Extracing a ficus from the ground / transfer into a planter?

Karachi, Pakistan

Hi, I need to know whether it is possible to extract a deep rooted ficus plant from the ground and repot it into a fairly large size planter in my patio? Will it survive or die out? Due to construction around my house, we need to clear this area but I prefer to save my plant first.

Please advise!

Thumbnail by rayhan
Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

It sounds like you're going to lose the plant if you don't move it, so there's nothing to lose by trying. The trick with transplanting is you want to get as much of the rootball as possible, and because of the paving stones all around it, you may have a hard time digging up a lot of the roots. If you can get the pavement out of the way first you might have an easier time digging it up.

Karachi, Pakistan

ecrane3......Thanks for your advice and yes the pavement will be removed before I attempt to reach the rootball.
someone also suggested root pruning and cautioned me that after transplantation the leaves would fall off initially until the new roots develope.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

A freind of mine knows about figs. He's on the following web site. You might email him and see what he says. There is also an article on growing figs in Kansas. Some of it is about containers. Here is the web page. http://lawrencefruittreeproject.wordpress.com/

Agree with get as much of the rootball as possible. What size pot are you talking about?

Karachi, Pakistan

Susan, thanks for your input but why are you talking about figs here? My query is confined to ficus and I only love eating dried figs. I plan on transplanting my ficus in a king sized cement planter. Please refer to the attached image.

Thumbnail by rayhan
Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Fig is a common name that's applied to a number of Ficus species. Even if yours isn't one of the species that produces yummy fruit, the growing advice can still be useful.

Karachi, Pakistan

ecrane3, Thank you for your useful advice.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

I would normally advise doing the root pruning for such a large plant, and to do this you would get the spade and use it like a knife by cutting through the root about a foot away from the trunk, as you insert the spade you move it back and forward to make a deep channel in the soil as it cuts through the root, after you have done this, you sprinkle compost with a handful of plant feed mixed in, this is inserted into the channel around the root ball and water well, before long, new FINE roots will form and this gives the plant a better chance to survive once you have dug / cut the rest of the root that will be deeper down, you will need to have the container you want to plant the Ficus into well prepared as the tree wont like it's roots exposed to hot sun that will dry them out very fast.
When transplanted, keep the plant in shade or make a shade to allow the plant to start make new roots, as mentioned it will probably loose most or all it's leaves as it will have quite a shock with the treatment it has just had, but fed, watered and shaded for a while will probably give it a new lease of life. hope so as I always hate seeing a strong plant dying off. Good luck. WeeNel.

Karachi, Pakistan

WeeNel, I am grateful to you for all the step by step instructions and feel confident that with these guidelines the transplantation will surely be a success...........Thanks a million!

Raleigh, NC

I have seen potted Ficus loose 100% of its leaves just due to being moved from across the room!

This is a bit extreme, but it does happen. The leaves usually come back, but it is a shock to the tree...
Good luck.

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