Ask a Question forum: Ficus tree

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MozBlu
Aug 27, 2016 10:59 AM CST
My ficus tree is about 10 years old; was repotted 2 years ago, sits in a large bay window. Always been healthy, drops some leaved periodically. Has been dropping yellow leaves for over a month. Now is so bare I can look through it. I am afraid I am going to lose it. What can be done to save it?
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Aug 27, 2016 1:09 PM CST
Welcome! Welcome! I find ficus to be so dern picky. Since it is dropping leaves one by one, it may be safe to say it is environmental vs too much/too little water, fertizlier etc. Any changes to the environment? More/Less A/C? More cloudy days than normal? Drop in humidity? Raise in humidity? All this can affect a picky ficus. I moved my ficus outdoors as the leaf drop indoors was getting too messy. The change of course made it drop all it's leaves. But it bounced right back in time. They are now over 12 feet tall outside and due for a third trim.
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 27, 2016 4:05 PM CST
Check on the soil moisture - sometimes potting mix gets so dried out that the water you put on it isn't very well absorbed. If you've had it indoors in the a/c all summer, this may be what's happened. When you water it, does the water rush right through and come out the bottom of the pot right away? That's a sign.

You could put it on some newspaper (or take it outside), tip it on its side and slide it out of the pot to take a look at the root ball. If it's dried and solid like a brick you need to give it a really good, long soak in a big bucket (or a plastic kiddie pool works well, too) until that root ball is completely moist again. The tree will love it. A really thorough hosing down if you take it outside might accomplish the same thing, but be SURE that the pot weighs a lot more after you've soaked it than it did before.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Aug 27, 2016 4:11 PM CST
I have a benjamina ficus that is now 22 years old. It lives in an east facing window under an A/C vent and gets rotated 1/4 turn every time I water. About the only thing I have done to make the leaves drop is forget to water. But watering brings it right back.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Aug 27, 2016 4:23 PM CST
It all depends on the ficus variety, @MozBlu. And welcome to NGA/ATP. If you have the benjamina, they can and will drop leaves if you simply look at them the wrong way. Sorry, gals, I wouldn't grow a benjamina if you put a gun to my head.............well maybe, if you cocked it. Whistling All your advice is right-on though. If possible, put it in a tub of water, or better yet, take it outside, and give it a good soaking. If using a hose, do it once every couple of hours for 2-3 doses of heavy watering. In a tub, just let it soak for an hour.

I grow the Fiddle Leaf and the Banana Leaf, and neither one drops leaves. But I am always watering these plants. You say your Ficus is 10 years old. My fiddle leaf is 25+ years old and she hasn't been repotted in probably 8-10 years. I know that she is so root-bound I would have to cut her out of the 24" pot to up-pot. I just water and water and water, most every day in the spring and summer (when she's outside) and every week in the fall and winter (when she's inside).
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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