Care and maintenance of bonsai ficus
Ficus bonsai

Ficus bonsai

Ficus trees are one of the few bonsai that can thrive both inside and out. Here are tips on their care and feeding. This advice is not a comprehensive guide, it's intended to tide you over until you can consult an authoritative source.

Watering. Don’t allow your tree to dry out. Doing so will throw it into survival mode and it will shed leaves. If this happens, and you catch it in time, it will set new leaves in a couple of weeks. The easiest way to establish a watering schedule is to dig a half inch into the soil. If it’s moist you can go another day. If not moist, it’s time to water. Indoors you’ll probably be able to go for two or three days. Outside figure on one or two days. Avoid over watering. If you use city water, it’s a good idea to let it age for a day to out-gas chlorine.

Light. Ficus are tolerant of light levels. They will thrive in semi shade to full sun and will adapt to bright light indoors. However, when moving them, any significant change in light level will probably cause temporary leaf yellowing or loss. They will adjust.

Pest control. Ficus seem to be relatively pest free. Should you find insects try systemic spikes for house plants. Follow directions.

Pruning. These trees are fast growing and will lose their style if not pruned on a regular basis. They bud back readily, even on bare branches. Snip any growth past the most recent two leaves. About once a year prune more heavily.

Repotting. Every two to three years remove the tree from it’s pot. Trim an inch or so around the entire root ball. Trim off about one third from the bottom of the root ball. Add soil to the pot and around the edges and you’re good to go. You will do this during mid summer for outdoor trees and anytime for indoor trees.

Temperature. Ficus will tolerate high temperature, but, not below 45F. They’re comfortable where you are.

Fertilizing. Any houseplant fertilizer will work. Apply once a month at the recommended level.