Yellow Leaves on Ficus Tree - Knowledgebase Question

Arlington, TX
Question by Comrudy8
November 15, 1997
How can I have a fuller greener ficus tree?


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Answer from NGA
November 15, 1997

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Wow, this questions seems to follow me around...my sister asked this question in the spring and a neighbor asked just last month. 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. A lot of info, yes, but in my defense, it worked well for my sister and my neighbor!

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