How to Take Care of a Fig Tree Indoors


Fig trees, or ficus, grow outdoors as permanent large trees in temperate areas. In California, where outdoor growing conditions are optimal, fig trees also produce fruit. Ficus are popular houseplants as well. More than 800 species and thousands of varieties of fig trees grow throughout the world. The most popular cultivars for growing indoors are Ficus benjamina, Ficus lyrata and Ficus indigo.

Step 1

Clean the fig tree by spraying it with an organic insecticidal soap solution or organic neem oil solution. A clean plant prevents bringing common plant pests into the house.

Step 2

Place a large fig tree in its container on a large plant dolly. The dolly keeps the container off the floor, and it gives you a way to move the plant easily. Use a saucer between the container and the dolly to keep water from damaging the floor.

Step 3

Water your fig tree regularly. The soil should never dry out completely, and it should never be soggy. A rule of thumb is to water the tree when the top two inches of soil are dry.

Step 4

Place the fig tree where it will receive proper light exposure. Provide bright, indirect light on a consistent basis for your fig tree. In northern areas, supplement natural light during the winter by using plant lights. Ficus grow well indoors with six to eight hours of light per day.

Tips and Warnings

  • Underwatering can cause lots of yellow leaves and leaf drop. Too much water can cause new green leaves to drop. If you give your fig tree a gentle shake and green leaves fall off, that is also a sign of too much water. Droopy green, flaccid leaves on the lower branches or dropped green leaves indicate consistent overwatering.

Things You'll Need

  • Ficus tree in container
  • Organic insecticidal soap solution or organic neem oil solution
  • Plant dolly (optional)
  • Plant light (optional)


  • North Dakota State University Extension Service
  • University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Green & Evergrowing

Who Can Help

  • Ficus varieties
Keywords: fig tree, ficus tree indoors, fig tree care, ficus care

About this Author

Fern Fischer writes about quilting and sewing, and she professionally restores antique quilts to preserve these historical pieces of women's art. She also covers topics of organic gardening, health, rural lifestyle, home and family. For over 35 years, her work has been published in print and online.