The ficus, a close cousin to the fig tree, is often thought of as an easy-to-care-for indoor plant. There are very few places in the United States where a ficus tree can be grown year round outside.
The ficus tree prefers and average temperature of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a great container plant for outdoor patios. Damage to the ficus tree can occur at 30 to 35 degrees, limiting its outdoor life in the landscape to places with an average winter temperature above 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
One place you can plant a ficus trees in the landscape with winter temps above 35 is the southernmost coastal region of California. Another area is the southern half of Florida. You can also grow the ficus in the landscape in Honolulu.
If you live where the winters are cold, you should plant the ficus tree in a container so it can be protected during the cold months. The ficus tree should be moved indoors, into a greenhouse or a garage (if the garage remains warm) when the temperatures begin to fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are unsure of the average winter temperatures in your area you can refer to USDA hardiness zones maps found in most gardening guides or online. See Resources.
Based in Dallas, Liz Jamar has been writing gardening and houseplant articles since 2008. Her work has appeared in "Lit Monthly" magazine. Jamar is a Texas master certified nursery professional and is pursuing a B.F.A. in creative writing from Full Sail University.