Ficus Audrey houseplants (aka Ficus benghalensis, banyan, banyan fig, and Indian banyan) typically only need repotting every 18 months to two years when grown indoors. This guide will walk you through step-by-step how to repot your Ficus Audrey plant at home.
- Why Repotting Ficus Audrey Plants Is Necessary
- How Often Do Ficus Audrey Plants Need Repotting?
- Best Times Of Year To Consider Repotting
- The Best Soil Mix When Repotting Ficus Audrey Plants
- What Tools Will I Need When Repotting My Ficus Audrey Plant
- Size & Types Of Potting Vessel Considerations
- How To Repot Your Ficus Audrey Plant
- Post Repotting Care
- Repotting Ficus Audrey Plants FAQs:
- Wrapping Up
Why Repotting Ficus Audrey Plants Is Necessary
Every long-living houseplant will need repotting at some point. There are several reasons why each contributes to plant health or growth.
Growth is the first reason to repot, which most houseplant parents are concerned with. All types of ficus plants will eventually take up all the available space in the pot.
Once the roots start circling the bottom of the pot, popping out above the soil line, or creeping through drainage holes, you’ll know the plant is rootbound. If the roots don’t have space to grow, the top half of the plant can’t grow either.
Giving the plant more space by repotting will do wonders for growth. It also allows you to untangle roots that may constrict each other, limiting water and nutrient uptake problems.
Extremely slow-growing plants will be happy in the same pot for several years without outgrowing the space. However, that doesn’t mean the soil they’re sitting in will still be suitable for solid growth.
Over time, soil begins to degrade in the same pot. The structure slowly breaks down, compacting in places and holding far less water in others.
Nutrients also wash out of the soil as you water over time. Even if you add additional fertilizer, degraded soil cannot hold onto the nutrients, simply washing them out through the drainage holes rather than delivering them to the roots where needed.
After 3-4 years (2-3 years for smaller pots), the plant will need new soil to keep the roots happy. Depending on the plant, you may even be able to use the same pot, simply cleaning the old soil off the roots and repotting it into the new soil.
Pests & Diseases
Although you try your best to keep our houseplants pest and disease-free, you will likely encounter some insidious problems at some point with your Ficus Audrey plant.
Repotting is an essential part of resolving the problem if that problem is soil-borne or spread – as is the case with fungus gnats, mold, or root rot.
Pests and diseases often reside in the soil, enjoying the darkness and moist conditions. Although there are some fungicides and insecticides that may help, they also have the potential to harm your plants in the process. Repotting is a far safer control method.
In the case of root rot, repotting also lets you get a closer look at the roots to remove any damage. The problem will continue without cutting off, spreading to other roots until the plant is completely dead.
Repotting lets you completely replace the soil, clean off the roots, and eliminate the problem for good.
A less ‘necessary’ reason to repot, depending on the plant, is propagating. However, it is a fascinating gardening activity, allowing you to grow even more of your favorite plants at no cost.
Most gardeners choose to propagate by cuttings, but if your plant is bushy and lush, you can also propagate by division.
How Often Do Ficus Audrey Plants Need Repotting?
While Ficus Audrey plants can grow quite rapidly outdoors, they tend to grow a little slower indoors. As a general rule, you’ll need to consider repotting your Ficus Audrey every 18 months to two years.
Young plants tend to grow far quicker than mature ones and will outgrow their pots faster. In this case, annual repotting is recommended. This prevents growth stunting due to lack of space and gives your Ficus Audrey more room to expand.
In older plants, repotting every 18 months to two years is suitable, depending on the environmental conditions and growth rate.
While they will appreciate more space in their pots, they are not fond of environmental changes and often suffer when repotted. Rather than religiously repotting older plants each year, it’s best to wait until they really need it.
For a fully grown Ficus Audrey that is almost hitting the roof, more growth is not the goal – containing growth is.
In this case, you can keep the plant in the same size pot. However, you will still need to repot every three to four years to replenish the soil in the container and keep your tree healthy.
Best Times Of Year To Consider Repotting
The ideal time to repot your Ficus Audrey plant would be in the early spring. This is when your plant actively starts growing after its rest in the winter. Springtime is your Ficus’ strongest season.
You can repot any time of year if you need to repot urgently due to stunted growth or pest and disease issues. In these cases, repotting will be better for the plant’s health than waiting. However, make sure you do so carefully to limit growth issues later on.
The Best Soil Mix When Repotting Ficus Audrey Plants
Soil is the foundation of good growth. Incorrect soil mixes can cause various issues with your plants, some of them irreparable. Your soil mix must be suitable for your plants.
The Ficus Audrey houseplant needs soil that holds plenty of moisture without risking root rot. Peat moss must be balanced with plenty of Perlite to reach the right conditions.
Worm castings are also recommended to add nutrients that the plant needs to grow steadily. Ficus Audrey soil should be slightly acidic with a pH ranging from 6.5 to 7.0.
Almost any basic peat moss potting mix can be enriched with another 25% perlite by volume. This creates a loose enough mix that will still hold plenty of moisture. Ficus Audrey plants fare well in most general-purpose potting soils formulated for houseplants, such as:
(Editors Note: Petal Republic participates in partnership programs with Amazon and other merchants to help connect readers with relevant products and services we may recommend).
For more, see our in-depth guide to the best soil mix for Ficus Audrey plants.
What Tools Will I Need When Repotting My Ficus Audrey Plant
Depending on the size of your Ficus Audrey, repotting can be tricky. Make sure you have these tools prepared before you get started:
- Enough soil mix to fill the entire pot.
- Floor covering to gather the old soil and prevent mess.
- A new pot with plenty of drainage holes.
- A friend to help you lift the plant if it is too large or heavy.
Size & Types Of Potting Vessel Considerations
Choosing a new pot is an essential step in the process of repotting. Many houseplant parents choose a new pot far too large in the hopes that it will encourage more growth. However, it usually has the opposite effect.
If the new pot is too large, the excess soil where the roots do not reach will hold onto too much moisture, leading to root rot or fungal growth. And, as your Ficus Audrey grows better when slightly under pressure, the extra space will have the opposite effect on the growth rate.
Only choose a pot one or two sizes up at most, with an inch or two of extra space in each direction. Don’t worry about needing to repot too soon, they will be happy in these conditions for at least another year or two.
How To Repot Your Ficus Audrey Plant
With your materials gathered and your soil ready, repotting your Ficus Audrey is easy:
- Lay down newspaper or plastic sheeting to keep the floor clean. You may need to lay larger trees on their side, so make sure you have enough space around you.
- Gently squeeze the sides of the pot to loosen the soil and release the plant.
- Tipping the container on its side, gently pull the plant out from the base. Do not pull from the top branches as this can damage the leaves and doesn’t provide enough leverage. If your tree is several feet tall, ask a friend to help.
- Prepare the new container by filling the bottom layer with soil. You can use the empty old pot to measure how high the soil should be at the bottom to meet the roots.
- Tease the roots of your Ficus Audrey gently to release them and lower the plant into the pot. Holding it steady and straight up, fill around the gaps with the remaining soil mix. If you want to support any branches with a stake, install it now.
- Fill the pot to a few inches below the rim. This ensures no soil spills out when watering. Press down gently around the base to anchor the plant in place and eliminate large air pockets.
Post Repotting Care
Always water your Ficus Audrey plant immediately after repotting to limit shock and encourage new root growth. Place the plant back in the same spot it was in initially to prevent any further stress due to changes in conditions. Ficus Audrey plants love warm and humid locations in the home and will benefit from plenty of bright, indirect sunlight.
Any signs of stress, such as yellowing or wilting leaves, should fix themselves after a few weeks. Don’t change your care routine during this time, as it will only further the problem. After about a month, if it has not resolved itself, look for the cause and rectify it.
Repotting Ficus Audrey Plants FAQs:
Why Is My Ficus Audrey Plant Limp After Repotting?
If your Ficus has gone limp after the process of repotting, it’s often due to underwatering. Keep a consistent watering schedule even when only half of the soil is dried out.
Should I Mist My Ficus Audrey Plant After Repotting?
Misting can help to rehydrate the leaves and boost the humidity in and around the plant. Just be careful not to oversaturate the leaves, which can attract pests and diseases.
Should I Fertilize My Ficus Audrey Plant After Repotting?
Refrain from fertilizing your Ficus after repotting. The new soil will have enough nutrients, and you should only start fertilizing your soil after about three months.
The Ficus Audrey is a unique houseplant with an easy-care nature. You’ll only need to consider repotting Ficus Audrey plants every 18 months to two years in most home environments. Enjoy!
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