How to Care for a Ficus Tree

Overview

There are over 800 species of ficus plants, with even more varieties. Of these, the most popular is the Ficus benjamina, which is often grown indoors. The ficus tree's lush, green leaves, ability to grow in a wide variety of conditions and ability to tolerate severe pruning (many are shaped as topiaries) make it a popular choice with both indoor and outdoor gardeners. Because the tree cannot tolerate frost, it is often grown in containers, even when outdoors. When cooler weather arrives, the tree can be moved to a warmer location. Ficus trees have the same general care needs, regardless of the species.

Step 1

Choose the right location for your ficus tree. Place it in bright sunlight, but not in direct, hot sunlight. Morning sunlight, followed by afternoon partial or dappled shade, is ideal.

Step 2

Water your tree when the top layer of soil is dry. Dip your finger into the dirt. When it is dry down to an inch, water the ficus. Leaves that are turning yellow is one sign of over-watering, which is a common problem with ficus trees, especially those grown indoors.

Step 3

Mist your ficus tree daily with a spray bottle filled with lukewarm water. These trees love humidity. You can even set up a humidifier next to the tree, or, if the tree is in a container, place it on a tray filled with rocks and water. Make sure the tree's container is resting on the rocks and not touching the water. The water will evaporate, providing humidity for the tree.

Step 4

Fertilize your ficus tree once a month with a slow-release, water-soluble fertilizer. A balanced fertilizer is fine (10-10-10) or if your tree is indoors, choose one formulated for indoor plants.

Step 5

Provide consistent temperatures for your ficus tree. Temperatures that remain between 65 and 75 degrees F are ideal. Keep your tree away from any drafty areas, such as under a heating or air conditioning vent.

Things You'll Need

  • Watering tool
  • Spray bottle with mist setting
  • Tray (optional)
  • Rocks (optional)
  • Humidifier (optional)
  • Water-soluble balanced fertilizer (10-10-10)

References

  • University of Florida: Weeping Fig
  • FicusTree.com: The Indoor Tree-- Ficus Hundred Species And Varieties

Who Can Help

  • North Dakota State University: Questions on Ficus
Keywords: ficus care, ficus tree, weeping fig

About this Author

April Sanders has been a writer and educator for 11 years. She is a published curriculum writer and has provided academic content for several subscription databases. Sanders holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social psychology and a Master's degree in information sciences and technology.