Home » Outdoor Gardening » How to Prune Ficus Tree – Step by Step

How to Prune Ficus Tree – Step by Step

Ficus trees are a very popular genus among gardening enthusiasts because of their great beauty and the little care they need. If you want to learn how to prune ficus tree step by step, join us in this article.

They are plants that can be kept both indoors and outdoors, depending on the specific species and local climate. There is a great quantity of types of ficus, counting more than 800 species between them, being the most common some as the ficus benjamina, the ficus elastica, the ficus lyrata, or the ficus pumila.

However, although these plants are not very demanding with their care, one of the most important in their case is pruning, since they are very fast-growing trees.

When to Prune Ficus Tree

The best time to prune a ficus is almost always at the end of winter, when the plant is in dormancy, with much less activity, and therefore when less sap will be lost and less damage will be done to the plant.

However, if you live in an area with a sufficiently mild climate or without very cold winters, you can also prune your ficus in autumn, as the cold will not be such a worrying factor. The excesses of branches still green yes you can prune them at any moment in which you create it advisable.

Ficus Tree Pruning: Tools

The tools needed to prune a ficus are no different from those of most species of its size. Well sharpened pruning shears properly disinfected before and after each use will be more than sufficient for branches less than 1 cm thick, while larger branches may require the use of a hand saw, also properly disinfected.

Sterilizing tools are always very important, even between different plants, so as not to spread diseases between them.

prune ficus tree tools

How to Prune Ficus Benjamina

Ficus benjamina is characterized by its smaller leaves and less growth, although it can reach heights of up to 15 meters. Thus, in small gardens or as a house plant, grown in a pot, it will be necessary to perform soft and constant pruning between one and two times a year, avoiding drastic or very aggressive pruning. To prune the ficus benjamina follow these tips and steps

Cut all the branches between 2 and 5 cm with scissors or pliers, depending on the size of your ficus. This pruning can be done around the beginning of spring, or a little earlier, and will help control the growth of the plant and give it a denser and denser crown.

It is also common to use the Ficus benjamina with the bonsai technique. Obviously, the care of a benjamina bonsai requires much more care and pruning, although it is still a considerably simple bonsai to care for. In this case, the pruning is made at the beginning of the spring and during this and the summer it is pruned constantly. In autumn the branches are wired to give them the wished form.

prune ficus benjamina

Pruning a Robust or Ficus elastica

When pruning the robust or elastic ficus one must be careful not to stain the skin with the latex of its stems, which is irritating to skin and eyes. As in the ficus benjamina, it will be necessary to use a pruning shear or a hand saw depending on the thickness of the branch and follow these tips:

1- Prune all old or badly maintained branches, including those that do not have leaves, as well as those that are oriented in an undesirable way for the plant.

2- If you are looking to remove a branch permanently, prune at its base of growth, while if you want it to continue growing, do so after a knot.

3- Remember to always make an oblique cut and not a straight one.

4- When the ficus robusta is transplanted, it is usual to perform a root pruning, which helps the plant to continue developing healthily.

ficus elastica

Pruning Ficus So That It Grows Upwards

If your ficus is developing too horizontally and not upwards, you will need to practice a formation pruning, as we would do with most shrubs or trees. Follow these tips and steps to prune a ficus so that it grows straight up and doesn’t spread so horizontally:

1- Find the main branches that you want to grow upwards and practice severe pruning after a knot so that the growth of the branches is stimulated.

2- You will see how the pruned branches give rise to new, stronger buds, which you should also prune to control the growth plane of your plant.

3- It is also vital to eliminate the branches that you do not want and to remove the offshoot and sick branches from the plant, which will steal nutrients from the others.

We hope this guide on how to prune your ficus tree will be useful.

About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

Leave a Comment