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How to Prune a Ginseng Ficus

By Melissa Lewis ; Updated September 21, 2017

A ginseng ficus is a popular plant to grow as a bonsai. Its growth and shape are easily controlled with pruning. In fact, its roots can be pruned to add to the bonsai’s aesthetic appeal. Prune a ginseng ficus with a concave cutter, which will not show scars as easily as other clippers. Since ficus often bleeds after sharp cuts, use dull pruning shears or clippers, no matter which kind you choose.

Trim up to half of the ginseng ficus new leaves, after it grows six to 10 of them, to help with a strong and lush crown.

Cut new growth and limbs to shape a ginseng ficus. Prune new growth from spring and fall. Prune previous year’s growth in the fall after it's growth has stopped for the year.

Prune the roots every one to two years, preferably in early spring, when you repot a ginseng ficus. Remove the soil around the roots with a paintbrush or bonsai fork. Cut 1/3 to 1/2 of the roots away to control growth. Cut wedges at the top of the rootball, under the crown, to shape the roots to grow in interesting patterns above the soil line.


Things You Will Need

  • Concave cutter or clippers
  • Paintbrush or bonsai fork

About the Author


Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.