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How to Mist a Ficus Benjamina Tree

Ficus benjamina--also called benjamina ficus and weeping fig--is a woody plant that is commonly grown as a houseplant. Ficus benjamina is a member of the ficus family, and related to the rubber tree plant. The ficus benjamina is known to be a very finicky plant, with specific moisture needs. In order to prevent the ficus benjamina from dropping its leaves, the plant owner must mist the plant.

Fill a clean spray bottle with filtered water. Twist the nozzle to the "mist" setting. Test the spray to make sure that the water sprays out in a very fine mist.

Mist the plant daily with the bottle of water. Rotate the plant so that all sides of the plant receive the same amount of moisture. Take the time to use your free hand to gently lift the branches so that the under sides of all of the leaves receive moisture.

Increase the frequency to two mistings per day during the winter. Although the plant is dormant during the winter, it still requires atmospheric humidity. During the winter, homes' heating systems reduce the amount of humidity in the air. If the benjamina ficus does not receive supplemental moisture--in the form of water mist--it will lose its leaves.

Ficus Benjamina Pests

Scale insects are tiny, hard-to-spot insects with piercing, sucking mouthparts used to access the inner juices of the plant. Usually tan to brown and less than 1/4 inch in diameter, scale insects are generally flat and move very little. Unlike armored scales, soft scale insects exude a sticky substance called honeydew that may attract ants and allow sooty mold to grow. Repeat every few days to eliminate all or most of the pests. Natural predators include lacewings and the predator midge. Like scale insects, mealybugs produce honeydew. Reduce the mealybug population with a hard spray of water. Follow label directions carefully. Adults are blackish, while larvae are yellow to off-white. Destroy the cuttings away from the plant. Follow label directions for proper timing and application rates. Heavy infestations of whiteflies cause foliage to turn yellow, dry and fall off the plants. Whiteflies are difficult to eradicate. A handheld vacuum is generally weak enough to suck whiteflies off the ficus benjamina's foliage without harming the plant. Lacewings, bigeyed bugs, lady beetles and pirate bugs are among the natural predators that can control whitefly infestations of ficus plants kept outdoors. Avoid the use of pesticides if these predators are working to solve the bug problem for you.

Ficus Benjamina Pests

Scale insects are tiny, hard-to-spot insects with piercing, sucking mouthparts used to access the inner juices of the plant. Usually tan to brown and less than 1/4 inch in diameter, scale insects are generally flat and move very little. Unlike armored scales, soft scale insects exude a sticky substance called honeydew that may attract ants and allow sooty mold to grow. Repeat every few days to eliminate all or most of the pests. Natural predators include lacewings and the predator midge. Like scale insects, mealybugs produce honeydew. Reduce the mealybug population with a hard spray of water. Follow label directions carefully. Adults are blackish, while larvae are yellow to off-white. Destroy the cuttings away from the plant. Follow label directions for proper timing and application rates. Heavy infestations of whiteflies cause foliage to turn yellow, dry and fall off the plants. Whiteflies are difficult to eradicate. A handheld vacuum is generally weak enough to suck whiteflies off the ficus benjamina's foliage without harming the plant. Lacewings, bigeyed bugs, lady beetles and pirate bugs are among the natural predators that can control whitefly infestations of ficus plants kept outdoors. Avoid the use of pesticides if these predators are working to solve the bug problem for you.

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