Care of Ficus Trees


There are many varieties of ficus trees, ranging from producing fig trees to rubber trees to small varieties ideal for bonsai. Although there are minor differences in how you should care for these trees, there are a number of basic ways to keep them healthy. By following simple, common sense care steps, you can keep your ficus happy, healthy and growing well.

Step 1

Understand that your tree may lose some or most of its leaves if you move it from one environment to another. This is normal. Most trees will recover after a few months. When bringing your ficus home, it may drop leaves as a response to the change in environments.

Step 2

Keep your ficus in a sunny location. Ficus thrives in bright light, but can also do well in variable light with more sun than shade.

Step 3

Water your ficus regularly. However, if your tree has a weak root system, allow the soil to dry out between waterings. The ficus will send out more roots to seek out moisture, thus strengthening its root system.

Step 4

Fertilize your ficus with fish emulsion once every four to six weeks. Remember to dilute the fish emulsion according to the manufacturer's directions. Different brands of emulsion will require different levels of dilution.

Step 5

Prune your ficus with sharp pruning shears to limit its size and create a more pleasing shape. If your ficus is a multiple trunk variety, be sure to prune each trunk equally to avoid injuring or killing one or more of the trunks. Most ficus will weep a milky white sap at each cut. Allow this to dry naturally and clean your shears to prevent rust.

Step 6

Every two years, remove your ficus from its pot and trim back 1/3 of the roots with sharp pruning shears to limit its size. If you want a larger ficus, remove the plant from its existing pot and re-plant it in a larger pot.

Things You'll Need

  • Ficus tree
  • Sunny location
  • Watering container or can
  • Fish emulsion
  • Sharp pruning shears
  • Pots (optional)


  • Plant Care: Ficus Pruning
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Ficus
  • Evergrowing: Ficus Tree / Fig Tree

Who Can Help

  • Ficus Tree: Ficus Tree Care
Keywords: ficus care, ficus trees, ficus cultivation

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.