Ficus benjamina - convalescence advice!

ourarkaAugust 25, 2013

What with some comings and goings here over the last year, this Ficus (which I didnt pay an insignificant sum for) has been rather neglected and as a result has become quite straggly, with a lot of dead leaves filling the centre. What do you suggest in order to improve matters? Right now it is in one of the cooler rooms in the house, with reasonable light levels though not mega bright.

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If the roots are congested, I would make it a priority to relieve that congestion via a full repot, which includes correcting problem roots and root pruning. The plant wants to be in a soil that allows you to water at will w/o having to be concerned that you'll cause root rot or that root function will be seriously repressed by an extended period of soil saturation.

The dead branches and foliage that are inhibiting air movement and sunlight penetration to the tree's interior are acting in concert with root congestion (if it hasn't been recently repotted [as opposed to having been only potted up]) to inhibit back-budding, so cleaning out the interior dead material would make a good lazy day chore.

As is the case with all plants, which are reactive organisms, if you focus on providing the basic cultural conditions that don't force the plant to function at or near the limits it was (genetically) designed to tolerate, you'll be golden. Trees in containers also burden the grower with a demand for regular root maintenance if you want to keep the tree from the steady decline that accompanies a more laissez-faire approach.

Good light (more for your plant if possible), good soil (an important key to consistent success), good watering habits, a sound nutritional supplementation plan, and proper maintenance will always get the job done nicely, barring calamity.

Al

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 1:19PM
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