Ficus panda

Ficus panda (Ficus retusa) is a versatile plant suitable for both indoor and outdoor cultivation, depending on the climate. When grown as a houseplant or bonsai, its dense, glossy leaves and aerial roots make it an appealing addition to interior landscapes, while in its natural habitat or appropriate outdoor settings, it becomes a sizable and impressive shade tree. Understanding its specific care requirements is essential for its successful cultivation and longevity.

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The Ficus panda (Ficus retusa) is a tropical tree known for its dense, glossy foliage and distinctive aerial roots. Here’s a detailed description:

Physical Characteristics:

  • Growth Habit: Ficus panda can grow into a large, spreading tree, reaching up to 60 feet (18 meters) in height in its natural habitat. When grown as a houseplant, it is usually much smaller, often kept in a bonsai-like form.
  • Leaves: The leaves are dark green, oval to elliptical, and have a glossy appearance. They are typically 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) long.
  • Fruits: Like many Ficus species, Ficus panda produces small, green fig-like fruits. However, these fruits are usually not edible for humans.

Cultural Requirements:

  • Light: It prefers bright, indirect sunlight when grown indoors as a houseplant. Outdoors, it can tolerate partial to full sun.
  • Water: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Allow the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil to dry out between waterings.
  • Temperature: It thrives in warm, tropical to subtropical climates and should be protected from frost.
  • Soil: Well-draining potting mix with organic matter is suitable for indoor Ficus panda. Outdoors, it can adapt to various soil types.


  • Pruning: Regular pruning can help maintain the desired shape and size, especially when grown as a houseplant or bonsai.
  • Repotting: Repot the plant every few years or when it becomes root-bound.

Landscape Use:

  • In tropical and subtropical regions, Ficus panda is often used as a shade tree, street tree, or ornamental tree in parks and gardens.
  • As a houseplant, it is appreciated for its attractive foliage and suitability for indoor spaces.


  • Like many Ficus species, it contains a milky sap that can be irritating to the skin and toxic if ingested. Take care when handling it.
  • Ficus panda can be sensitive to changes in lighting conditions. Avoid sudden changes in its environment.


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