Ficus retusa is a rapidly growing, rounded, broad-headed, evergreen shrub or tree that can reach 15 metres (49 ft) or more in height with an equal spread. The smooth, light grey trunk is quite striking, can grow to around 1 metre (3.3 ft) in diameter, and it firmly supports the massively spreading canopy.
The tree has small, dark green leaves which alternate up the stem and which are oval. It has a gray to reddish bark dotted with small, horizontal flecks, called lenticels, and are used by woody plant species for supplementary gas exchange through the bark. It is considered one of the easiest trees to keep as a bonsai.