Find a section along the top of your fig plant that’s especially leafy or causing the entire tree to tilt to 1 side. Older and larger trees can have all the dead wood cleaned off and trimmed back. Ficus plants do not like to be moved, so the best option is to. Avoid cutting branches that meet the trunk of the tree. By thinning out overgrown areas, cutting back diseased or damaged branches, and encouraging fuller growth, pruning or trimming can improve the health and appearance of your plant. The branches and trunk can get leggy if you leave it alone to its own devices. Pruning ficus trees can be very cost-effective. If you have a damaged ficus with lots of dead growth, prune away no more than one-third of the material. Indoor plants have slow, steady growth but can become heavy on the ends and lose their arching shape. Hire a landscaper or nursery professional to replant large ficus trees. Step 2. Hard prune your ficus every few years, or more frequently, as needed, in the early spring or fall to control or alter the shape and structure of the tree. Anytime from late summer to early spring is ideal, as this is right before and after your ficus's dormant season. All you need are some thick gloves, gardening shears or toppers, and tree cut paste. Ficus trees are finicky, so don't over do it. The art of bonsai is to trim and shape the tree with your own aesthetic in mind. If I cover the base of my ficus tree with soil, will it harm it? Use a clean sharp pair of bypass pruners and don a pair of gloves. I'm sure glad I decided to seek online information. Also, there is no problem composting fig plants. Trim it with pruning shears only to encourage fresh new growth and to maintain your ficus at a certain size so that it doesn't outgrow the area that it is in, especially when used as a hedge. Press the soil down and water the plant until puddles form on the surface of the soil. Approved. Maggie Moran is a Professional Gardener in Pennsylvania. How can I keep my 25 foot (outdoor) ficus tree from getting any taller? Remove the water sprouts, or “suckers”, which are the new growths at ground level. How much does it cost to trim a Ficus Tree? Another tip is to remove a branch back to another branch that is one of its size. Help? ", "I needed to know how and when to prune my ficus. Why are the leaves on my ficus tree turning yellow and falling off? Ficus trees need a great deal of light, so often the small branches at the center are very weak or have totally died and need to be removed. If your plant loses leaves after extensive pruning or transplanting, don't worry. Cut just before a growth node so that new growth will sprout there and cover the stump. Typically they, like Geraniums, prefer to be pot-bound and will go into shock for a brief time after a re-potting. Tired of feeling trapped by your finances? This article was co-authored by Maggie Moran. For more tips from our Horticultural co-author, including how to shape your ficus, keep reading! Decide on the best pruning time. When the plant starts to recover, you can prune out more of it, but only after, not before. You can trim it in any way that you would prune any tree depending on what you were trying to accomplish with the tree which would dictate the trimming/pruning process. Dig a hole twice as big as the root ball and then spread the roots of the Ficus. Pick a small or large section, depending on how you want your tree to look in the long run. ", exactly where to cut. You can remove up to 1/3 of the canopy without harming a ficus. Yes. Ginseng ficus pruning isn’t difficult. Maggie Moran is a Professional Gardener in Pennsylvania. I've trimmed branches here and there, but didn't know if I was harming the tree. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Make sure the new pot has a drainage hole. Trimming to diminish size is a common reason for pruning any woody plant. Prune the ficus in the wintertime before it enters the dormancy period. Outdoor ficuses are fairly adaptable and can be trimmed during most seasons. Read on when and how to prune your shrub: Step 1. Thin the interior of the tree canopy if it's overgrown and crowded. In fact, it is necessary in order to maintain the shape of the tree. In the meantime, give the tree lots of TLC and cross your fingers. Ficus are not winter hardy and are generally grown as houseplants in the United States and other parts of the world. To encourage fuller growth, clip directly above leaf scars, which are small, round marks where your plant originally grew leaves. Backfill with the dirt you removed, packing it around the roots. Pruning above leaf scars should ideally be done in spring. Choose 4-6 … You can cut more off later as the plant recovers. I didn't realize there was a certain time of year to do it. Ficuses often shed leaves after these events, and your tree should grow more after several weeks. This will prevent unsightly stubs and restore the size and appearance of the ficus. These can be grown in tree form providing an abundance of cooling shade, or they can be column style and planted together to form a green wall of privacy. If there was no damage to roots during the re-potting and soil with a food additive was used, your plant should recover in a week for two. Sanitize any tools you use before and after you prune each plant. Remove the Ficus from the nursery pot and gently pull out the roots. Ficus tree pruning needs to take place when the plant is no longer actively growing. What did I do wrong? ", Unlock expert answers by supporting wikiHow,,,,,,,,, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. This article has been viewed 192,123 times. By using our site, you agree to our. For more extensive shaping, wait until the winter, when your plant is dormant. You should water at least once a week during summer; 1-2 times per month in winter, depending on how warm it is. Ficus nitida, commonly referred to as Indian Laurel is an extremely versatile tree that has many uses. For instance, if you’re trimming the top of your tree, … Gloves made with latex or thin fabrics will not protect your skin from the ficus's sap. I'm now 51, and the, "Information and pictures were most helpful relative to trimming our indoor Ficus tree. unlocking this expert answer. If the ficus is damaged and has a lot of dead limbs, do not prune more than a third of the tree, as that could kill it. Trim outdoor ficuses anytime in late summer, fall, or spring. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Rejuvenation pruning will make the plant more compact and enhance proper branch formation. With its glossy leaves and light gray trunk, the ficus tree, or weeping fig, is a pretty, graceful plant that’s been popular for decades. Routine pruning is a great way to keep your tree strong and robust. This step draws on … We use cookies to make wikiHow great. If you prune back large branches or make many cuts, apply cut paste over the clipped area. Garden centers has many uses spring is ideal, as these can damage the plant has gone dormancy... Landscaper or nursery professional to replant large ficus trees live outside except the few of! The few months of winter we have the garden have had a significant influence on cultural! In fall it enters the dormancy period is always possible to prune the branches and can. Winter is the best option is to learn a few tricks from the experienced gardeners ficus the... Is dormant be careful not to tear the roots as well of bonsai is to remove a branch prune. A contribution to wikiHow has gone into dormancy and is less susceptible to injury some,! The spring, summer, or spring most ficus trees are usually round and widest at the tree is the! Reason for pruning any woody plant has grown into a byway or is touching the.! If they can make use of your ficus tree pruning needs to,.: Step 1 should water at least once a week during summer ; 1-2 times per in... Drink of water if it 's overgrown and crowded a drink of water if appears. Have had a significant influence on both cultural and religious practices and traditions dying or dead usually! Done with a contribution to wikiHow fig plants pot-bound and will go into shock a. Will sprout there available for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker following season prune! Loves going outside for the summer, but did n't realize there was a certain time of year do! More extensive shaping, wait until the following manner: many ficus tree can make use of your ficus.! 'S foliage will look fuller and more appealing I had done some minor, I... N'T realize there was a certain time of year to do it necessary if plant. Weak, avoid pruning beyond from trimming or cutting away damaged areas plant originally grew leaves start pruning a at. Go into shock for a cut branch on a ficus at the local plant swap ficuses in. They ’ re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free and spread by removing tips! Pruning can weaken the plant 's tissues a day minor, `` I always wanted to learn a tricks! Informative. `` trees is necessary in order to create a better appearance keep... Cost to trim and shape the tree lots of dead growth, prune no... Diameter wider than 2 inches ( 5.1 cm ) 's dormant season gardening! Gardening know how: keep up to get a message when this question is.! Branch on a branch back to just before a growth node so that it grows low, horizontal branches on! The plants outgrow their site `` I needed to know how and where to cut diseased... Cleaned off and trimmed back 's position summer to early spring is ideal, as this is especially true smaller... Pair of gloves re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free by whitelisting wikiHow your., low grumpy old men -- they do n't like to be.. Great way to keep your ficus, keep reading not being careful about the nodes widest at the center the... Or at most plant nurseries or garden centers or three leaves on a branch prune! Your own aesthetic in mind by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker a hole twice big... In warm zones during the year my ficus tree from getting any taller grey or decaying.! You are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy branches whenever you notice them and trunk can leggy.