Ask a Question forum: Ficus elastica help. :(

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Chicago, Illinois
Papa28
Oct 2, 2017 7:45 PM CST
I have a ficus elastica plant, I had the plant at my moms house for the summer, everything was fine while it was there and it made a bunch of leaves like at least 20. When I went back to my own apartment after the summer, the first 3 weeks it was fine. I watered it, it took the water about 2 weeks to dry. I lost a leaf due to water damage. Once week 4 and 5 hit, it's been losing leaves everyday. At first it was the older leaves so I thought it was shedding but just today it lost a newer looking leave that It sprouted over the summer which is making me worry. There's pics of the plant below. This is the most recent leaf I lost today. Help?
Thumb of 2017-10-03/Papa28/2d1baf


Thumb of 2017-10-03/Papa28/00ee07


Thumb of 2017-10-03/Papa28/097347

Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Oct 3, 2017 7:20 AM CST
Ficus are fickle !!! They dont like to be moved, even turned, or drafts.
If she is situated where she was prior to your going to your moms over summer, she'll probably be fine, after she gets over her tantrum fit.
You also might want to back off on the water. Like less water, more often, but still let her dry between waterings.
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Chicago, Illinois
Papa28
Oct 3, 2017 8:29 AM CST
Gotcha, so will she just keep dropping leaves until I take her back to my moms house where she originally was?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Oct 3, 2017 9:13 AM CST
Ficus benjamina are sensitive to even minor changes in light. Ficus elastica are not nearly as sensitive. I suspect that in this case the light it is now receiving is lower than it needs to support the same number of leaves. If it is using less water, that is also an indication that the light has been reduced.

Whichever house you keep it in, locate it close to and in front of an uncovered window.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Chicago, Illinois
Papa28
Oct 3, 2017 9:19 AM CST
WillC, even with it shedding leaves you'd recommend I put it in a window? Won't changing the location make it more upset? Or simply because it had more light at my previous house as opposed to my current one, it'll help?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Oct 3, 2017 10:35 AM CST
I don't know the details of the light you have available, but I am quite sure the primary cause of leaf loss is reduced light. Plants react slowly and gradually to changes in their environment, so improving the light will not lead to immediate improvement. However, long-term, improved light is what is best.

If the leaf loss has created some leggy stems, pruning them back when you improve the light will improve the plant's appearance.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Chicago, Illinois
Papa28
Oct 3, 2017 10:40 AM CST
You're spot on regarding light, essentially at the place it was at prior, it received ample indirect sun then direct sun once the sun was setting. I don't know which direction the window was, I just know those details. It's currently in a room where it gets a lot of indirect sun and no direct light, I could change that by as you said moving it from my desk to in front of my window that gets more light than the desk I currently have it at. Thanks for all of the feedback WillC and PhilipW.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Oct 4, 2017 6:52 AM CST
Everything said, Sounds , Like a good plan, Man.

I'll say. Your Welcome ! From everybody involved. We-all ! Like to help out. 😁😁😁
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.

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