IT'S time to move the ficus into the house. I've got a Ficus benjamina, the 'weeping fig', that I bought when I moved to Phlly in 1984. It's grown some, and gotten moved to successively larger pots. Nowadays I trim it back severely in the summer—it reaches almost to the ceiling—and put it outside the back door to get some sun. In the winter it lives in the living room, near the window. It's not a hardy plant. Ficus' are used as hedges in Florida, where I hear they have a bad reputation for clogging sewers and drains with their roots, as they search for water, but they're certainly not frost-hardy in Pennsylvania.
Frankly, it's an awful looking plant. I can trim back the leaves, but the multiple trunks of the thing have just kept on growing, and now look really out of proportion to the top. And even though it spends the summer outside, the leaves just never quite fill out enough to make it look right. It just looks... mangy. But it's like an old friend, I've had it for the better part of two decades, and I can't stand to toss it.
Weather.com says it will be going as low as 35 on Sunday morning. Too close for comfort for my ficus. 35 won't hurt it, but there are frost pockets here and there in my area, and I've seen frost on the ground in the morning when the prediction was for high 30's at night. Time for ficus to rejoin me in the house.
The ficus is ficing huge, if you haven't figured that out by now. With pot, I think it weighs at least 200 pounds. Walking it up the back steps is a challenge. I am not looking forward to this, especially because it's supposed to rain tomorrow. But it's a ritual of autumn every year.