How to Prune a Ginseng Ficus


The ginseng ficus tree is a small, ornamental plant that is often used in the art of bonsai. The plant has a distinctive shape where the bottom trunk of the tree branches out into multiple sections above the soil. These appendages look very much like the root of the ginseng plant, which is where the tree gets it name. The tree originated in the tropical regions of Asia but can be grown indoors in any location.

Things You'll Need

  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Soil
  • Pruning shears
  • Remove the tree from the pot in which it is planted and gently brush away the majority of the soil from the roots using a soft-bristled paintbrush.

  • Cut each root strand by 1/3, using sharp scissors. The root stands are the sections of the tree that were previously buried under the soil.

  • Place the plant back into the pot or choose a larger pot to accommodate future growth. Cover the lower roots completely with soil, but allow the top branching trunk system to remain above the soil in the same position in which it was originally planted.

  • Snip the ends off of any of the ginseng ficus branches that have grown outside the natural form of the plant, using pruning shears. Stand back and look at the overall shape to determine which branches look out of place. Cut them off so that they are even with the other branches of the tree.

  • Water the ginseng ficus well since it requires a lot of moisture after the root pruning process.

Tips & Warnings

  • A good rule of thumb for pruning the limbs of the ginseng ficus is to wait until each branch develops six new leaves and then cut off two to three of them.
  • Root-prune the ginsing ficus only once every two to three years.

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