Ficus trees are a hardy species of plant often used indoors. Ficus have glossy leaves that are leathery in texture. Ficus include the rubber tree, Ficus elastica, and the weeping fig, Ficus benjamina. Ficus require a small amount of care to survive and they thrive even with a small amount of abuse.
The ficus tree began in India, southeastern Asia and Malaysia. Ficus trees, originating from subtropical climates, are well-suited for high or moderate heat with a small amount of water. However, their origins make them highly susceptible to cold weather. Drafts require sealing to prevent the plant from wilting.
Ficus plants grow well in full sunlight and will thrive in a west- or south-facing window. Ficus will also live well in a medium to bright light. Rubber trees that are well-established and mature live well in a north-facing window that does not receive good sunlight.
Ficus tend to drop leaves when moved to a new location, according to the Ever Growing website, but this is normal due to the stress of new environmental conditions. Ficus will recover soon, then grow rapidly. Most ficus varieties grow upright and have a woody single trunk or shrublike woody trunks that twirl together. As the trunk grows, the braided trunks fuse together, says the University of Minnesota.
Pruning is required to control the size of the ficus. Some trees grow tall and pruning will reduce top growth. Cutting branches back to the leaf nodes encourages side growth. Pruning is done at the leaf or just above the leaf scar. New growth appears from the scar area.
Ficus trees like a moist soil, so a thorough watering is necessary. Room temperature or lukewarm water is required to prevent shock to the plant. A water-soluble fertilizer should be applied with watering every three to four weeks, or according to label instructions.