The Q&A Archives: Leaves falling off.

Question: This is my 1st time to your site. I was thrilled to find out about it.We are actually living in Baja Mexico, about 20 miles from San Diego.So we have typical beach weather, lately in the high 70's.

Recently we purchased both a small ficus tree & a fuschia plant. They are both in pots, a very large one for the ficus & the fuschia is in a hanging pot.
They are both on the south side of the house-seemed to be doing well & all of a sudden all the leaves are falling of both. The house next door is painted white, could the ficus be getting burned? The fuschia is shaded part of the day.Am I watering too much, too little? Both plants still are alive because if you try to snap a limb off it won't happen. Never had trouble growing a ficus in a pot when I lived in the Los Angeles area.

Thank You for any help you can offer!
Carol Hall

Answer: It sounds as though your ficus is heat stressed - reflected heat can really stress a plant. I think the humidity level is a little different in Baja than in L.A., too so that could be contributing to the stress. I'd move the ficus to a more protected site, at least until it recovers. Then try finding a spot with only a few hours of morning sun and see how it does. If it's happy, move it into a slightly sunnier spot.

Annual fuchsia's are shade lovers; perennial fuchsias can take morning sun. If yours is in a hanging pot it's probably a shade-lover. Find a place that's in full shade and it should recover.

In the sunny spot, you can use a basket of petunias or geraniums rather than fuchsia's. Both petunias and geraniums are sun lovers.

Best wishes with your garden!

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