Pruning a ficus benjamina
I have been told that this is the best time of year to prune ficus plants and that I should cut them back above a growing point. Problem is I don't remember how to locate a growing point. Also, can you recommend how large a percentage of the tree I can eliminate? It is indoors most of the time but on my porch late spring through early fall. I want it to become more compact. It is outgrowing my living room.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
You should cut away no more than 1/3 of your plant's material. A growing point can be one of two things. One is simply another branch - cut your offending branch off just above where it joins with another branch that's roughly the same size. This will keep the tree from having blunt looking stumps. The other kind of growing point is a node. A node is just the spot on a branch that a stem or leaf grows from. Basically, all branches grow out of nodes, but not all nodes have branches. If there's no branch, it'll be a leaf, or a bud, or a swollen spot where something used to be growing.
This article will give you more information about pruning a ficus: