moving indoor ficus tree outside?

I've had a ficus tree in the corner of a room with large west and north views for a couple years now, but i'd like to move it onto the balcony with the same view(it's getting a bit large for the room) . i'm not sure what kind of ficus it is so if anyone can help with ID, that'd be great. I live in southern california, so weather is usually pretty mild (except lately!)
I know ficus trees are sensitive just by being moved, so I'm wondering if it will be happy outside...
thanks!
- jd
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On 12/10/2009 5:58 PM, JayDee wrote:

Where in southern California?
If you are in a coastal area (e.g, Oxnard, Malibu, Redondo Beach, Laguna), it should do okay.
If you are in an inland valley (e.g., San Fernando, San Gabriel, Riverside), it should be in a location that is shady most of the day. Summer sunshine will be too strong. It should also be in an area that is protected from winter frosts.
If you are in a mountain area (other than the Santa Monica Mountains), it should be indoors during the winter.
My Ficus benjamina (weeping Chinese banyan, a common indoor ficus) was in a large flower pot on my front porch, well under cover. It got some direct sun for about 2-3 hours a day. It did very well. Three years ago, during the Great Freeze of '07, all top growth was killed. Although some shoots started to sprout near the soil, I replaced it. Even after sprouting, it could still fail from the freeze damage.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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Hi David! Thanks for your reply. I live in Hollywood and the view is northwest. As far as coverage, it will be on my balcony, half covered on the top. As you know, it gets really windy hear very occasionally, but frost really isn't a problem, ever. Is it generally ok to make these types of trees full-time outdoor after always having lived full- time indoor? and if doesn't like it, i guess i could always bring it back in to revive.
- JayDee
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On 12/19/2009 9:42 AM, JayDee wrote:

In Hollywood, a ficus should do very well outdoors. Your climate is much more moderated than mine, and my ficus does very well outdoors. It will "resent" being moved from indoors and will likely drop many leaves. Although it will look shabby for a while, it will recover. Just don't over-water or over-feed; there really is nothing you can do to speed the recovery.
Facing north-west, it might get the brunt of winter rains. If you make sure the pot drains well and that any container in which the pot sits does not accumulate too much water, this will not be a problem.
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malls, it is Ficus benjamina, the weeping fig. The modern cultivars are less likely to shed their leaves than the original species. By the way, if your tree gets too big, you can prune it, like any tree. The sap is latex, but don't let that stop you.

leaves are rounder on the tips and much thicker than Ficus benjamina. It probably tolerates more sun. Iris
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judging by my poking around the 'net, I'm pretty sure I've got a benjamina. The leaves come to a point and have some waves. In fact, some of them come to a point, then have what looks like a little stem at the tip of the leaf. I have a bougenvillia on my balcony, but it's not doing very well and I'd like to replace it with something livelier and since my ficus is taking up lots of room in my bedroom, I thought that'd be a good choice.
bottom line... i want to have a happy tree! if you all think it will be just as happy sitting on my balcony and won't resent me for moving it outside of a little initial leaf loss, i think i will be ok. in other words, just wanted to make sure these trees are just as happy outdoors as they are inside.
thanks for all your input and have very HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
- jd
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