How to Care for a Ficus Tree Plant


The University of Minnesota states that the ficus tree is one of the most popularly grown houseplant trees, thanks to its hardy nature and lush green foliage. It thrives in pots and has low maintenance needs. Provide your ficus tree with the regular care, feeding and cleaning it needs to keep it growing vigorously, bringing nature indoors and refreshing your room's air.

Step 1

Place the ficus near a west- or east-facing window. These areas provide medium light, which is ideal for ficus plants, according to the University of Missouri.

Step 2

Water the ficus plant once a week or on an as-needed basis, paying attention to the tree's foliage as a sign of watering needs. Curling or browning of the ficus foliage points to a greater need for water. Generally, apply enough water so that moisture appears in the saucer beneath the ficus pot, then wait until the top inch of soil feels dry before watering again.

Step 3

Fertilize the ficus plant once a month during the spring, summer and fall growing seasons when the plant is actively growing, suggests North Dakota State University. The university recommends using any fertilizer labeled for houseplant use, spread on the pot's surface according to its labeled guidelines.

Step 4

Clean the ficus biweekly to prevent a buildup of dust. Dust can block light from reaching the plant's leaves and also attract insect pests. Place the ficus tree in a bathtub and aim the showerhead at it, or put it outside and wash down its foliage with the water hose.

Step 5

Maintain humidity around the ficus. Though the University of Missouri says the ficus can tolerate low humidity, dry air from air conditioners or heaters can weaken the plant. Run a dehumidifier in the same room as the ficus, or place a tray of water beneath the ficus so that the evaporating moisture can raise the humidity in the immediate area.

Things You'll Need

  • Potted ficus tree
  • Water
  • Houseplant fertilizer
  • Showerhead or water hose
  • Dehumidifier or tray of water


  • "The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual"; Barbara Pleasant; 2005
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Ficus
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Caring for Houseplants in Northern Climates
  • North Dakota State University Extension Service: Questions on Ficus
  • University of Missouri Extension: Lighting Indoor Houseplants
Keywords: growing ficus tree, ficus houseplant care, ficus plant management

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.