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How to Propagate Ficus Trees

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017
In the tropics, ficus trees can be grown outdoors.
ficus benjamina image by Unclesam from Fotolia.com

The Ficus genus contains over 800 species, native to the tropics. The common fig tree (Ficus carica) is the most famous species, while the ornamental ficus trees, such as F. benjamina (weeping fig), F. elastica (rubber tree) and F. lyrata (fiddle-leaved fig) are among the most popular houseplants. Native to the world’s tropical regions, the ornamental ficus varieties do not bear fruit and are grown for their striking shapes and foliage. Ficus propagation from cuttings is a simple process.

Fill a small planting pot with coarse sand or orchid bark. Water the medium until it is drenched and allow the pot to drain completely. Use a pencil or other pointed object to create a 2-inch planting hole in the soil.

Cut a 4-inch-long piece from the tip of a ficus tree branch. Make the cutting at a 45-degree angle.

Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting. Dip the angled end of the cutting into the rooting hormone deep enough so that at least one leaf node is covered.

Stick the cutting into the planting hole until it is buried to just below the bottom leaves. Pack the planting medium around the cutting.

Place the pot in a plastic bag and seal it. The soil temperature needs to remain between 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit so use a heat mat if needed. Place the ficus cutting in an area that receives indirect sunlight.

Check the soil periodically to make sure that it remains moist.Your cutting should root within eight weeks, at which time you should remove it from the bag, keep the soil moist and place it back in indirect sunlight.


Things You Will Need

  • Planting pot
  • Coarse sand or orchid bark
  • Sharp pruning shears
  • Rooting hormone
  • Transparent plastic bag
  • Heat mat

About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.