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Help! Dying floorstanding plant :(

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by busybeeburns on November 05, 2004 09:36 PM
Hi folks once again, I have one of these (Weeping Fig? not sure) but I've noticed over the last 6 months that the leaves are falling off faster than the new little ones are growing back. I hate to see it grow bare... all I can think of is the poor light in the room... I've repotted it, fed it small amount of plant food, everything I can think of. Does it need a lot of light?

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by Will Creed on November 06, 2004 05:20 AM
BusyBee,

Yes, Your Ficus benjamina needs lots of light. The more light it gets, the more leaves it will support. Repotting and fertilizer will not help and may make matters worse. Light is the key.

I have written an article on Ficus tree care that I will e-mail to anyone who sends me a request at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
by Jiffymouse on November 07, 2004 01:18 AM
have to add to will's statement. he is correct in saying that the ficus tree is not going to be able to support as many leaves if it doesn't get enough light, and fertilizer can't make up the difference.

however, i have a suggestion. i would trim off some of the lower branches so that the leaves that it can support are closer together and give it a fuller shape. if you want to see what i mean, check out my post i'm trying to see one that has been shaped like that. the "tree" between the "pond" and the steps is also a ficus benjamina, that has had all lower branches removed to give it a cross between a tree and a topiary shape. (i didn't do it, it was given to me looking like that, but i kinda like it).

i wouldn't trim your's so severely, but maybe the bottom 6-8 inches would improve the food flow to the upper branches.

also, remember that ficus benjaminas are NOTORIOUS for dropping their leaves faster than they are replaced during the adjustment periods. and, if you don't want it to be lop sided, remember to turn it a quarter turn once a week so that it has even exposure to the light on all sides. otherwise, the side against the wall will become bare.

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