Ask a Question forum: frozen fiddle leaf ficus--so sad!

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chicago, IL
Jan 13, 2018 4:58 PM CST
I have (had) a beautiful fiddle leaf ficus that was doing really well (had it for two years). Then I had to move and moved it in 15°F Chicago weather. It was in a moving van for about 30-40 minutes. At the new home, all the leaves are wilted/bent and now, a week later, all are on their way to being brown and dried and falling off. There is not one leaf that hasn't shriveled/drooped or turned brown. I'm not sure if the whole plant has died or if it can be recovered. Is there any way of telling? Is there anything I can do to save it and how long before it starts to recover? I've heard of miraculous Lazarus stories from others about their fiddle leafs. I'm hoping this is another one.
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
Jan 13, 2018 5:51 PM CST
sure, the thin leaf tissue freezes easily but the stem and /or roots have a chance. Be careful not to water too much (or at all) since there is no leaf to evaporate it.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
Jan 13, 2018 7:18 PM CST
Scratch the bark with a fingernail. If it is green underneath, there is hope. If it's brown, give it a proper burial.
chicago, IL
Feb 9, 2018 9:20 AM CST
Update on the fiddle leaf: It's still alive! I saw new little bumps on the sides of the main trunk about two weeks ago that have now developed into tiny leaves. I was so thrilled. It made my day.

Thank you sallyg and ctcarol for your advice! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

The only thing I noticed three weeks ago is that one of the areas where we cut a branch developed a white, spider-web-like coating over the cut area. Not sure if this is mold, but it comes off when I rub it with my finger. This morning I noticed yellowing liquid coming from the cut area. Something to be concerned about or normal for a cut branch? None of the other cut branches have this. Didn't want to cut this as it's part of the largest branch and would essentially mean cutting off the top trunk of the plant, but I will if needed!

Thanks in advance!

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Name: Andrea Reagan
Astatula, Florida (Zone 9a)
I collect seeds
Feb 10, 2018 8:50 AM CST
Air circulation may be the key to keep this plant alive at this point. They are survivors.

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