Instructions on Pruning a Ficus Tree


Ficus trees are native to tropical regions where they can grow to between 60 and 120 feet, depending on the variety. Ficus trees are sacred to both Buddhists and Hindus. Buddha is said to have been enlightened under a Ficus religiosa tree. Ficus grows very quickly and has a tendency to drop leaves when faced with a change in location or a drop in temperature. Because they grow quickly, pruning your ficus is necessary both for the sake of size and for the health of your tree.

Step 1

Prune your ficus tree as soon as it puts out numerous new leaves. This is often in the spring, but it could occur any time with indoor ficus trees.

Step 2

Look at your ficus from all sides to get a sense of the existing balance of the tree.

Step 3

Begin pruning your tree from the bottom up and from the inside out. Trim branches close to the trunk, but leave a stub near the branch collar to minimize the risk of viral or bacterial infection.

Step 4

Clip any branches that are too long just above a leaf, leaving about 1/8 to 1/4 of the branch above the leaf.

Step 5

Pinch off any new growth going in an undesired direction.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears or sharp scissors


  • University of Florida: Ficus benjamina
  • Bonsai Gardener: Ficus Bonsai Care
  • Brian's Garden: Pruning ficus
Keywords: ficus pruning, ficus care, ficus tree pruning

About this Author

Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.