How to Water a Ficus Exotica


Ficus exotica is a lesser-known cultivar of the popular office and house plant, ficus benjamina. Ficus exotica can be distinguished from its more-common relatives by its wavy leaves that taper into long, slender twists. But although its leaves and name may be exotic, ficus exotica has basically the same needs as most other ficus varieties. It too likes relatively dry soil conditions and should only been watered when the soil begins to dry out.

Step 1

Insert a finger or wooden dowel into the ficus exotica's soil to test the moisture level. Check the soil moisture daily to assess the ficus exotica's water needs. Check twice daily when temperatures rise and the ficus uses more water.

Step 2

Water the ficus whenever the top 1/3 of the pot's soil is dry--not before. Use a watering can to water gently until water comes out of the drainage holes in its pot. If water pools at the surface of the soil, you are watering too fast. Stop watering, wait for it to absorb and start again with a slower stream.

Step 3

Empty the watering tray beneath the pot after the water has been allowed to drain for 30 minutes. Otherwise, the water will re-absorb and the ficus' roots will be sitting in water.

Tips and Warnings

  • Plants should be carefully watered when young and later during droughts

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden dowel
  • Watering can


  • The University of Vermont: Ficus Benjamina
  • University of Florida: Ficus Benjamina--Weeping Fig
Keywords: ficus benjamina, ficus exotica, water

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.