follow the instructions that will be specified on the package, as there will be no risk of overdose.


Bonsai Benjamin fig tree requires a transplant every 2 to 3 years. This has to be done in spring, as soon as the temperatures rise again from 15 degrees Celsius.

During the transplant, it will not be necessary to prune the roots, unless you see some that are black. In this case, use clean scissors disinfected with pharmacy alcohol or dish soap.


The wiring has to be done only if it is necessary; That is, if you have a branch that is growing in a direction that is not suitable for the style of bonsai, it can be wired to redirect it. This task can be done at any time of the year, but it is important that the wire is removed in about a month and a half. so that they do not leave a mark on the branches.

When and how is bonsai pruned Benjamin fig tree?

Pruning shears for plants

Pruning shears for plants

It will depend on the type of pruning:

Professional development

It is done in the first years, when the tree is still young and it begins to work as bonsai. The objective is to give it the basic characteristics taking into account the style that has been decided to give it.

Acer bonsaiAcer Bonsai

Related article:

Bonsai styles

As entire branches are pruned, it is done in late winter. To do this you have to cut:

  • Branches that intersect
  • Branches that grow towards you
  • Branches that are broken
  • Branches that are protruding from far below the trunk

In addition, you have to reduce the length of the branches that are growing too much, growing six leaves and cutting 4.


It is made from the fact that the tree already has a style, and now it only has to be maintained by pinching (pruning green stems). Any time of the year is good to do italthough we advise not to do it in summer as it could lose a lot of sap and, consequently, weaken.


The Benjamin fig tree resists without problems up to -4ºC, but when working as bonsai it is better not to expose it to freezing temperatures.

Why my bonsai from Benjamin fig tree Are the leaves falling off?

Ficus benjamina bonsai in an exhibitionFicus benjamina bonsai in an exhibition

Image – Flickr / Jennifer Snyder

If you have just bought a Ficus benjamina bonsai, or have been with it for a long time, and you see that it loses leaves at an alarming rate, one of these things may happen to it:

Change of environment

It is normal for bonsai to drop some leaves from the moment they are bought until they get used to the new environment. And it is that they do not receive the same care in the nurseries that you do. But beware they can also lose them if they constantly change places.

Ideally, leave them in a bright area, without direct sun, and not move them from there.

Low ambient humidity

It is a plant that needs high humidity. For this reason, and especially if you have it indoors, it is highly recommended that you put glasses of water around it. Do not spray / mist it with water, as this will help speed up the fall of the leaves.

If you have it outside and you are on an island or near the thing, you will not have this problem. But if you are more inland, then it would be a good idea to put glasses of water around it, or even place it near a pond (as long as it is not in direct sunlight).

Air currents

If you have it indoors, it is important that you place it as far as possible from drafts, be they cold or warm. The leaves of the Benjamin fig tree they hold the wind if they are outside, but indoors the air currents do them a lot of damage.


The plants they react to cold by dropping their leaves, even if they are green. If your bonsai has been exposed to low temperatures, protect it in a greenhouse and water it from time to time.

Lack of nutrients

A bonsai must be paid in spring and summer so that its roots can absorb the nutrients that the rest of the plant will need to grow and stay healthy. Therefore, if it is not fertilized, its leaves will fall over time. To avoid this, you will have to pay it from time to time (the frequency will be indicated on the packaging).

Bad watering

It is usually the most common cause. Whether you over water or under water, bonsai Benjamin fig tree will lose leaves. But how do you know if we are watering badly? For the symptoms it shows:

Excess irrigation

The lower leaves fall off and the younger ones turn brown. Roots can also rot. The treatment consists of suspending the irrigation, as well as removing the plate underneath if it had one.

It should also be treated with a fungicide, since fungi love very humid environments and will not take long to damage the roots.

Lack of irrigation

When you lack water, the tips of the leaves will turn brown or yellow, and the substrate will look very dry. To solve this, take the tray with the bonsai and place it in a basin of water for 30 minutes.

Ferns want a lot of waterFerns want a lot of water

Related article:

How to know if a plant lacks water

Enjoy your bonsai very much Benjamin fig tree.

Ficus benjamina bonsai care | Gardening On

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