The Q&A Archives: Ficus Tree

Question: My ficus tree is dropping it's leaves. I have it sitting in aa Western exposure window. What does it need for water and light? How about fertilizer?

Answer: Are you fertilizing your ficus? A general use fertilizer such as a 20-20-20 applied every two weeks from March to September is a good rule of thumb. Be sure to follow package instructions for how much to apply. Fertilizers are not needed during the winter months and could actually harm some plants. However, a nice top dressing of compost would be well received by your ficus. Ficus generally enjoy bright light (but not direct sunlight) and grow best when the temperature is 70-80 degrees during the day and 65-70 degrees at night. You probably already know not to let your soil get too wet or too dry. Use the pencil test...insert a pencil approximately 3" into the soil. If it comes out with soil on it, the moisture level is fine, if it comes out clean, the plant needs watering. Also make sure your container is the appropriate size, could your ficus be rootbound. Onelast thing, keep an eye out for "suckers"... the twiggy growth at the base. It should be removed as it appears. Suckers can zap a plant's strength. Hope the above information helps you help your ficus regain its health!

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