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How to Plant a Bodhi Tree

By Hollan Johnson ; Updated September 21, 2017

The Bodhi tree, also known as the Buddha tree or Ficus religiosa, is a banyan fig tree that is native to India and Southeast Asia. Buddha received enlightenment under a Bodhi tree so they are considered sacred in both the Buddhist and Hindu religions. Bodhi trees are banyan figs, which mean they grow air roots while supporting themselves on other trees. These trees are native to tropical environments so you must live in a warm, mild climate to grow one.

Work 4 to 5 inches of compost into the soil before you plant the Bodhi tree. This will increase the soil’s acidity.

Dig a hole as deep as the Bodhi tree’s root ball and twice as wide.

Place the tree in the hole and backfill the hole with soil.

Water the soil for 5 to 10 minutes until the soil is moist. Water the Bodhi tree in a similar fashion once a week.


Things You Will Need

  • Compost
  • Shovel


  • Choose a place for your Bodhi tree that has full sunlight along with rich, well-drained, acidic soil
  • If you live in a windy area, you may want to support the Bodhi tree until it is strong enough to stand on its own without being blown over.


  • Do not plant a Bodhi tree near a building, wall or road. The roots are very invasive and can destroy man-made materials by growing over them.

About the Author


Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.