Indoor plants

Ficus pruning: how and when to prune ficuses

Ficus are one of the most common and easiest houseplants to grow. In fact, they are so easy to grow indoors that the plants sometimes overgrow their site. Ficus plants don’t like to be moved, so the best solution is to prune the plant to keep it manageable.

Let’s talk about how to prune a ficus and, more importantly for the health of the plant, when should the ficus be pruned?

Ficus plants are not winter hardy and are generally grown as houseplants in the United States and other parts of the world. They are native to tropical and subtropical regions and are considered part of outdoor gardening in warmer regions. Indoor plants grow slowly and steadily, but can become heavy at the tips and lose their arching shape. Rejuvenation pruning will make the plant more compact and improve branch formation.

When do you have to trim the ficus?

Of course, ficus pruning is necessary if the plant has grown on a road or touches the roof. Pruning to reduce size is a common reason for pruning any woody plant. Time is also a problem. Pruning should be done when the plant is no longer actively growing.

Most plants are vegetatively active in the spring and summer, with reduced growth in the fall. In winter, the plant has become dormant and is less susceptible to injury. Winter is therefore the best time to prune ficus plants. You can prune dead material at any time of the year.

How to cut a ficus

Wear a pair of clean, sharp, offset pruning shears and put on a pair of gloves. Ficus have a latex sap that can be irritating to the skin. First, examine the entire tree and decide which areas should be kept to a minimum. If the tree is too large, this is clearly where you start, but if you need to create a better silhouette, you will need to make a plan before you start cutting.

There are certain cutting rules for pruning ficus trees to create a better appearance and to prevent cuts from becoming obvious. Once you have decided what vegetation needs to be removed, the first step is to remove dead or broken branches. This will give you an even better idea of the remaining necessary reductions.

Ficus pruning tips

Cut just before a growth node so that new shoots grow there and cover the stump.

Another trick is to remove a branch and put it back in another branch of the same size. This will prevent unsightly stems and restore the ficus to its size and appearance. Cut at a slight angle away from the node or secondary branch.

If you have a damaged ficus with a lot of dead shoots, do not prune more than a third of the material. You can cut later, when the plant is recovering. The best time to try this type of pruning is after the plant has started to grow back, so that you can make sure that you do not remove the recovered material.

In the meantime, give a lot of love to the tree and keep your fingers crossed.

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