Ficus Benjamina

Ross Koning Koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Mon Nov 4 08:38:52 EST 1996

At  4:37 PM 11/3/96 +0000, Kenneth Taggart wrote:
>Dear Reader,
>I have two ficus benjamina trees that have grown quite unruly, the thin,
>spindly branches appear to be pulling the trees over in one direction.
>They are between 5 and 6 feet tall and look in need of trimming.  Help... I
>am new to the world of houseplants and need to know how I can best care for
>these trees.


I'd suggest that maybe the plants have been receiving
light from one side only.  It is important that house
plants be turned to make sure the growth is more even.
Plants grow toward bright light...especially when they
are located in the profound dimness of most houses.
Find a brighter location and turn the pot weekly.
That is the prevention.

The cure for the current condition is some pruning.
There are good books on the subject.  My only comment
is this: prune only where branches join the main
stem.  Too many people try to do topiary with all
their plants.  This leads to a very unnatural look
and to excessive pruning upkeep.  Pruning at the
joints can result in far more pleasing appearance
and typically needs be done only once a year!

Good Luck!


Ross Koning                 | Koning at
Biology Department          |
Eastern CT State University | Phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT  06226  USA | Fax: 860-465-5213

                Plant Physiology is Phun!

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 /\ | |__|=        NH       |  || ||           //\//\
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  COOH        H2C=CH2         N  NH

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