How to Care for a Ficus Leaf Tree


Ficus, a miniature version of the Banyan tree, is well suited for growth as an indoor plant. Reaching heights of 15 feet, indoor varieties can be maintained through regular pruning. Commonly referred to as a fig, bonsai or rubber plant, the various varieties of ficus are cared for with proper lighting and adequate moisture, mulch and fertilizer.

Step 1

Plant the ficus in sandy, peat-based, well-draining soil at a depth of 12 to 18 inches in a planter with drainage system.

Step 2

Place the planter away from direct afternoon sunlight to prevent burning the leaves. Position the ficus plant so all sides of the planter receive the same lighting. If this is not possible, turn the planter ¼ turn each week to provide adequate light to the entire plant.

Step 3

Run a humidifier near the plant or spray the leaves daily with a mist of water. Warm temperature and moist air will provide a greener leaf base.

Step 4

Provide adequate water to the ficus. Allow the soil to dry 2 inches below the surface between waterings. Water until the excess escapes from the drainage holes in the planter bottom. Provide a layer of mulch around the plant base to retain moisture in the soil.

Step 5

Fertilize the ficus every two to three weeks during warmer months. Provide a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer, applying according to package directions. Apply a half-strength fertilizer once a month in winter.

Things You'll Need

  • Large planter
  • Peat soil
  • Humidifier
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer


  • Bachman's: Ficus for Indoors Weeping, Creeping, Rubber and Fiddleleaf
  • Purdue University: Fig
  • Ficus Plant: Ficus Benjamina
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Houseplants Help Clean Indoor Air
Keywords: ficus planting, bonsai care, potted ficus

About this Author

Christina Wheeler has been a professional freelance writer since 2007. She lends her expertise in animal care, gardening and home improvement to online publications such as Garden Guides and eHow. Wheeler studied business management at Ohio University.