Willow Leaf Fig

A Beginner's Guide to Willow Leaf Fig Indoor Plant Care | All you Need to Grow!

Family: Moraceae
Common Name: Willow Leaf Fig
Botanical Name: Ficus salicifolia

If you are ready to stop procrastinating and get on the business end of the Bonsai shears, then you will need a Willow Leaf Fig! This easily manipulated ficus is perfect for the novice because it's a fast grower, and the young stems are malleable enough for you to wire and sculpt into shape! Did we mention that you do not need to create a Bonsai with Ficus salicifolia? It can grow into a tree all on its own, without any pruning on your part! Willow Leaf Figs require more than 6 hours of indirect sunlight in one day to grow to their full potential. In addition to their high-light requirements, they must be watered often, and the soil should never be allowed to dry out completely!

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Light is essential for plants to go through photosynthesis. Willow Leaf figs are easy to take care of as they don't require much light to survive. You should be fine if you can provide your plant with a steady supply of indirect light for up to six hours per day. You may place it outdoors as long as it is in the shade, so the leaves don't burn from direct sunlight.


The willow leaf fig can grow as tall as a tree, but for that to happen, you need to supply it with a steady amount of water. Water is arguably the most important thing for this plant as you must ensure that the soil around it is constantly wet. If the soil is dry, then your plant won't grow. Other than that, it may die out. So water as much as you can.


All ficus love loose, nutrient-rich potting soil. Use a soil medium that can retain moisture but also allows for draining excess water to avoid root rot. Most pre-mixed soils will suffice. Make sure that there is plenty of organic matter, like coco-coir, peat moss, or shredded leaves, and avoid soils that contain moisture retaining crystals. If your soil drains too quickly, we recommend re-potting your Willow Leaf Fig into a compost-rich soil mixture, with less drainage materials. Learn how to create your own universal soil mixture for all of your indoor plants!


The ficus salicifolia is native to the tropics of East Africa. That being said, it may require a temperature similar to its origin. East Africa has an average temperature of 65 F° to 100 F°, so your plant may need to be kept at similar temperatures.


Ficus salicifolia needs to be kept in wet soil constantly as it is native to the tropics of East Africa, where rain is plenty. This means that you should keep your plant in a location with a lot of humidity. If you live in a dry and hot climate, you should consider getting a humidifier as it will help your plant grow. Learn how to increase humidity for your houseplants!


Your ficus will benefit from being fertilized, especially if the plant is actively growing. Typically, plants push out new growth in the spring and summer, but plants that exclusively live indoors may grow on their own schedule. If you notice new growth, then consider using a complete liquid fertilizer, diluted to 1/4 the recommended strength, a slow-release fertilizer, or a fish/seaweed emulsion. Continuing to fertilize your ficus year-round (if actively growing!) can keep it looking its best, but do not fertilize during the colder months when the plant is not growing. Learn more about fertilizing indoor plants!

Growth Rate

Willow Leaf figs are fast-growing indoor plants and with the right care can reach over 10'+ indoors!

Pet Friend or Foe

The Willow Leaf Fig is toxic! Foe.

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Pro Tips

  1. When the roots start growing outside the pot, it may be time for you to upgrade to a larger pot. Re-potting your plant into a larger one (2" larger in diameter) will encourage the roots and foliage to grow happily!
  2. Willow Leaf Figs thrive when there is good air circulation!
  3. Acclimate your ficus before you place it directly into the sun!
  4. Under the right conditions, ficus can grow quickly. Pruning is one way to keep the growth in check, but limiting how often the plant is re-potted is another way to keep a ficus at a more ideal size. Re-potting every other year can prevent the plant from quickly outgrowing your space, and most varieties of ficus are completely fine, being a bit root-bound.

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