need help

sjbaby(4)March 20, 2014

droping leaves like crazy, but the branches are still healthy and green, it gets bright indirect sunlight i don't over water and i let it drain for an hour after watering. small pot and dries up quick then i water again, and yes it is drying up all the way through, so no wet feet. and new growth is showing up slowly. why are the leaves drying up and falling off?

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tiny new growth

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 2:58AM
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closer pic

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 2:59AM
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MsGreenFinger GW(8 Ireland)

Basically ficus benjamina answers by dropping its leaves to any change in the environment - draught, warmth, cold, even when you place it to a new spot. I would also repot it, there's not much to lose at this state. Use an inner pot that fits in the outer one. While it has just a few leaves, make sure you don't overwater it.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 8:14AM
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auron22(6b OH)

I don't let my f. benjamina dry all the way through, once the top half inch is dry I water. For the couple of months I've had it, it has only dropped a few leaves at first and it took hard pruning pretty well too. Was probably a bad time to prune, I need to test my patience. Early summer I plan on repotting once it recovers.

Here is a very useful thread from Al about ficus culture. I think there are one or two more threads, but I can't seem to find them. They help a lot.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ficus Trees in Containers IV

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 8:24AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

The foil could certainly be interfering w/ drainage. If it were mine, I'd take that off ASAP.

W/ the foil on, how do you know it's drying all the way through?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 3:37PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Ficus b reacts to unfavorable changes in light, soil moisture, and temperature by dropping leaves, but not to favorable changes. I'm pretty certain we can isolate the issues most likely to be causing the leaf loss, but it would be a good idea if you read the thread Auron linked to, which will familiarize you with the plant's cultural preferences and help to eliminate as much guesswork as possible. I'd also suggest that you read this basic over view. Both of these articles should help you isolate correctible cultural limitations. By systematically eliminating the things that are limiting the plant's vitality, the plant can't help but regain some of its unrealized vitality and grow with more of its natural vigor.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 3:59PM
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there is no foil on the bottom and there is good drainage i can lift out the inner pot and check it the foil is just around the edges, my 10yr olds idea. i take the inner pot out to water it. i moved it to a brighter, warmer, more humid site in my kitchen hopefully that will help

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 8:52PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Oh, OK then, thanks for clarifying that.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 10:14PM
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