While the weeping fig is the most common type of ficus tree planted, there are more than 800 varieties of the tree. No matter which type you select, planting a ficus tree can be done by meeting its specific needs. And when the tree begins to drop its leaves, as it so commonly does, just know that it is adapting to its environment, and continue to provide it with the maintenance that it needs.
Find the right location to plant a ficus that will offer steady temperatures between 60 and 72 degrees F. Meet the lighting needs of a ficus by planting it in an area that receives partial sun.
Dig an area approximately 5 times the diameter of the root ball to a depth of about 1 foot to receive the treee. Add organic matter only if the soil is very compacted or porous and retains very little moisture. Add humus to clay soil to make it more crumbly, which is the ideal soil texture to allow proper water drainage and air flow. Use shredded leaves, gathered from your own yard, as a free and effective alternative for organic matter.
Remove the plant from the container and tap around the pot with your hands to loosen the roots. Trim any roots that are growing out of the draining holes with a pair of gardening shears. Place the container on its side. Support the stem and top of the tree, and gently slide the ficus out of the container.
Place the tree into the planting area and fill it with soil. Pack the soil firmly, but not around the root ball. Water the soil. Place a layer of mulch around the base of the tree.
Set a ficus grown in burlap directly into the prepared area. Fill about 1/3 of the hole with soil. Remove the burlap and cord far enough to expose the top of the soil. Add more soil to the planting area, burying the burlap sack. Water the soil. Place a layer of mulch 1 to 2 inches deep around the base of the tree.