How to PRUN a FICUS - Practical Guide to Gardening

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

Ficus are a genus of trees that are very popular among gardening enthusiasts for their great beauty and the little care they need. These are plants that can be had both indoors and outdoors, depending on the specific species and the local climate. There are a large number of types of ficus, counting more than 800 species among them, the most common being some such as the ficus benjamina, the ficus elastica, the ficus lyrata or the ficus pumila.

However, although they are very undemanding plants with their care, one of the most important in their case is pruning, since they are very fast growing trees. If you want to learn how to prune a ficus step by step, join us in this Green Ecologist article.

When to prune a ficus

The best time to prune a ficus it is almost always a late winter, which is when the plant is in vegetative rest, with a much lower activity, and, therefore, the less sap it will lose and the less damage the pruning will do.

However, if you live in an area with a mild enough climate or without very cold winters, you can also prune your ficus in autumn, as the cold will not be such a worrying factor. Excess branches that are still green, that have not yet been lignified, can be pruned at any time you see fit.

Tools for pruning ficus

The tools needed for pruning a ficus they are not different from that of most species of their size. Nails pruning shears Well sharpened and properly disinfected before and after each use will be more than sufficient for branches less than 1 cm thick, while larger branches, already lignified (with a wood look), may require the use of a hand saw, also properly disinfected.

Sterilize tools it is always very important, even between different plants, so as not to spread diseases between them.

How to prune a ficus benjamina

The ficus benjamina is characterized by its smaller leaves and its slower growth, although it can reach heights of up to 15 meters. Thus, in small gardens or as an indoor plant, grown in a pot, it will be necessary to carry out gentle and constant pruning between one and two times a year, avoiding drastic or very aggressive pruning. For prune the ficus benjamina follow these tips and steps:

  • Cut out all branches 2 to 5 cm with scissors or pliers, depending on the size of your ficus. This pruning can be done around the Start of Spring, or a little earlier, and will help control the growth of the plant and give it a thicker and denser crown.
  • The use of ficus benjamina with the bonsai technique is also common. Obviously, caring for a ficus benjamina bonsai It requires a lot more care and pruning, although it is still a considerably simple bonsai to care for. In this case, pruning is carried out at the beginning of spring and during spring and summer it is constantly clamped. In autumn the branches are wired to give them the desired shape.

We recommend you read these guides on Care for ficus benjamina and Care for bonsai ficus benjamina.

How to prune a robust or elastic ficus

To the prune the ficus robusta or elastic Be careful not to stain your skin with the latex from its stems, which is irritating to the skin and eyes. As in the ficus benjamina, it will be necessary to use a Pruning shears or a hand saw depending on the thickness of the branch and follow these tips:

  1. Prune all old or damaged branches, including those that do not have leaves, as well as those that are oriented in an undesirable way for the plant.
  2. If you are looking to permanently delete a branch, pruning at its base growth, while if you want to keep growing, do it after a knot.
  3. Remember to always make a oblique cut and not straight.
  4. When the ficus robusta is transplanted, it is usual to also perform a root pruning, which helps the plant to continue to develop in a healthy way.

How to prune a ficus so that it grows upwards

If your ficus is growing too horizontally and not upward, you will need to practice a formation pruning, as we would do with most shrubs or trees. Follow these tips and steps for pruning a ficus to grow straight up straight and does not extend so horizontally:

  1. Find the main branches that you want to develop upwards and practice them one severe pruning after a knot, so that their growth is stimulated.
  2. You will see how the pruned branches give rise to new stronger shoots, which you must also prune to control the growth plane of your plant.
  3. It is also vital to remove unwanted branches and remove diseased suckers and branches from the plant, which will steal nutrients from the others.

How to do a drastic pruning in a ficus

Usually better avoid drastic pruning with these trees, but an old or battered ficus may need rejuvenation pruning to recover a good state. In this case there are two options:

  • If the plant is old but strong, we can cut all its aerial part at ground level, making sure to take care of the cut and providing adequate irrigation and fertilizers.
  • If the ficus does not have a trunk in a minimum good condition that indicates that it does not have enough strength to withstand such a drastic pruning, we will cut half of its branches at the level of their insertion, keeping the others only at half or a third of their length at its strongest bud.

If you want to read more articles similar to How to prune a ficus, we recommend that you enter our category of Cultivation and care of plants.

You will help the development of the site, sharing the page with your friends
This page in other languages: