Cannot Seem to Pinpoint The Dry Leaves Issue with Ficus Lyrata
Dear Fellow Gardeners,
I posted the following on an older topic but got only one response, so I figure I would give it another try.
I've been reading a lot of posts on problems with Ficus trees and still feel unsure as to what is exactly causing the leaves of my Ficus to turn brown. I'm a relatively new gardener (about 1 year) and I have managed to kill very few plants. Can't seem to pinpoint the issue with this beautiful tree!
I purchased the Ficus from a plant shop here in NYC in May this year and as was expected, it dropped some leaves for a while after we brought it home. Since we brought it home in May I didn't want to prune and repot and decided to wait until next year. The problem now is that the tree keeps getting brown spots on the leaves and the latest brown spots have shown up on the inside of a leaf as supposed to the edges.
As per Al's great advice (ficus expert) here on these forums, I flushed the soil about 2 weeks ago and still I keep getting more brown/dry spots on the leaves.
I water it about every week on average and have followed the advice of using a wooden stick to feel the level of moisture in the soil.
1. The tree has always been indoors, even at the plant store where I bought it.
2. I fertilize every few weeks during the early summer but thruthfully, I had not fertilized it since July until last week. I used to use MG 8-7-6 but switched to MG 24-8-16, last week. Do you recommend fertilizing during Fall and Winter?
3. I have not added anything besides the fertilizer.
4. The pattern of the damage foliage used to be mainly bottom leaves but now it seems like it is slowly creeping upwards interior leaves included.
5. It seems to be pretty root bound. I have not taken it out of its container but as you can see on the linked photo, the roots are protruding from the soil. Also. when inserting a wooden stick for moisture, there is quite a bit of resistance. Do you recommend perhaps repotting without pruning?
6. I have spent quite a bit of time, trying to figuring out if I overwater or not. I came to the conclusion that if anything it is maybe underwatering. I probably water the Lyrata about every 10 to 13 days and up until this week it does get a nice amount of sun from a southern window for about 4 hours a day. When I water I use about 3 quarts of water and towards the end, a little water seeps out of the pot.
I wonder if the issue is perhaps too much sun? Or not enough? Perhaps a very invisible pest? The soil? Not fertilizing enough? Wateing?
I would like to prune and repot but from what I read Fall is not an ideal time to do it.
Please help this very anxious Lyrata lover! I posted the link below with several additional photos that illustrate the problem further.
Here is a link that might be useful: Ficus Lyrata issues