How Do You Care for Outdoor Ficus Trees?

care-outdoor-ficus-trees Credit: Kathrin Ziegler/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Though usually kept as an indoor plant, ficus trees can be grown successfully outdoors. Ficus must be grown in suitable pots and soil, protected from extremes of climate, given adequate nutrition and water, and be checked for pests regularly. Growing outdoor ficus in pots also means they can be brought inside in cases of extreme weather./

  1. Keep the tree in an optimal climate

    Outdoor ficus trees thrive in areas with partial sunlight and protection from the wind.

  2. Plant it in a pot

    Outdoor ficus trees do best when planted in a pot that has a layer of rocks in the bottom and holes for drainage. It can be kept in the same pot indefinitely at the same size, as long as fresh soil is added when it reaches the desired size.

  3. Use the right kind of soil

    Home Guides recommends using a blend of 3 parts all-purpose potting soil and 1 part sand.

  4. Keep it at an ideal temperature

    If the temperature goes below 40 F, bring the tree inside.

  5. Feed the tree balanced fertilizer

    During the growing season, feed the ficus tree a balanced fertilizer at half-strength. Home Guides recommends using an 8-8-8 ratio. Fertilize the tree once every month, then stop feeding it during the autumn.

  6. Water the tree thoroughly

    Water an outdoor ficus tree until the water drains out of the holes in the bottom of its pot. When the soil is dry to the touch, water it again. Yellowing or dropping leaves are a sign of dehydration.

  7. Eliminate pests

    Scale is a common pest known to attack ficus trees. If the tree has a sticky substance on it, apply neem oil to kill the scales.