The Q&A Archives: Ficus Benjamin (Weeping Fig)

Question: I bought a Ficus Benjamin three weeks, re-potted the plant and now the leaves are falling off a lot. Is there something I need to do to prevent this from continuing to happen?

Answer: Ficus benjamina, the Weeping Fig, takes offense at being moved, placed in a draft, in a cool room, watered with cold water, a home with low humidity or a poorly lighted spot and will suddenly drop most of its leaves in protest.

So give the temperamental Ficus water at room temperature, set it on a two-inch high dish of gravel filled with water to increase the humidity, and talk to it every morning and never, ever use water from a water softener.

Give the Ficus a drink of water when the top inch or so of the soil dries out. Ficus doesn't like soggy soil. Ficus doesn't like to get his feet completely dry, either. Test the soil moisture by sticking your finger in the top and, if it's moist when pulled out don't add water. Refrain from watering on a strict schedule, use the above method and your Ficus will love you.

Feed your Ficus monthly (or follow directions on the houseplant food container) when new leaves appear, but when it is dormant and no new leaves are being sent out don't feed it. Your Ficus will soon send out a new set of leaves, so just be patient and you will again be rewarded with new pretty leaves.

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