How to Care for Ficus Tree


Ficus trees or ornamental fig trees originated in southeast Asia. They are a carefree, tropical plant suited for container gardening. The most common variety of ficus tree available is ficus benjamina or weeping fig. Most varieties have woody stems or treelike trunks with bright green leaves. Ficus range in size from 3 inches to over 10 feet in height. Ficus trees are heat tolerant and do not thrive in cold areas.

Step 1

Mix potting soil, peat moss, bark and sand together in a ratio of 1:1:1:1. Fill a large flower pot half full of potting soil mixture. Plant the ficus tree into the pot, cover with potting soil mixture. Add plain bark mulch around the trunk of the tree.

Step 2

Water ficus trees thoroughly, the water should flow from the drain holes in the bottom of the flower pot. Remove excess water after it has stopped flowing from the drain holes. Allow the soil to dry some before watering again.

Step 3

Fertilize with a liquid fertilizer at half the recommended strength. Indoor ficus trees need to be fertilized every three to four weeks during their heaviest growth periods when there are new leaves and branches forming.

Step 4

Place the ficus tree in a sunny location in your home, such as a south facing window. Check for drafts from doorways, windows and air conditioners. Ficus trees need to be protected from cold.

Step 5

Use hand pruners to prune ficus trees to control their size. Cut branches above the first leaf node (the node closest to the trunk or main branch). This will produce a fuller plant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not discard ficus trees because they have lost their leaves. They are sensitive to changes and may just be acclimating to their new location.

Things You'll Need

  • Ficus tree
  • Large flower pot
  • Potting soil
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • Bark
  • Fertilizer
  • Hand pruners


  • University of Minnesota Cooperative Extension
  • Why do Ficus lose leaves?
Keywords: ficus tree, ornamental fig, weeping fig

About this Author

Currently residing in Myrtle Beach, SC, Tammy Curry began writing agricultural and frugal living articles in 2004. Her articles have appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Farm Chronicle and Country Family Magazine. Ms. Curry has also written SEO articles for She holds an associate's degree in science from Jefferson College of Health Sciences.