ficus elastica variegata brown spots

Moosetrackz(9)July 25, 2011

Hello. I just bought a ficus elastica variegata 2 weeks ago. I repotted it since it seemed very pot bound. Its been in my house for the past 2 weeks but its not doing very well.

It has gotten soft brown blotches on its leaves. Im thinking maybe not enough light or too much water or both. I only watered it once, when I re-potted. Ive put it outside in a mostly shady spot and am hoping it does better. Is there any advice anyone can give me for anything else it might need or if that was the right thing to do?

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Did you repot (includes bare-rooting and root pruning) or just pot up?

The variegated plants seem to be a little more sensitive to issues related to watering (over/under) and fertilizing; and of course they're more sensitive to bright light extremes.

The odds are that it's an over-watering issue, but a high level of solubles (salts) in the soil is also a possibility. Often, plants grown in very bright light and warm temperatures are pushed hard (with maximum fertilizer doses), which is ok as long as growing conditions remain optimum; but when you take a plant that has a high level of fertilizer in the soil out of optimum conditions into a rather dim home setting, fertilizer burn can show up as a by-product of the reduced light levels.

Best advice: Make sure it's in a soil that drains fast enough that you can water copiously, so at least 10-15% of the water applied exits the drain each time you water. This will be particularly important over the winter when the plant's growth and water needs have slowed. If you can't water so you're flushing the soil, it's likely that dissolved solids will accumulate in the soil and cause a variety of problems like spoiled foliage and reduced vitality.

Your plant would like open shade, dappled shade, or early morning (until 9-10) and evening (7 & later) sun, but it won't tolerate full sun well if at all.

Al

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 9:23PM
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