Ficus trees, also known as fig trees, are a common landscape tree in the extreme southern United States. They are an evergreen tree (which means they keep their leaves in the winter) and grow best in full sunlight. Ficus trees do not tolerate frost or freezing temperatures. When exposed to a frost or freeze, leaves and branches quickly die. If it gets cold enough, the entire tree will die back to the ground. If a frost or freezing temperatures are predicted, it is crucial to provide adequate protection to save your ficus tree from freezing.
Select a good planting spot for your ficus tree. Plant it next to a southern wall of a building that gets ample sunlight. Such an area remains warmer than other areas in the yard and can stay above freezing in marginal freeze events.
Cover trees with a frost cloth or blanket to keep frost from forming on the leaves. Weight the blanket to the ground with rocks or tie it with rope around the base of the tree to keep the tree shielded as best as possible from outdoor conditions.
Hang a light or wrap multiple lights around the ficus tree under the blanket. Larger Christmas lightbulb strands work great for this. The light or lights will release heat energy, which will get trapped under the blanket or frost cloth and help keep the tree warm.
Bring smaller potted ficus trees indoors when a frost or freezing weather is predicted. Potted plants are even more susceptible to frost or freeze damage than plants planted directly in the ground.