Ficus trees are one of the most popular indoor plants. They are used extensively for decorating in both private homes and public buildings. They will continue to grow as tall as the space allows or they can be pruned to contain their size. Ficus trees are available in several varieties, including the traditional weeping fig variety and also one with variegated leaves. They are also available with several potted together with the trunks intertwined in a decorative pattern.
Choose the smallest container that the root ball will fit into. Ficus trees like to be pot bound. It is likely that your ficus tree will not need to be repotted for at least a year after you purchase it. Avoid repotting until the soil in the pot is completely filled with roots and almost no soil is showing. As a general rule of thumb, transplant ficus trees about every 3 years.
Position ficus in a south-facing window with a thin transparent curtain. Ficus trees like bright indirect light and suffer when exposed to direct sunlight.
Grow them in very warm temperatures. Ficus trees prefer warm daytime temperatures of 75 degrees Fahrenheit or above and only slightly cooler nighttime temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Water when the soil on the surface of the pot begins to feel dry, but don't let the soil dry out completely. Water thoroughly until the water runs into the drip tray under the pot. If the surface soil still feels damp, hold off watering for another day.
Mist daily. Maintaining high humidity levels will help keep your ficus tree from dropping its leaves. Another way to increase humidity is to fill the drip tray under the pot with small gravel or pebbles. Add water so its level comes just below the top of the rocks. As the water evaporates it will add humidity to the area around the tree. You can also place a humidifier in the room where the ficus tree is growing or group several other houseplants near it.
Feed monthly during spring and summer when the tree is in active growth. Use a water soluble fertilizer formulated for house plants mixed according to the manufacturer's recommended proportions. Stop feeding in autumn and allow the tree to begin active growth in spring before resuming regular feedings.
Check your tree often for scale. These are sap sucking insects that look like brown specks on the leaves and stems. If you notice scale, spray immediately with horticultural oil or full strength isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Repeat the treatment every 4 days for several weeks, until the infestation has been eliminated.