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ficus tree problems

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by leiprie on November 08, 2005 11:14 PM
I was just given a 5 1/2 foot tall ficus tree from my grandparents. I was given detailed instruction from my grandmother and have followed them to the letter. She told me how she checked to see if it needed water and how often she fed it. It used to sit outside in the summer facing North, but I am on the back side of a mountain and decided to place it in a South facing window. I figured that this should be similar light. It started dropping yellowish leaves the first night I had it. Since then, it has continued to lose leaves at an alarming rate (it has been two weeks). I have checked that it isn't getting too dry or staying damp. It is root bound and I need to repot it, but am afraid to do so with it acting "shocky." What should I try to do for it? I'd hate to lose such an old tree!
by plants 'n pots on November 08, 2005 11:46 PM
Hi leiprei -

I just bought a new small ficus, and Will Creed - our resident horticulturist - sent me one of his bulletins on growing these plants.

I don't want to steal his thunder, but will give you some of his helpful hints.

quote:
It is common and even expected that ficus trees will shed lots of leaves when they are moved to a new environment.
He also says not to repot the plant until it gets used to the move.

quote:
Give your new ficus as much direct sunlight as possible. A south-facing window is best. After it has acclimated, you can move it to a less bright location, such as a north window, if you prefer.
There is other information, but I think that Will should share it with you himself, as he authored the article. You can PM him if you like, or wait for him to pop in here - he's very plant and people friendly!

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"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by loz on November 09, 2005 12:07 AM
Ficus are very well know for being really picky about being moved.....last year when I moved mine to a different part of the room it dropped so many leaves I thought it was going to die....

One thing that helped it greatly was that I put it outside in a shady spot this summer...It grew so much I couldn't believe it....

Here it is:  -
by plants 'n pots on November 09, 2005 01:04 AM
Very healthy looking plants, loz! [thumb]

I like the doo-dads hanging in your windows too - I do that also! [muggs]

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"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by loz on November 09, 2005 03:07 AM
Lynne, I love things hanging in the window--the one thing on the left window is all little mirrors and pale green beads...very pretty when it's sunny. I've been looking at these huge stained glass things in Hallmark that have flowers and hummingbirds on it....Only problem is they're about $80 or so....I still don't have any curtains yet in the kitchen there because Mark still hasn't done the trim....So usually there are curtains...LOL

Yep, the plants are doing really well there in that spot.....It hasn't dropped one leaf since I brought it inside a month ago or so ago. I need to get a cover for the AC because it's so huge it doesn't ever come out of the window.
by leiprie on November 09, 2005 05:22 AM
My house stays between 70-72 in the winter. Do you think that the tree is getting too cool? Also, how long should it take for it to stop losing leaves?
by loz on November 09, 2005 05:55 AM
It's really cold in my house around 60 degrees....and mine hasn't dropped any leaves...I'm not an expert but I would say that it's just due to it being moved.....they are very finicky plants....Last year mine dropped leaves at a terrible rate.....now I think about it it was probably when I moved it so I could put the xmas tree in it's spot....

*Note to self, put xmas tree somewhere else this year*
by plants 'n pots on November 09, 2005 06:04 AM
leiprie ~

do you have the type of ficus that loz does (rubber plant), or the smaller leafed benjamina with many more much smaller leaves?

I keep my house between 68-70 degrees during the winter and my plants are fine.

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"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by leiprie on November 09, 2005 12:41 PM
I don't have a rubber plant ficus tree. I have the one that people braid that trunks of when they are babies--with the smaller leaves.
by plants 'n pots on November 10, 2005 12:29 AM
that is the type that Will Creed sent the bulletin about, so if you like, see above about what he had to say...

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"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"

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