Watering - Knowledgebase Question

Naples, Fl
Question by dkjannurs
April 13, 2010
Ficus benjamin: I water weekly and mist every day yet a few leaves yellow and fall off every day. Have had plant one month.

Answer from NGA
April 13, 2010


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. 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. Best wishes with your ficus!

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