Ask a Question forum: Help! Variegated ficus elastica :(

Views: 729, Replies: 11 » Jump to the end
Brooklyn, NY
Carammmel
Aug 8, 2017 5:43 PM CST
I'm not sure what's wrong with this guy.. I mist it almost daily, I wipe it with some diluted hort oil if it's ever dusty. I water it once/week, always checking the soil. It's been like this for a while and I tried repotting but nothing has helped. It's had that baby bud on top since I got it but it's pretty much plateaued. I've slowly lost maybe two leaves on the bottom also. If anyone knows what could be causing this slow death, please help! Thank you!


Thumb of 2017-08-08/Carammmel/4ffaf6

Thumb of 2017-08-08/Carammmel/aebe3f

Thumb of 2017-08-08/Carammmel/e145c5

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Aug 8, 2017 6:09 PM CST
How often do you use the Horticultural Oil? Does your plant sit in the sun? Rubber plants are slow growers but that looks like sunburn. It could be exasperated by the oil.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Aug 9, 2017 5:30 AM CST
Have you fertilized it with anything? I assume that is perlite on the top of the potting mix. When you water, does water come out of the bottom of the pot - it might be the image perspective but the saucer looks rather small.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Image
Dutchlady1
Aug 9, 2017 5:35 AM CST
Too much water?
Brooklyn, NY
Carammmel
Aug 9, 2017 5:41 AM CST
@daisyl, I only just started using the oil maybe two months ago and I've probably wiped its leaves twice.. this was a problem pre-oil though. The plant is next to a north facing window that gets good indirect light.

@sooby, I haven't fertilized. I had a fungal gnat problem when a friend overwatered while I was on vacation so I got gnat nix and that solved the problem. But this plant was struggling pre-gnats too!! And it must be the photo, the saucer is actually too large haha.

I was thinking maybe not enough sun? But I don't think I'd be seeing these symptoms.

Thanks for all the help so far!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Aug 9, 2017 6:04 AM CST
I was thinking the leaf browning might be too much fertilizer, but it's also possible there is not enough, which might also account for its not growing much. For example this picture of potassium deficiency on a Ficus elastica is somewhat similar to your leaves:

http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/nutde...

So the water does run out of the bottom into the saucer when you water?
[Last edited by sooby - Aug 9, 2017 6:04 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1523835 (6)
Brooklyn, NY
Carammmel
Aug 9, 2017 1:30 PM CST
@sooby Yeah but not a ton of water, it's in a rather large pot. The photo in the link looks so similar! Potassium deficiency... Interesting! I'll look into this some more and hopefully we've solved the mystery! I'll keep you posted, thanks so much for your help! Hurray!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Aug 9, 2017 5:11 PM CST
You might be surprised how much the light intensity is reduced when a plant is "next to" as opposed to "in front of" a north facing the window. Rubber plants must be directly in front of and close to north windows to get enough light and even that is less than optimal.

When a plant does do not get adequate light, it uses less water. In addition, I'm guessing that the large pot is keeping the soil too moist. Allow the top 1-2 inches of soil to get almost bone dry before adding any water.

There is more than enough nutrients in the soil so fertilizer will not help. Nor will misting.

Oil tends to attract and hold onto dust. It is best to remove dust with a duster or a damp cloth.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Greece (Zone 10b)
Houseplants Foliage Fan Cactus and Succulents Tropicals Aroids Bromeliad
Orchids Region: Europe Garden Art Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Faridat
Nov 12, 2017 10:10 PM CST
I am having the exact same problem with my Variegated Ficus Elastica. Only the bottom leaves, and the plant already had them when I got him from the nursery. I wonder if I could just remove all the bottom leaves. Overall I consider Ficus plants very temperamental. They don't like to be moved, they don't like drafts, they need very very bright light, they like humidity but not staying in the water, if you get what I mean, like no overwatering, it's not a forgiving plant overall. And that browning of the edges of the leaves is the most common problem with them.
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Nov 14, 2017 1:36 PM CST
Faridat - I think you are confusing Ficus elastica with Ficus benjamina. The latter is quite temperamental because it sheds leaves whenever it is relocated. It also requires more light than Elastica. Given lots of bright indirect light and proper watering, Elastica is quite hardy and easy to manage.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Greece (Zone 10b)
Houseplants Foliage Fan Cactus and Succulents Tropicals Aroids Bromeliad
Orchids Region: Europe Garden Art Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Faridat
Nov 14, 2017 2:19 PM CST
@WillC, you are right, but because I had read another member who grew some, that not only the Benjamina, but the Elastica doesn't want to be moved also. Thank you for pointing out the difference! As you had mentioned to me in another thread, I gave my Benjamin ficus a steady place near a sunlit window and it has stabilized since! No more leaves falling like crazy! Hurray!
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Nov 14, 2017 5:46 PM CST
There is a lot of confusion about Ficus benjamina, elastica and lyrata. They are all closely related but have different light and water requirements.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by Fleur569 and is called "One Plant..Variety of Blooms"