What is a Weeping Fig?

Misty Amber Brighton
Misty Amber Brighton
Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

A weeping fig is a popular tree that is native to Australia and many Asian countries. It has been cultivated as a houseplant in many parts of the world. It normally has shiny, dark green leaves that are anywhere from two to five inches (6 to 13 cm) long.

The trunk of this tree is usually long and slender. It may be covered with light brown bark that is normally very smooth to the touch. There often appear to be two or more trunks twisting around one another to form a criss-cross pattern. The leaves mostly appear at the top of the tree, in a very bushy pattern.

This tree is the national tree of Thailand. In this country, a weeping fig tree can grow to be nearly 100 feet (30.48 m) high. It usually has a small fig-like fruit on it when grown in the wild. This often attracts birds, such as doves and pigeons, to the tree, but is not typically harvested for human consumption.

The specimens that are normally grown as houseplants are often referred to as ficus trees. These varieties usually grow to between four and five feet (1.22 to 1.52 m) high. Usually, they also do not bear any fruit.

These houseplants typically grow well in a five gallon (18.93 l) container. They may be placed near a bright window, on a porch, or in a sunny area of the yard as long as they are protected from strong winds. They should be brought indoors whenever outdoor temperatures drop below 50°F (10°C).

The weeping fig sometimes has an aggressive root system that can lift sidewalks or other concrete structures, like patios and porches. It may also grow into the foundation of a home and cause damage. The roots have also been known to invade septic lines, causing them to need repair or be replaced. For this reason, it is not usually recommended that this tree be grown near buildings or roadways.

When placed indoors, this tree sometimes drops its leaves, if it is placed too close to a source of heat. It may also shed foliage if it is either under or over-watered. Changing the location of the plant and modifying its water intake is usually stops or reduces the dropping of the leaves.

This plant often looks nice when placed behind a small piece of furniture, as an accent. It can also be used to fill empty corners or nooks because of its height and bushy appearance. No matter where it is placed, a weeping fig should be in a sturdy container that is level on the bottom so it will not topple over. One of these houseplants can often provide colorful decor to a home or office for many years after it is purchased.

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Discussion Comments


I have had a couple of weeping figs as houseplants over the years. They don't like to be over watered or a lot of direct sunlight and do better in indirect light. They have grown to a fairly nice size, but whenever I move I never take them with me. They don't seem to handle the stress of moving very well.

I have always enjoyed them because they give such a tropical look and have such an interesting trunk. When we moved a few years ago, I settled on an artificial indoor palm for my sun room. It has a similar look and is much easier to take care of.


One thing you should remember if you have weeping figs in your house is that they can be quite sensitive. Mine grew quickly and I loved the look, but it seemed like I was always picking up leaves from the floor.

Most indoor house plants can be moved from room to room and you won't see any changes. When you move a weeping fig, don't be surprised to see it lose many of its leaves. It will usually come out of it and be OK, but you may wonder for awhile. You will also need to be prepared to pick up a lot of fallen leaves.


A weeping fig tree can make a nice statement in your home. I look at them as a very reasonable way to decorate your house and add an inviting touch. I like to bring the outdoors in when I am furnishing my house, and using trees like the weeping fig help me do that.

I have several large potted plants in my house. Some of them get pretty big, so I keep the containers on surfaces that have wheels on them, so I can easily move them around.

You can plant a weeping fig outdoors or indoors, but if I am going to have one inside, I like going with the dwarf fig tree varieties. They don't get as tall or grow as big and look nice in the living room area.

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