How to Clean Silk Ficus Trees


A ficus tree, which is more commonly known as a weeping fig, is a popular ornamental tree for the home. Owning a ficus can be messy, because the temperamental tree has leaves that turn yellow and drop for reasons that range from proximity to your central air systems to a change in watering. Many homeowners enjoy the beauty of a ficus without all the fuss with an artificial tree. Silk ficus maintain their beauty without requiring water. But the plant is not without upkeep. Keeping dust off of a ficus tree is an important part of maintaining the tree’s natural appearance.

Things You'll Need

  • Canned air
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean cloth
  • Dry-cleaning bag
  • Salt
  • Cornstarch
  • Examine the ficus tree’s leaves to determine their material and construction. The tree’s material composition will determine the best method for cleaning. Most ficus trees consist of a woody stem with plastic branches. The branches are glued to stiffened fabric leaves.

  • Take your ficus tree outdoors and shake it to remove loose dust particles from the leaves. Transporting the tree outdoors will help remove the dust from the home.

  • Blow dust from the leaves and bark of the ficus using canned air. The air will blast stubborn dust from the leaves and trunk of your tree.

  • Mix a solution of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water in a spray bottle. Test the solution against a leaf from the inside of the ficus canopy to ensure that the leaves are color-fast. Spritz the leaves and trunk with water and clean away the grime with a wet paper towel.

  • Enclose the ficus tree canopy in a dry cleaning bag. Add 1 cup of salt or cornmeal. Turn the ficus over so that the canopy is no longer erect. Shake the tree to dislodge dust particles. The salt or cornmeal acts like tiny scrubbers to remove the grime from the tree.

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  • Photo Credit ficus image by c-chez-marc from
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