How do I re-pot this weeping fig plant? Any more details related to it would be welcomed.

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I ma confused now which tree/plant is this. Is it Ficus Benjamin or Weeping Fig? When I google either of them, I get similar results. I have two of them. I have included some pictures of leaves to help it identify:

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  • 1
    Ficus benjamina, rather than F elastica, from the leaves I can see... but the procedure is the same as the answer you've been given – Bamboo Sep 4 '16 at 0:11
  • @Bamboo Ok, but what if it is Weeping Fig? Because I see many plants labelled as Weeping Fig that are similar to mine? in that case? – 4-K Sep 4 '16 at 6:30
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    Weeping fig is the common name for Ficus benjamina - its the same plant – Bamboo Sep 4 '16 at 10:15

This plant is a member of the Ficus family. This plant is severely pot bound as it wants to grow into a 60 M tree.

To repot I suggest you first consider where you are going to put it. If it is to be placed inside where your ceiling might be 2 - 3 M tall (~8') then this plant is probably too big already.

These plants are rugged and can be cut back hard and will bud out from old stems.

If you are going to put the plant inside then consider the tough love approach.

  • cut the roots coming out the pot
  • remove the plant from the pot or break the pot
  • remove one third of the root ball from the bottom using a sharp knife
  • score the root ball with vertical cuts placed around the circumference to promote new growth
  • cut back the top growth of the plant to about 1 M tall (3')
  • either re use the old pot or get a new one
  • add new soil at the bottom and plant it up
  • place in high light but not baking in a south exposure
  • water after repotting and then wait a few days to water again
  • if no buds appear after a month fertilize at half strength
  • be patient, this is major surgery!
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  • 1
    kevinsky, does the identification of ficus elastica mean that it's not a weeping fig? When I was looking for information, weeping fig was classified as ficus benjamina. Should 4-K be calling it a rubber tree instead, for the sake of clarity? – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Sep 3 '16 at 23:35
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    @Sue I identified as Ficus Elastica on the basis of the leaves being a darker green, more oval and a sharper point. Given that we only have one picture of the leaves I could be wrong. However whether it is F. Benjamina, F. Nuda or F. Elastica these are all vigorous trees and how to repot is the same – kevinsky Sep 4 '16 at 0:04
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    @4-K how tall can you let this plant get? If you repot it will grow taller. Think about how tall it is now and add six inches (12 cm) a year minimum. You can cut the top growth back or not but at some point in time you will need to trim the top. Why not now? – kevinsky Sep 4 '16 at 13:00
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    You might lose the pot entirely as you may have to crack it open to rescue the roots inside. – Viv Sep 5 '16 at 5:34
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    @Viv I will first try to take the root ball out as the stems are sturdy. If not, won't mind breaking the pot. :) – 4-K Sep 5 '16 at 13:36

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