GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY! How to repot your ficus

It's spring and that means its time to get repotting! 

Just like us, plants need food, nutrition and space to grow, and repotting is one of the best possible things you can do to meet all of these needs.

We recently started stocking soil mixes from the brilliant Soil Ninja, who have created a range of perfectly balanced houseplant potting mixes to suit all of our favourites. So far we've looked at ferns as well as monsteras and philodendrons, and this week we are on to ficus!

Ficus are a showy bunch, with fiddle leaf figs, rubber plants and weeping figs all falling in this family. They look beautiful, but can be notoriously tricksy and are certainly not for the faint hearted when it comes to repotting. 

In the UK, they tend to be slower growers, which means you may not need to do a full repotting quite as regularly as some other plants, but they'll still want some fresh soil at least once a year to keep growing strong and shouldn't be left to get too root bound, as this will only make repotting more difficult. When sizing up your pot, aim to go no more than 20% bigger at a time to avoid shock.

Not big fans of change, you'll want to be quite gentle when repotting a ficus. As always, first thing to do is get your new pot ready with a layer of clay pebbles and a layer of ficus soil.

This blend consists of activated charcoal and sand in this slightly denser quantities to provide excellent drainage whilst being detoxifying for the resilient yet troublesome roots of our beloved Ficus. The sizeable bark content in the blend also serves to suit those Ficus species that are semi-epiphytic growers, as well as contributing to a little extra moisture retention to this sandy mix. It has it all!

When you're ready to start potting up, try and get your hands under the rootball and lift out of the existing pot. It should be obvious, but don't try and pull it out by its stem or trunk, you will probably damage the plant doing this. These are often on the larger side of the houseplants we have, so enlist a friend to help if you need to!

Once it's out of the pot, gently brush away some of the outer soil, taking care not to interfere too much with the roots if they look healthy as they can be quite delicate. Pop it into the new pot and backfill the sides with more soil, gently firming up to about an inch from the top of the pot and give it a drink. 

Finally, give those lovely leaves a clean! Fiddle leaf figs and rubber plants in particular really benefit from a little spa treatment. We love the Plantsmith Cleanse and Shine Gift Set for this job!

Soil Ninja's ficus soil is also good for peperomia (like Chinese money plants), palms, citrus, bonsai and avocado trees - so definitely a worthwhile investment!!


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