How to Pot a Ficus


There are more than 1,000 species of ficus. These tropical and subtropical plants and trees vary in size and shape. Still, these species are similar in that they are all evergreen with rich, green foliage. The genus is mostly disease resistant, cold tender, drought tolerant and sun-loving. This combination makes the ficus an excellent selection for potting and the indoor environment.

Step 1

Plant the ficus in a container that can comfortably accommodate the depth and spread of the tree's root system while providing additional room for growth. Ensure that the container has several drainage holes to allow the excess water to flow evenly from the soil.

Step 2

Remove the ficus from its current container or burlap bindings. Remove the excess soil from the root ball and gently spread out the roots. Inspect the roots closely. Look for dead, dying or wilted roots. Trim away the deadened areas with sterile pruning shears or scissors. Avoid removing more than one-third of the root system to prevent growth stunt and dieback.

Step 3

Create a loamy environment for your ficus. Mix equal amounts of nutrient rich soil and fine clean sand and incorporate them thoroughly. Apply a layer of soil at the bottom third of the container and position the ficus in the center of the container. Fill the container with soil while ensuring that all of the ficus' roots are covered. Press the soil firmly around the ficus to secure its upright position.

Step 4

Irrigate the newly potted ficus thoroughly. Irrigate the tree with tepid water until the excess water flows evenly from the bottom of the potting container. Allow the ficus to dry slightly in-between each irrigation, but never allow it dry out completely.

Step 5

Place the potted ficus in a warm, sunny location that receives at least six to eight hours of full sunlight each day. Ensure that the location is well ventilated and provides the ficus with plenty of room to grow.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine sand
  • Potting container
  • Pruning shears


  • Bonsai for Beginners: Repotting Your Bonsai
  • Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health: Ficus
  • University of Minnesota Cooperative Extension: Rubber Trees, Weeping Figs and Other Friendly Ficus
Keywords: ficus plant care, potting ficus trees, potting ficus plants

About this Author

Charmayne Smith is a business professional and freelance writer. She has worked in management for successful organizations since 1994. Smith draws on her business background to write articles, and her work has appeared in a variety of online outlets. She holds a degree in business from Cleveland State University.