Ficus trees (Ficus spp.) Aren’t cold hardy, and as a result are more commonly grown inside than outside. You can develop these trees outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 or 10 through 11, depending on the species. Grown outside, these trees can reach massive sizes, from 50 to 60 feet high and having a spread of 100 feet.
Select the Right Spot
Your ficus tree will have to be planted in a place where it is not exposed to full sun all year. A sun-dappled yard, lined with big trees, will offer the right conditions for a youthful ficus to develop. Ficus like warm temperatures and high humidity. Both of these conditions might be difficult to supply in coastal regions, where temperatures tend to be moderate, and inland regions in which the atmosphere is dry and temperatures more intense. Most important for ficus is well-draining soil. Low-lying areas that are often wet and flooded aren’t suitable for ficus growth.
Give the Ficus Space
Whatever location you select for your ficus, you’ll have to make sure it has room to propagate and develop. Ficus roots could be pronounced across the bottom of the back, disrupting nearby sidewalks and other structures. These trees have also a spreading habit, often growing to be broader than they are tall. Ensure there is sufficient room for the tree to achieve its entire size without crowding out smaller trees or plants. You’ll need to present your tree at least 30 feet of room on all sides.
Amend the Soil
Ficus trees require moist soil that drains well. You can improve soil drainage in the area in which you wish to plant the ficus tree by amending the indigenous soil with organic matter like compost. Additionally, 1 cup of superphosphate added to every square yard of amended soil will help root growth. These soil alterations will help your tree get off to a good beginning, but as the tree matures, roots will spread to regions of that have yet to be amended. If your natural soil is often waterlogged, eventually this will kill the tree. To prevent this situation, plant the tree on land that has some ability to drain naturally. Obviously wet soil isn’t suitable for ficus trees.
The best time to transplant your ficus tree is in late spring when new growth has formed. The hole for the root ball should be no deeper than the root ball itself. When the tree is set in the ground, the roots should not fall lower to the soil when they did if they were in the container. The amended soil has to be packed to the hole around the root ball. Afterward, water the tree deeply. While it is becoming recognized, water the ficus twice every week to keep the soil moist.
If you are a gardener who would like an outdoor ficus tree for most of the year, however your climate is too cold, consider planting your tree in a container which can be left outdoors during the spring and summer, and brought inside in late fall. The container has to be lightweight for effortless transportation, and you should use container-formulated growing medium to ensure proper drainage.