The Q&A Archives: new owners of ficus

Question: We have just purchased our first ficus three days ago, and are concerned to see it starting to wilt. We have placed it near a window where it is receiving indirect light, mist it daily but have not yet watered it. Is it normal for it to be drooping? Is there something else we can do to ensure optimum success?


Kelly and Patrick

Answer: Ficus benjamina often loses some foliage after being moved from one spot to another, so do not be alarmed if it loses leaves in the next week or so. If it was moved in an open vehicle or if it was exposed to cold temperatures in transit then it may be experiencing some shock as well. The tree needs to adjust to the growing conditions in its new home, this process takes several weeks. It needs as much bright light as possible and must be protected from drafts -- both hot and cold. Misting is not required, although you can do so if you wish. Use your finger to dig down a bit and check the soil moisture, when it begins to dry then water thoroughly using tepid water. Empty the drainage saucer of any excess water that collects there. Wait until spring to fertilize using a slow release granular fertilizer or a water soluble fertilizer with an analysis such as 10-10-10 plus minors. Follow the label directions for how much to use. Enjoy your new tree!

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