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How to Repot a Ficus Tree

ficus benjamina image by Unclesam from

The ficus tree (Ficus benjamina) is a popular houseplant tree. There are 800 species of the plant available. Many ficus trees thrive for 10 years without being re-potted. Pot size often dictates the tree's size. The larger the tree, the larger the pot. When re-potting a ficus expect the top growth to slow down as the tree focuses on its root system. Once the root system is established in the new pot, the tree will put its energy into top growth. The ficus prefers to have slightly root-bound roots. Re-potting should take place in the spring.

Choose a pot that is one size larger than the pot that the ficus is currently housed within. The ficus does not like to be in an extra large pot because it enjoys being slightly root bound.

Place a few inches of potting soil into the bottom of the new pot. The ficus is not picky about potting soil. Any soil that is well-draining will work.

Grasp the ficus tree at the base close to the soil level and gently lift from its current pot. If the tree refuses to budge then tap the sides of the existing pot or gently shake the tree loose.

Set the tree into the new pot. The ficus tree will need to have its new potting soil level with the old potting soil line. Gently add potting soil around the ficus tree. Tamp the soil down to remove any air pockets. Once the ficus is completely potted water the tree thoroughly.

Fertilize the newly potted ficus using a well-balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer. Apply fertilizer every month until October and then cease fertilizing until March.


Expect the ficus tree to drop its leaves heavily after re-potting.

Place the re-potted tree back into the same location it grew before to minimize the stress the plant will be enduring.

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