Houseplants forum→Ficus Benjamina Fungus?

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jelcoC
Jun 15, 2021 9:39 AM CST
Hi everyone,

I bought a Ficus from Ikea some 4 years ago and have not had any problems until now.

About 4 days ago I noticed some leaves had turned black and fell off very easily. I disposed of them to make sure it was no one-time issue. Today, some leaves are slowly starting to turn black again. The image I posted is of a leaf I just removed.

I pruned and repotted my ficus about 2 months ago. I try keeping the roots dry as best as I can and water it when the soil gets dry (about every 7 days). It faces the east and has started to receive increased sunlight during the early hours of the day, but it has been in the same spot for years and has had no issue with bright sun in the past

I hope you can help identify the issue!

-Jelco
Thumb of 2021-06-15/jelcoC/4b80b9


Thumb of 2021-06-15/jelcoC/70902a

[Last edited by jelcoC - Jun 15, 2021 9:58 AM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Jun 16, 2021 10:03 AM CST
Welcome! I see no evidence of a fungus. I suspect your Ficus is reacting to the repotting and/or the watering. I have a few questions.

How much of the original soil did you replace when you repotted?
Is it double-potted? Does the pot it is planted in have a drain hole?
How do you determine the soil is dry enough to need water?
How far is it from the east window?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Tropicals
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purpleinopp
Jun 16, 2021 10:25 AM CST
It looks decent. If the soil becomes literally completely dry, foliage will drop off. As the trunks increase in girth, loosen the tie around the middle a little bit. Eventually these trunks will inosculate, but you don't want the tie to be tight enough to restrict expansion. When you water, remove the inner pot and take it to a sink or shower so excess water can drain away, and gently thoroughly saturate the soil. Repeat before the soil loses all of its' moisture.
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jelcoC
Jun 18, 2021 9:12 AM CST
Thank you for your answers. I think I replaced about half of the soil when I repotted. The thing is, its roots are very thick and in fear of damaging them I did not remove a lot of soil from inbetween them. It is double potted.

The soil starts pulling away from the edge of the pot when it becomes dry. That is when I water the plant. I also feel with my finger for moisture. When the soil is completely dry I water. The plant is on the windowsill, so about 10cm from the window.

Also, thanks for the tip on loosening the tie! I had not thought about that.
Name: Omie
New York state (Zone 5b)
Beekeeper Cat Lover
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Omie
Jun 18, 2021 9:50 AM CST
ficus/fig tree plants are usually pretty thirsty fellows, especially if they are right in a window near the glass. I can't imagine letting it get so dry that the soil pulls away from the sides- wondering if your pot soil has lost its ability to actually absorb water well.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Tropicals
Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Foliage Fan
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purpleinopp
Jun 18, 2021 10:19 AM CST
One of the many things people and plants have in common, the relief of loosening their tie (or belt)! LOL!
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Jun 18, 2021 3:23 PM CST
Removing soil will also tear away some of the fragile, thread-like root hairs that do much of the work. In addition, you are letting the soil get too dry. The soil should never get so dry that it shrinks away from the sides of the pot nor should it get completely dry.

Water your Ficus as soon as the top half-inch of soil feels dry to your finger probe.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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