Ask a Question forum: Fig disease?

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Vancouver
Juliochristo
Mar 26, 2018 1:26 PM CST
Hi

I have a potter fig tree that was outdoors last summer, healthy and fruiting. During fall it went into hibernation. I brought it indoors over the winter and it started new growth. Over the last few months it has gotten into an unhealthy state. The leaves have brown spots, are drying, and this web type of growth is covering the top third of the plant. Can anyone identify what the issue is or has seen this before?
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Tom
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Mar 26, 2018 2:26 PM CST
Tom - Bears hibernate, but plants go dormant. Your Fig might have fared better if you had pruned it way back and then wrapped it for protection and left it outside for the winter.

Your Fig has spider mites. I suggest that you prune back all of the stems, including the leaves. That will trigger healthy new growth for the spring and summer and should also solve the spider mite problem. If you are now passed hard freezes, you can move it outside.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Mar 26, 2018 3:04 PM CST
Whether your fig chooses to hibernate or go dormant, Smiling the needs are the same. A cool place to spend the winter. Your fig budded out when you brought it in because (in its little plant mind) winter was over and spring was here.

Spider mites love dusty plants. Keep your plants clean and spider mites won't be a problem. You didn't post a photo of the entire tree so we don't know how big it is or if there's room to prune it back. You can cut the leaves off and force it into dormancy (don't pull them off). Cut the little leaf stem (petiole) someplace between the trunk and the leaf. The rest of the petiole will fall off on its own.

Then, move it back outside so it can leaf out naturally. The temperatures in Vancouver never get cold enough to warrant bringing your fig inside.
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

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Vancouver
Juliochristo
Mar 26, 2018 4:58 PM CST
Thanks for all the help.

You are both correct, spider mites. I can see the little Red Devils crawling around upon closer inspection.

I want to bring it outside and cut away the affected area. The bottom leaves on the left side look ok.

Any advice where is a good spot to prune? I've attached a photo.

Sorry I'm quite new at this!
Thumb of 2018-03-26/Juliochristo/38c94e

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Mar 26, 2018 5:10 PM CST
I would cut back all of the stems to a length of about 2-3 feet to give it a fresh start. But that's just me.
Wherever you cut any stem is where new growth will emerge and grow upward from there.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Mar 26, 2018 5:48 PM CST
What do you want your tree to look like? Tree with 1 stem, tree with multi-stems? Shrub? After you decide that, you can prune accordingly. If you need some pointers, let us know shape and we can suggest cuts.
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
Vancouver
Juliochristo
Mar 26, 2018 6:42 PM CST
Thanks for the help.

I rent my house so I plan on keeping it in a pot. I also plan on keeping it a maximum of 6ft from the floor to the top. It produced some really nice figs last year so I'd like to keep it fruiting.

I live in Vancouver, BC so it rains quite a bit here and the winters see 3 or 4 snow falls per winter.

As far as shape, I'm flexible although something bushier would be nice.

Cheers
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Mar 27, 2018 8:44 AM CST
Pruning will help encourage a more bushy plant. It is best to prune it back sharply - well under the desired height - as the winter approaches and it goes into dormancy. You can count on lots of height being added again starting each spring.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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