Help Save Dying Plant

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by namini, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. namini

    namini Member

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    Quick disclaimer: I don't know anything about plants. I don't even know what this plant is called; a friend got it for me as a gift just last week. It was purchased from a gardening store nearby, but they aren't much help. There were a few bugs in the tree, but I seem to have gotten rid of them. There is a drain hole at the bottom of the pot and a cork base to absorb any excess water.

    The leaves are just steadily falling off. I've been watering it once a week, making sure the soil is spongy, but not soaked. A picture is attached. I realize this isn't a whole lot of helpful info, I'll try to provide more info as requested to the best of my abilities.
     

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  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Looks like Ficus benjamina, Weeping Fig. Although I've not had the problem it's apparently regarded as finicky in that it sheds its leaves with changes in environment.
     
  3. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Looks like it might be a Ficus benjamina. If so, I daresay that it is going through some 'getting moved shock': these plants do NOT like to be moved, or changes of any kind, and seem to express their displeasure through leaf-dropping.

    How strong is the light coming in its window? Any cold or hot drafts of air blowing on or near it? The classic requirements of 'bright curtain-filtered light' and 'keep soil evenly moist' definitely apply here.
    Wait a bit before you do anything else. Do NOT fertilize it! If you feel that the plant is in a good spot, LEAVE IT THERE and let it adjust to its new home. If all is well otherwise, a few more leaves will fall, but then it should be OK.

    But first: give us some closer detail of your plant so that its identity can be verified.
    Welcome to the Forum!
     
  4. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    I second Jungle keepers choice. Yes, sometimes if you just move them across the room they throw a fit and drop their leaves, let alone moving any distance out side!
    My daughter never has a problem with hers and she swears it's because she fertilizes it with something called "SUPERthrive". 8-10 bucks for 4 ozs at the hardware store. She also slips it out-dated birth control pills when she can get them. (I don't fertilize indoor plants often.)
    I know of NO scientific reason that BC pills should have any effect at all except they are hormons for people but not plants. And I've never heard this from anyone else, but it works for her.
    Just find a well lighted warmish place for it and try not to move it. The leaves will come back.
    ;)) barb
     
  5. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    Barbara, hi! I can attest to the value of "Superthrive" - I have used it in the past on rescued plants. It's one drop per gallon (or a little more in severe cases), and it has brought plants back to life which I thought were goners for sure. As far as I can tell, it's B-vitamins plus minerals. I never mentioned it before because I thought all the plant virtuosos would pooh-pooh me for it, but dang! it does work!
     
  6. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    I agree, change of environment for these trees can lead to leaf loss, sometimes shedding on & off for months! Any dead branches can be pruned out in the spring.

    Keep it where it will get nice bright indirect light AND some direct sun during the day too. Let the soil "almost" dry out (not bone dry) between waterings. If you start to get a leaf, or a few that are bright yellow and the soil feels dry, you probably waited a little too long to water.
     
  7. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    2annbrow,
    We moved a 6ft Ficus in the back of a truck on a Wash. State Ferry from Lopez Island to Anacortes, WA and maybe lost 3 leaves due to Deb's care and feeding of her Ficus. I tend to use Osmocote because it's easy but I must admit the SUPERthrive is great and sure does something right.
    Bluewing's advice on the care and feeding there-of the ficus is spot on. Good luck :)) barb
     
  8. namini

    namini Member

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    Thanks so much for everyone's input. Extremely helpful. It's now confirmed that the plant, as many of you had already surmised, is a ficus. I've ordered some superthrive and will give it some whenever it arrives.

    In the meantime, there's no direct draft, either hot or cold, on it. The ficus receives some direct sunlight for a few hours of the day given its position by the window. Thanks to everyone for their advice -- I'll be following it diligently.
     
  9. Marn

    Marn Active Member 10 Years

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    Ya these plants are famous for throwing fits when they get moved.. it is almost like a temper tantrum ....lol .. they will drop leaves .. dont worry new ones will grow back .. these plants also love the morning sun .. i know i had a rescue one that had barely any leaves and i had it sitting in the window with the morning sun and it grew just beautiful
    I also like to use Shultz liquid plant food for my plants they love it ..

    Marion
     

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