The Q&A Archives: Pruning Ficus

Question: How can I prune a ficus fig tree so that the "sap" from the stems doesn't drip down onto the carpet? I usually prune this ficus once or twice in the summer when I'm able at that time to place it outdoors on porch. Would "burning"each stem as it's pruned be recommended?

Answer: If your ficus is weeping after being pruned, you may be pruning at the wrong time of year. The plant should go slightly dormant in the winter time, if you water sparingly. The best time to prune is when it is not actively growing, or transporting fluidsthroughout its system. It's not exactly like sneaking up on it, but it's close! You probably shouldn't cauterize or burn the cut ends of the plant - it may kill the tissues back farther than you intend. Take it outdoors to prune this spring, then next winter slow down on the watering and prune it in late winter. It shouldn't weep after the above treatment.

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