Easy Guide to Repotting Your Ficus Tree

Understanding the Basics of Repotting a Ficus Tree

Repotting a Ficus tree might seem daunting, but it’s an essential part of maintaining the health of your plant. As the tree grows, so does its root system. With time, the Ficus can become root-bound, meaning the roots have filled the pot leaving no room for expansion. This can lead to stunted growth and a decline in the health of your tree. Repotting encourages continued growth and gives you the chance to refresh the soil, thus replenishing vital nutrients.

When to Repot Your Ficus Tree

The best time to repot your Ficus Tree is during the late winter or early spring, just before the growing season starts. Look for signs your plant needs repotting such as roots growing through the drainage holes, slowed growth, or if water runs straight through the pot without being absorbed. Repotting at the right time ensures your Ficus tree will have the best chance to thrive after the transition.

Choosing the Right Pot

The new pot should be only slightly larger than the old one—1-2 inches wider in diameter is ideal. Too much space can lead to excess soil moisture, causing root rot. Make sure the pot has adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

Selecting the Soil

Use a well-draining potting mix. Ficus trees prefer a slightly acidic to neutral pH. You can buy a commercial ficus or palm mix, or make your own by combining one part pine bark, one part coarse sand, and one part peat.

The Repotting Process


Before you begin the repotting process, water your Ficus tree thoroughly a day before. This helps to lessen the shock and makes the roots more pliable and easier to work with.

Removing the Ficus from Its Old Pot

Turn the pot sideways, hold the stem of the tree at the base, and tap the bottom of the pot to loosen the root ball. Gently pull the tree out. If it resists, you may need to cut away the pot.

Pruning the Roots

Inspect the roots and trim any that are dead, damaged, or excessively long. Avoid cutting more than a quarter of the root mass. This step encourages new growth and helps the roots to expand into their new space.

Adding Soil to the New Pot

Add a layer of fresh potting mix to the bottom of the new pot. This will raise the root ball to the appropriate level, ensuring that the tree is not sitting too low or too high in the pot.

Positioning the Ficus in the New Pot

Place the tree in the center of the pot on the new soil layer. Start filling around the root ball with more potting mix, gently tamping down the soil to eliminate any large air pockets.

Finishing Touches

After you’ve filled the pot, water the Ficus thoroughly to settle the soil and eliminate any additional air pockets. Do not compact the soil too much as this can affect drainage and root growth. The final soil level should be about an inch below the pot’s rim to allow for easy watering.


Keep the repotted Ficus in a shaded area for a few days away from direct sunlight to allow it to recover from repotting shock. Avoid fertilizing for at least a month to prevent burning the new roots. Monitor watering closely, as the fresh soil mix can change the watering needs of your Ficus tree. With proper care, your Ficus should continue to grow and bring life to your space for many years to come.

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