Ficus trees are a common plant in the home and office, mainly because they look like a typical tree with a single trunk and a spreading canopy. But for all of their popularity, ficus plants are finicky. However, if you know how to care for a ficus tree, you’ll be better equipped with keeping it healthy and happy in your home for years.
Ficus trees (Ficus spp.) include several hundred varieties with different growth patterns and foliage, and some trees that produce edible figs. All types require similar basic care and are susceptible to frost damage, making them suitable for growing outdoors year-round in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10 or 12, depending on the variety. Some smaller ficus trees also make attractive container plants you can move indoors during cold weather or grow as houseplants year-round.
Most ficus trees do well in full sun but can tolerate some shade for a portion of the day. However, fiddle-leaf figs and rubber trees can suffer if exposed to full sun during the afternoon. For trees grown indoors, place your plant in a spot that receives bright, indirect light for at least the morning hours. Ficus trees prefer an organically rich, well-drained loamy soil amended with compost at the time of planting. Container-grown plants generally do well in a standard potting mix labeled for houseplants.