How to Care for Ficus Nitida


The ficus nitida tree, also called Indian laurel fig, is an evergreen with light to medium gray bark and thick foliage. It is native to Asia where it can reach heights of up to 60 feet. The foliage of ficus nitida is thick and has a weeping growth habit. It is only hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 9 and 10, so it is most often grown in a container and kept indoors year-round or moved outdoors during summer. Ficus nitida grows best in abundant, indirect sunlight and temperatures that range from 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Things You'll Need

  • Growing container
  • General purpose potting soil
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • Pruning shears
  • Soft cloth
  • Fill a growing container three-quarters of the way with general purpose potting soil. Select a container that has at least one hole in the bottom to prevent over watering.

  • Plant the ficus nitida at the level it was growing in its original container. Water until moisture begins to drip through the container's drainage holes. Pour the excess water off after the soil has drained completely.

  • Move to a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight most of the day.

  • Allow the surface of the soil to become dry to the touch before watering. Always water until moisture drips through the container's drainage holes and pour off any excess so that the roots don't remain too wet.

  • Feed every three to four weeks during the growing season with water-soluble fertilizer mixed at half-strength. Gradually reduce the frequency of feeding in fall and stop completely during winter months.

  • Prune as often as necessary to control the size of the plant because ficus nitida may outgrow available space if left to its own devices. Make clean cuts just above a leaf node, which is the area where the leaf attaches to the stem.

  • Wipe the leaves clean with a soft, damp cloth if they start to look dusty.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be careful not to over water ficus nitida because too much moisture may cause the leaves to drop.


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