© RHS / Hayley May


Ornamental figs

Botanical name: Ficus

Ornamental figs, such as rubber plants and weeping figs, have been popular houseplants since Victorian times. These tropical plants, with their bold, exotic foliage, make eye-catching, long-lived specimens, and there are types to suit most locations in your home.


Most have lush, exotic foliage and make striking evergreen houseplants. They can be trees, shrubs or vines, and may be small or large, depending on their age and vigour.


These houseplants enjoy a consistently warm, bright spot (out of direct sun), and regular watering. Most prefer humidity too, so stand containers in a tray of damp gravel and mist the leaves in warm weather.


Most will struggle in dry compost and dry air, so water regularly and raise the humidity by misting the leaves. These tropical plants dislike temperature fluctuations and draughts, and should generally be kept above 10°C (50°F).

Did you know?

Rubber plants and weeping figs, in particular, can improve the air quality in your home by filtering toxins such as formaldehyde from the air.

Growing guide

Ornamental figs we recommend

Buy ornamental figs from RHSplants.co.uk

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Useful advice

Houseplants for different locations

Houseplants for different locations

Houseplants: holiday care

Houseplants: holiday care

Houseplants: to support human health

Houseplants: to support human health

Leaf damage on houseplants

Leaf damage on houseplants

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