Ficus Audrey: 17 Care Tips To Grow The Banyan Tree At Home

two ficus audrey in black pots

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Meta description: The Ficus Audrey is a beautiful plant that looks very similar to its fiddle-leaf cousin. See these amazing care tips on how to rise the Ficus benghalensis in your home.

If you’re over the fiddle leaf fig craze of 2021 but still love its look and feel, then we definitely suggest you check out ficus Audrey – a beautiful relative of the fiddle leaf that has dark green oblong leaves and a light tan trunk.

In this article, we’ll review everything you need to know about caring for this interesting ficus, including propagation and lighting tips.

What Is Ficus Audrey?

The Ficus benghalensis, commonly called Ficus Audrey, the strangler fig, the banyan tree, and the Bengal fig, is known as the national tree of India. When grown outdoors in its native environment, it’s known to have a large canopy that can provide plenty of shade. As an indoor plant, its attractive bright leaves make it a statement plant that can light up any room. It usually prefers some direct light and does not tolerate low-light conditions well. 

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Ficus Family And Origins

The Ficus Audrey is part of the Maraceae Family and the genus ficus. It is native to the Indian Subcontinent, mainly in rainforests. It gets its nickname, strangler fig, because of the way it starts as an epiphyte, gripping other trees and suffocating them. 

The Ficus Audrey is considered a sacred tree in India, and it’s often built around temples. It is said that the twenty-fourth buddha Kassapa achieved enlightenment under a Ficus Audrey. Also, because of its large canopy, it helps create large amounts of shade.

What Is The Difference Between Ficus Audrey and Ficus religiosa?

The Ficus Audrey and the Ficus religiosa are often confused with one another. A distinguishing feature of the Ficus Audrey is that it has aerial roots. 

Is Ficus Audrey A Rubber Tree?

Ficus species, including Ficus Audrey, are sometimes called rubber trees or rubber plants. Their leaves somewhat look rubbery, and the milky sap of ficus plants was used to make rubber at one point. That said, most people are referring to close cousins of the Audrey – the Ficus Elastica. 

Where Can I Buy A Ficus Audrey?

Ficus Audrey’s are increasingly popular in the houseplant world. Because of this, they can be found in most nurseries and garden centers. We suggest you check out Etsy for Audrey options if you want to purchase online. You can often get a reasonable price with so much competition in this marketplace.

How Much Does A Ficus Audrey Cost?

While prices range depending on provider and size, you can expect to pay quite a bit for a good-sized Ficus Audrey. Prices range between $30 and $300.

How Big Is A Ficus Audrey?

In its native India and Pakistan, the Ficus Audrey can grow up to 100 feet tall – with a canopy stretching multiple acres across. Indoors, you can expect your Ficus Audrey to grow to about 10 feet tall, with a width of around 3-4 feet. In most situations, it makes more sense to prune your Audrey before it reaches this size indoors.

How Fast Does Ficus Audrey Grow?

The Ficus Audrey is a decently fast grower during the summer and spring. The best way to boost growth is by increasing the amount of direct light the plant receives. That said, be sure not to quickly transition it from some direct sunlight to a full day of direct light, as it doesn’t handle quick changes well. If you see its leaves burning, it may be a sign that your ficus is getting too much light.

Is Ficus Audrey Easier to Grow Than Fiddle Leaf Fig?

The Ficus Audrey, while a cousin of the Fiddle Leaf, is considered much easier to grow. This tropical plant can better handle inconsistencies in light and is all-around more forgiving about watering – or a lack thereof, and it’s an all-around more tolerant plant.

Because of the popularity of the Fiddle Leaf, many growers have raised the Ficus Audrey to look similar in shape to its cousin. Depending on how it’s pruned, it can just as quickly look more like a traditional tree shape with a leaf canopy on top. 

Ficus Audrey Growing Season

Ficus trees grow in the spring and summer months, as well as in early fall, in many locations. The Audrey Ficus does not grow in the winter and needs less water at this time, and it is only recommended to transplant the Ficus Audrey tree during the early spring.

Ficus Audrey Care Needs

How Much To Water Ficus Audrey

Let the top 2 to 3 inches of soil dry between waterings before thoroughly watering. Ficus Audrey thrives in evenly moist soil and should never be allowed to totally dry out. Try to be consistent with your watering. While it’s hardier than a Fiddle Leaf, it prefers a regular watering schedule. Use filtered water or let your sink water sit out for a day before using it on your ficus. Plan to reduce your watering frequency slightly in the winter.

Make sure your pot has drainage holes to release any excess water. Never let your plants sit in water for more than 30 minutes.

Light Need For Ficus Audrey

Pick a home for your ficus Audrey that receives several hours of bright, indirect sunlight, such as a south or west-facing window. This indoor tree can withstand some direct morning and evening sun but avoid prolonged periods of direct sunlight in the afternoon since it may burn the leaves.

In our home, we don’t have quite enough light for our Ficus Audrey. Instead, we supplement with an LED grow light.

Humidity And Temperature For Ficus Audrey

The Ficus Audrey is native to India and prefers warm and decently humid weather. That said, the average humidity of a home should be okay, but try to keep it away from windows or vents. You don’t want dry air to surround it. If you’re worried about humidity – or see browning edges on the leaves – invest in a humidifier or place your ficus in a place with naturally more humidity (bathroom, kitchen, laundry room).

Temperatures for a Ficus Audrey should be 55 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

Fertilizers For Ficus Audrey

Ficus Audrey needs frequent fertilization between spring and early fall. During this growing period, plan to fertilize your ficus once a month with a balanced (I suggest 8-8-8) liquid fertilizer. If you have them, you may also enrich the soil with natural fertilizers such as homemade compost, bone meal, or even worm castings!

Here are some great fertilizer options for Ficus Audrey.

Photo Title Price Buy
Fiddle Leaf Fig...image Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Plant Food for Ficus Lyrata (and Ficus Audrey) – Calcium Fortified, Urea-Free and with NPK Ratio of 3-1-2 for Healthy Roots, Stems and Leaves (8 Ounces)) $26.99 ($3.37 / Fl Oz)
Fiddle Leaf Fig...image Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Fertilizer (21 Ounces), House Ficus Plant Food, Figs Fertilizer with NPK Ration of 3-1-2 for Healthy Roots, Stems and Leaves $21.99 ($1.05 / Fl Oz)
Ficus Food -...image Ficus Food - Liquid Fertilizer HighTech NPK, Root, Soil, Foliar, Plant Food (Made in Germany) $19.99
Perfect Plants Liquid...image Perfect Plants Liquid Fiddle Leaf Fig Fertilizer | 8oz. of Premium Concentrated Indoor Ficus Food | Get Big Leaves and Healthy Plants $14.99 ($1.87 / Fl Oz)
Fiddle Leaf Fig...image Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Plant Food 6-2-4 | Liquid Houseplant for Ficus Lyrata and Ficus Audrey- Calcium fortified with balanced nutriets for great roots, stems, and leaves | Bottle Lasts twice as long as other competitors $11.99 ($1.50 / Fl Oz)

Soil Needs For Ficus Audrey

Plant your ficus Audrey in bright, well-aerated soil that drains quickly. Cactus soil combined with additional perlite might work nicely.

To bring your soil into this ideal zone, use gravel or orchid bark with a tiny bit of vermiculite. You can also purchase soils specifically for Ficus plants.

Potting and Repotting

Select a pot with drainage holes to allow the soil of your ficus Audrey to drain correctly. The container should also be 2-3 inches larger than the root ball of your ficus to allow for some growth.

In terms of repotting, you shouldn’t have to do it very regularly. Once every two years is fine for this ficus. We recommend you repot in the early spring when your plant is actively growing again. Planting in the fall, winter, or even summer will mean that your ficus is less adaptable. 

Ideal pH For Ficus Audrey

The Ficus Audrey isn’t as picky about soil acidity as some plants. It prefers a soil that’s between 6.5 and 7.0 – so slightly acidic to neutral. If your soil is slightly above this (say 7.5), that shouldn’t be too big of a concern. 

If your Ficus Audrey becomes unhealthy, I wouldn’t start by looking at pH levels. Too much or too little water or light are the biggest concerns for this plant.

Is Ficus Audrey Toxic To Pets And Humans?

The Ficus Audrey’s leaves are somewhat toxic to pets, including cats and dogs, as well as humans. If the leaves are eaten, it can cause irritation of the stomach and mouth, as well as vomiting. If you suspect that your pet has eaten some of a Ficus Audrey leaf, start by contacting the Pet Poison Helpline.

Fortunately, the Ficus Audrey is typically considered non-lethal.

The sap of the Ficus Audrey is also known to cause skin irritation in some people and animals.

How To Propagate Ficus Audrey

Stem cuttings are an excellent approach to cultivating Ficus Audrey. Follow these methods to cultivate your own Ficus Audrey at home.

Step 1: Prepare a small container with moistened, well-draining soil for planting the cutting. Look at our suggestions above on potting soil for more specific recommendations. 

Step 2: Choose a stem that’s healthy with at least 2-3 leaves. Success rates can vary, so I recommend propagating a couple of cuttings. Best case scenario, all of your cuttings succeed, and you can give them to loved ones as presents.

Step 3: Using clean scissors or pruners, carefully clip the stem and put the end into rooting hormone or rooting powder.

Step 4: Insert this end into the potting mix, firm it down, and sprinkle the soil with a spray bottle of water.

Step 5: Place the cutting in a warm location with bright, indirect light.

Maintain a moist but not damp soil.

Step 6: After 3-4 weeks, the roots should have taken hold. You should wait a little longer before repotting your clipping.

When the cutting is established, you can move it to a larger pot.

Another option for propagating Ficus Audrey is with cuttings in water. Here’s a good video on how to do that. If you go this route, be sure to give your cuttings clean water to improve the propagation rate.

Common Diseases And Problems For Ficus Audrey

There are a variety of pests and diseases that can affect your Ficus Audrey. Mealybugs, scale, spider mites, and aphids are potential pests, as they feed on the sticky sap of the ficus. 

Because of this ficus’ need for consistently moist soil, it also makes them a potential breeding ground for fungus gnats. 

Common diseases for ficus plants are leaf spot, crown gall, anthracnose, blight and root rot. The University of Florida Extension has a good guide on dealing with these issues.

Similar Plants To Ficus Audrey

If you want to find something similar to Ficus Audrey, take a look at these similar Ficus Plants.

Ficus Lyrata Compacta – the Ficus Lyrata Compacta is well-known for its lyre-shaped, dark green leaves. This attractive plant is most commonly known as a miniature Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree.

Ficus Lyrata Bambino – Smaller than both the Ficus Lyrata and the Ficus Lyrata Compacta, the Bambino is considered the dwarf version of this popular ficus. It looks great in a window and only grows to around 3-4 feet. 


The Ficus Audrey is a beautiful plant that looks similar – but is easier to care for – than the Fiddle Leaf Fig. Grow yours today using the tips in this guide.

Have you grown the Ficus Audrey and want to show us the results? Send your pictures to [email protected], and we may feature them on our blog! These fiddle-leaf fig cousins are sure to brighten up any room.

Let's grow together!

Patrick Chism

Patrick likes to pretend that urban gardening is just a hobby, but he’s actually prepping for the apocalypse. He’s a practical grower, specializing in hydroponics systems and grow lights. His dream is to one day feed his family with just the food he grows in his Chicago-based condo.

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