The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Ficus

Family: Moraceae.

This plant is available in our partner's store!

Common name(s): Fig
Ficus Genus of about 800 species of mainly evergreen trees, shrubs, and woody climbers, found in moist forest in tropical and subtropical regions wordwide. These small trees or large spreading bushes are known for their tropical-looking foliage and pear-shaped edible fruits. In colder regions, they're grown as tub plants, taken inside, or protected during the winter. They grow in most soils and are drought-resistant once established. Prune to almost any shape and size. Trees bear fruit twice a year without pollination.

The foliage may cause mild stomach upset if ingested; the sap may irritate skin or aggravate allergies. The foliage of Ficus carica can cause photodermatitis; its sap may irritate the eyes.

Ficus
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average or above average warmth in summer. Keep fairy cool in winter - minimum temperature 60 F or 18 C. Bright light - avoid direct sunshine. Grow in well-drained, soil-based potting mix. Water freely from spring to autumn - sparingly in Winter. Use tepid water. Mist leaves frequently, especially in hot weather. Take semi-ripe stem cuttings or leaf-bud cuttings in spring or summer. Use a rooting hormone and provide bottom head. Sow seed at 59-70 F (15-21 C) in spring.
Ficus benendijkii alii
Ficus benendijkii alii
Ficus benghalensis
Ficus benghalensis
Ficus benjamina L.
One of the most recognizable house plants grown today. Very economical and easy to grow from seed and easy to care for. A fast growing plant that can become a centerpiece. Ficus benjamina L.
Ficus carica L.
This tree bears edible figs and has large, bright green, lobed leaves and smooth gray bark. More popular varieties include Brown Turkey, Genoa, Kadota and Mission. Prone to root nematodes. Ficus carica L.
Ficus cyathistipula
Ficus cyathistipula
Ficus deltoidea
Ficus deltoidea
Ficus deltoidea
Ficus deltoidea
Ficus elastica Roxb. (Braided Ficus)
Use outdoors in southern California and Florida for its glossy, dark green, rubbery leaves. Foolproof indoor houseplants. Ficus elastica Roxb. (Braided Ficus)
Ficus lyrata Warb.
Ficus lyrata Warb.
Ficus microcarpa var. crassifolia
Ficus microcarpa var. crassifolia
Ficus pumila L. (Creeping Fig)
This dense matting covers walls and buildings, and pulls off plaster and paint when removed. Young plants have small, heart-shaped, finely textured leaves of deep green. Mature plants have leathery, lighter green, oblong leaves 2-4 in. long. Ficus pumila L. (Creeping Fig)

User-submitted additions and corrections:

zulzila dzulkefli
Malaysia
27th Dec 2004
I think ficus has so many benefit and it can be a number one medicinal plants.
Dimitris
Greece
2nd Mar 2005
Probably the easiest plant to care for. Very tolerant of most environmental conditions. Average to fast grower, every house should have one on show
Julie
usa
26th May 2007
HELP! I recently rescued a ficus tree that stands a good 16 feet tall from an abandoned warehouse. Just the top is folige. Trunk all the way down. It uprooted a bit while I transported it home in the back of my truck....I put 20 lbs of potting soil over the top and covered the roots again. I know these trees/plants DO NOT like to be moved or disturbed...and I expectede leaf loss....but is there anything else I can do to help it past this disturbance? My ceilings are 12 feet in the arch,,which is where I have it....so the tree itself is obviously too the ceiling and stretched out the best I could. I have seen these trees easily 'grow along' ceiling so Im hoping it will be ok..but it is REALLY experiencing major leaf loss...half branches are bare at this point. Should I clip the branches back to encourage new growth? Or should I just let it go through its 'healing' faze all scraggly and fugly looking untill I see some solid new growth before I start 'fixing' its appearence? I REALLY want this tree to make it ! ANY help will be appreciated!!!!
Sergey
USA
26th May 2007
It's OK to cut ficus, it's tolerant to pruning. However remodeling the house to raise the ceilings is an option too :-)
Kathy
USA
30th Jan 2008
I've had ficuses before and even though I've moved them and suffered severe leaf lost..nearly bare tree..they seem to be well able to recover and produce new growth everywhere. Of course, you could take the previous advice and remodel the house and raise the roof. I think it's cool you found a 16 foot ficus! Free is always a good things.
huffscowgirl
usa
13th Oct 2008
i adopted a ficus nearly dead nearly 4 years ago, and it is beautiful...one thing though, no real height but bushy. how di i trim it to gain some tallness?
Lynn
USA
9th Jan 2009
Have you tried feriltizer? I have had houseplants for over 30 yrs, yet it took a friend of mine to remind me that, like most people, I have a slight tendancy to over water my plants. When plants are overwatered, the nutrients in the soil get washed away and the plant fails to thrive. My plant was not growing much and was beginning to lose leaves. Based on my friend's advise I began to fertilize it according to the directions on the bottle. It began to add leaves but didn't grow upwards. Then I realized it had been in the same pot for quite a long time, so I gave it a bigger pot. It did nothing for awhile after that. But given time, boy did it ever make a difference! It has grown up quite a bit and is thriving nicely. These are such rewarding plants! Pruning is ok, just hard to tell if it makes a difference in a thriving plant. They can tolerate a little dryness but not for too long. Mine is in a 12 inch pot and it gets watered once a week. It stands in bright light with a little morning sun in the winter. Hope this helps. Good Luck!!
chris
england
10th Apr 2009
my ficus has just been too healthy its currently over 17ft tall and has a large spread ,its in a huge pot ,it seems every year or so ,I give it a new pot and new soil it always repays me by hundreds of new leaves ,and alot of new growth ,i'm lucky to have a 24ft high room to place it thats light ,and spaceus ,I water it about once a week with a good soak in the summer,spring,and autumn but winter i water it rarely maybe once every 2 or 3 weeks ,If your ficus is dying ,re-pot it ,put it somewhere light (but not too light) ,and give it a good watering only once its nearly dried out ,this must work ,I reckon my ficus is worth a fortune should i move house and need to sell it
Howfancy07
USA
2nd Sep 2009
I'm such a baby about my Ficus tree. It's about 9 feet tall, when I rescued it from the Wal-Mart garden center
I really did not think it would survive. It was about 18 inches tall and had about 50 leaves on it. Now it's
so beautiful and thick. It'll still experience leaf drop when I host a big family get together because everyone
has to touch the leaves because they don't believe it's real. I love my tree and that fact that I was able to
nurse it back to health and now it's all grown...
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