ficus lyrata brown spots, root problem

lemeurice(7)May 9, 2012

I hope someone has time to give me some guidance on 4 ficus lyrata that I have. I just bought them 3 weeks ago and I have them in my very sunny foyer trying to transition them to the lower light that they will have inside my house. I bought them from Home Depot and there are 2 about 5 feet tall and 2 about 2.5 feet tall. I have a few concerns:

1. They were beautiful and almost all green when I first got them but I'm starting to notice that the tips of some of the lower leaves are turning brown. Could this be low light (they are in front of west facing windows) or a watering issue? Pic below

2. There are some roots on top of the soil of one the larger trees and the same size small roots growing through the holes on the bottom of the plastic container. Here's a pic

Do I need to repot? I read that repotting shouldn't be done too soon after bringing home but does this indicate that I should go ahead?

3. I'm noticing reddish brown spots on each new developing leaf of the smaller trees. Here's a pic I'm not noticing it on the new leaves of the larger trees. Does anyone have an idea of what may be causing this?

4. I want to make the trees less shrub like and more tree like. Can I just pull off the lower leaves to do this or is there a better way? Is this an OK time to do this or should I wait a little? Here's a pic of one of the larger trees. Each tree has 3 independent trunks.

I love these trees, they are the first house plants that I have been interested in putting serious work into. I'd like to do whatever I can to make sure that they thrive.

Thanks in advance!

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It looks like feeding site damage. Mites - thrips?

Maybe you'll find this thread that addresses the care of Ficus in containers to be helpful.

Al

Here is a link that might be useful: More about caring for Ficus here ......

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:56PM
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goddess9(7b)

I agree with Al. The spots on the leaves look like little mites sucking the juices from the leaves.

Check the nooks and crannies and see if you have any stowaways on the plant.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 1:04PM
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lemeurice(7)

Thanks so much for the thoughts. I'm off to look up mites and thrips...

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 3:42PM
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lemeurice(7)

OK. I just read up on neem oil and will look for Dynagro at my local store. Is 1 tsp. per quart of warm water what you'd recommend? I'll spray it on the leaves, should I also apply it to the soil? If so, how?

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 4:00PM
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goddess9(7b)

I use about that proportion when I have an infestation. I spray everything I can, so the soil does get moist with it. Under the leaves is especially important.

You might want to take them outside and give them a bath with warm water.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 4:06PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Pure, cold-pressed neem oil is best because it contains the most azadirachtin, the ingredient from which the most value comes. Dyna-Gro is what I use.

To 1 pint of very hot water in a 1 qt hand spritzer, add a teaspoon of neem oil and several drops of Murphy's or Castille soap. Shake well and add a pint of 70% rubbing alcohol. Spritz the entire plant thoroughly until dripping. Make sure you cover all surfaces, nooks, crannies. Apply out of sun & keep out of sun for 24 hrs. Repeat at 2 week intervals until the infestation is resolved.

Al

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 8:10PM
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