How to Prune Weeping Fig Trees


The weeping fig tree is also known as Benjamin ficus or Ficus benjamina; it is a beautiful houseplant that became extremely popular during the 1970s. It gets its common name "weeping fig" from its wonderful arching branches that are filled with glossy pointed leaves. In its native habitat of southeastern Asia and the Malayan peninsula, the ficus is an outdoor evergreen growing to heights of 30 to 40 feet. In the home, the height is determined by the size of the pot and how much sunlight the plant receives; most trees are 10 feet and under. The weeping fig requires very little pruning. You will only need to prune to maintain form/shape, control the height and annually to renew growth.

Step 1

Lightly clip away any leaves or ends of branches to maintain the rounded shape of the plant. Think of it as part of a grooming routine as the tree matures, and you are merely giving the tree a trim. You can do this at any time.

Step 2

Lightly prune away top growth as the tree matures and reaches your desired height. Snip off the leaves or ends of branches at the top of the tree. This can be done at any time that you feel it is necessary.

Step 3

Prune away any undesired branches by cutting them off at the trunk of the tree. This can be done annually if necessary. Severe pruning is also known as "renewal" pruning as it encourages new growth. This hard pruning should be done in June or July and only if it is needed.

Tips and Warnings

  • The weeping fig should not be overwatered, and it should be protected from cold drafts. The weeping fig does not like to be moved. When moved it will shed its leaves.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruning shears


  • Stauffers of Kissel Hill: Weeping Fig
  • University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture: Weeping Fig
  • Jack Eden: Care for the Weeping Fig
Keywords: weeping fig, ficus benjamina, pruning house plants

About this Author

Paula M. Ezop’s inspirational column "Following the Spiritual Soul" appeared in "Oconee Today," a Scripps Howard publication. She has published her first book, "SPIRITUALITY for Mommies," and her children's chapter book, "The Adventures of Penelope Star," will be published by Wiggles Press. Ezop has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern Illinois University and has been writing for 10 years.