Ficus nerifolia design

I have a large ficus purchased in 1993 and wanted to strenghten the lower branches and possibly shorten some of upper branches to allow more light into the interior. When is the best time to redesign or make drastic cuts. This year I defoliated all of the leaves in the Spring and it came back strong.


I do most of my work on ficus during the heat of the summer since that is as close as I get to their native conditions. I do keep them in a shady spot under the wisteria that is also a bit more humid to recover from repotting. Just my 2 cents from someone who manages to keep one or two alive.

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thanks. I live in the Central Coast so our summers are cool (70’s). I will go ahead and give it a hard trim to the upper branches.

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I work mine two times a year. Once in August in the heat and again in the fall. The fall work is to address the whorls that the work in August created.

For whatever reason mine will drop all of its foliage over the winter. Everyone tells me that it shouldn’t, but it never fails. I think it’s the shock of being outside in 78% humidity (that’s what is is today) to way less than that indoors. Tree has never skipped a beat though making winter a great time for me to wire and address other flaws I may have missed.

I repotted mine this year into a very shallow container. It didn’t even flinch, but I’m still going to hold off on pruning until spring.

Amazing species to work with though. Ramifies like there’s no tomorrow. Here’s a stream on them.

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I work on mine during the spring and fall, but because of my mild winters and harsh summers, I make sure to leave enough foliage for them to stay cool. They never drop their leaves either.

Not sure where you are, but I wouldn’t recommend full defoliation, especially if they lose their leaves in the winter.

I’d just feed heavy and give them sun and moisture. If they’re happy, they move a lot of resources naturally.

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