Ficus (Ficus Benjamina) Care Sheet
Tips and Tricks for Caring for Your Ficus Tree
This tropical plant is one of the most popular indoor tree species for bonsai. There are between 80 and 200 different species of Ficus. The famous Bodhi tree under which Buddha achieved enlightenment was a Ficus religiosa.
The Ficus is a tropical tree that requires a lot of light, preferably full sunlight. Do not place in a shady location. They love direct morning sunlight and thrive in hardiness zones 5 to 8. Your Ficus tree can be kept outside during the summer when temperatures are above 60°F. Bring inside at the first sign of colder temperatures, as the Ficus does not like cold drafts and cannot endure frosty conditions. The Ficus does not like sudden changes, so when moving, do so gradually.
The Ficus prefers constant temperature. Maintain temperatures above 60°F at all times. As the Ficus is a tropical plant, they thrive in temperatures above 70°F. Humidity is key for this tropical plant. Mist regularly and use a humidity tray to keep humidity levels up. *Make sure when using a humidity tray that you have enough room underneath the pot for water to flow freely. Too much water can cause root rot.
Water your Ficus tree generously when the soil even gets slightly dry. They prefer soft water, room temperature. While they can tolerate the occasional under- or over-watering, it is best to keep your soil consistently moist. Decrease watering in the winter, especially if kept in colder temperatures.
We recommend using the Tropical Bonsai Soil Mix for your Ficus. The Ficus is a fast-growing tree. Use slow-release pellets at the beginning of growing season. The Ficus prefers monthly fertilizing in the spring and summer. Drop back to once every two months in the fall and winter. During growing season, fertilize once a month with a solid organic fertilizer, such as our Maintain or Push pellets, or every week with a liquid. When your Trident Maple is young, use a fertilizer high in nitrogen, like our Push Fertilizer Pellets.
Repotting should be done during the spring every other year. Remove the tree and all of its soil from the pot. Remove the outer- and bottom-most section of the tree’s root mass. The Ficus can take root pruning well. Place your Ficus back in the original container or a new one and work fresh soil around the root mass.
Cuttings can be planted at any time of the year, but you’ll have the highest chance of success during mid-summer growth. Air-layering and seed planting is best done in the spring.
Prune regularly to maintain the tree’s shape. After six to eight leaves have grown, prune back to two leaves. Heavy pruning is best done in the spring. The Ficus tree will “bleed” a milky white sap. Make sure when pruning to cover any large wounds with cut paste.
The Ficus has very flexible branches, making it easy to wire. Make sure to check your wire regularly, though, as it can cut into the bark very quickly.
The Ficus is susceptible to scale or spider mites in poor conditions.
Tropical Bonsai Soil Mix
KIKU™ Root Hook
KIKU™ Aluminum Training Wire