Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Transplant a Ficus Tree From the Ground to a Pot

Ficus trees are popular plants that grow well indoors and outdoors. Ficus trees planted directly into the ground grow larger than those planted in pots. Directly in the ground, however, ficus trees are at the mercy of inclimate weather. It is possible to transplant a ficus tree to a pot. Do this carefully, however, because ficus trees are notoriously finicky.

Make sure your flower pot has a drainage hole. If it does not have a hole on the bottom, create one with a drill and masonry bit. Place 3 to 4 inches of potting soil in the bottom of the flower pot.

Use a shovel to dig the ficus tree out of the ground. Start digging 12 inches from the tree's trunk. This ensures that you keep as much of the root system intact as possible. Carefully uproot the tree and pull it out of the ground.

Shake the soil from the root ball. If you see any insects among the roots, use a water hose to rinse the soil and insects from the roots.

Place the ficus tree in the center of the flower pot. Use one hand (or a helper's hands) to hold the tree upright and centered while you pour potting soil around and on top of the root ball. Tap the soil down gently, to provide stable support for the tree.

Water immediately to allow the tree to settle and work oxygen bubbles out of the root system.

Leave the ficus tree in the same spot you dug it out of. Ficus trees are very picky and do not like change. For the first two weeks, leave it in the same spot, enabling it to acclimate to the pot. Every week, move the ficus a foot or two toward the spot where you want it to be. Avoid moving it too far too quickly or the ficus will protest by losing all of its leaves.

Garden Guides