Ficus benghalensis is native to India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Banyan make beautiful bonsai tree but can also get 100 feet tall and, with its massive limbs supported by prop roots, spread over an area of several acres.
As it grows, Banyan produces aerial roots that hang down from horizontal branches and take root where they touch the ground. These vertical "prop roots" can create a forest on their own.
The leaves start out bronzy brown and hairy before maturing to glossy green and retaining just a scattering of hairs. The figs are scarlet red, about a half-inch in diameter.
Hardiness zones 10-11, (5°C,40°F/1°C,35°F) in Winter. The Indian Banyan tree is one tree that can easily remain indoors all year long. Use 1 part standard potting soil for 1 part coarse sand. As a houseplant, Banyan likes a soil that is well drained but kept moderately moist. Allow soil to dry almost completely, then saturate. Underwatering and overwatering can cause leaves to drop. Outside established Banyan trees are drought tolerant.
Banyan should be positioned in an area where it gets half shade or moderately bright light. Houseplants should be kept at 70-80°F in the Summer and above 55°F in Winter. Banyan can be damaged by frost but will recover from brief periods of freezing weather.