The Q&A Archives: care for a ficus tree

Question: I have had a ficus tree (3 months) that is losing leaves like CRAZY!!
I have it in my livingroom (indirect lighting) and have used miracle gro fertilizer (in the planting soil). I mist the leaves every other day, but have stopped altogether because of the loss of leaves.
It is not in a draft, and the temperature in the house is never below 70 (summer or winter). This tree is driving me insane! Help!!


Answer: It sounds as though you're doing everything right in terms of care for your ficus. Two things to look for - first, the leaf drop might be normal. Although evergreen, ficus will drop its older leaves in preparation of developing healthy new replacement leaves. If it is still getting new growth at the ends of the branches, the loss of older leaves is normal and nothing to be concerned about. The second thing to look for is a population of insects. Spidermites can cause yellowing, dropping leaves due to their feeding. Look for webbing along the leaf stems where they attach to the branches. If there are no spider mites, given the good care your ficus is receiving, I'd chalk up the leaf drop to natural behavior.

Best wishes with your ficus!

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