HELP SAVE MY FICUS TREE

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Jeanna Nelson, May 19, 2020.

  1. Jeanna Nelson

    Jeanna Nelson New Member

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    Cleveland, ohio
    Hi this is Jeanna I have a 9 foot fiscus tree I have had for three years indoors. I have taken care of it has lost may 10 -20 leaves here and there from moving to different spots. but they have grown back and this year it has grown new branches, and also new leaves. I did have it out side the previous year on my back deck where it thrived and grew and blossomed more leaves.
    I brought it in for winter it stressed for a month dropped leaves then was fine I put it back on the deck when it warmed up and had to repot it in a larger part due to dirt loss and over root growth. and I repotted it added a little food/ fertilizer just as the local petite garden center suggested then it went and rained for three days torrential rains. and now the pot is over watered and now the leaves are white and falling off.
    and its raining again. So I coved the pot area from getting anymore rain with a garbage bag and duck tape so it wont seep in the pot. But I have noticed it is in shock, the branches somewhat went white, but when I scratched the trunk it was green underneath, so she is alive.
    I need to get her back to health. Not sure if going back out side and getting repotted and then rain all at once was too much for her? is there anything I can do for her and destress her, or move her to the garage till the rain stops this month ?

    Please help me save my Fiscus
    Jeanna
     
  2. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Ficus, a fig tree? There are so many different types of these, some of which do not like being moved at all. I'm not sure being moved to a dark garage, yet another move, is going to be what this plant wants. What about giving up on the outdoors this year and moving it back inside where it had been?
    It would be helpful to post photos so we know exactly what you are talking about. Attach photos and files
     
  3. Jeanna Nelson

    Jeanna Nelson New Member

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    My Photo Shows Fiscus tree now. and one picture from last year on deck.
     

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  4. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Does the pot have drainage holes in the bottom? If not, the soil will be waterlogged, and the roots will be dead or dying. If that is the case, it should be repotted immediately in an appropriate pot with slightly moist, well-draining soil. Any roots that look completely dead should be clipped off. If the soil drains poorly, it could be waterlogged even if the pot has drainage holes.
     
  5. Margot

    Margot Well-Known Member

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    Oh dear, your ficus does not look good. Before taking any heroic measures to save it, you should scratch the bark with your fingernail or a knife to find out if the cambium layer, just under the bark, is still green or not. Start with outermost branches and work back toward the trunk and then the base of the tree. If you find green under the bark at any point, that is good news and you should continue as vitog recommends. If, however, the cambium layer is brown, especially if it is brown near the base of the tree, it is probably dead. Good luck!
     
  6. Jeanna Nelson

    Jeanna Nelson New Member

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    I reported it into the big pot it has two big drainage holes on the bottom. The trunk is green under neath and shocking as it is she is actually growing some new leaves. Maybe if I just leave her alone and keep her covered if it starts to rain again. She will pull out of it.
    That pot is three times bigger than the original one she was in. I do admit I did not check all her roots to see if thier waa dead ones . I took her out the old pots waahed off alot of dirt stuck to her so she could anchor to the new good dirt.
    I live in Cleveland Ohio, and it's may and we are starting this month with lots of rain everyday almost and a few days she waa out thier through a severe thunder storm were it rained for two days straight. It dry today 05/19/20 and tomorrow supose to be 70 and Thursday 70 so I hope that will dry some of her dirt up and she can drop the rest of the ols leaves. I do see some new green leaves coming in .
    Should I do anything else and what kind of food do you feed a ficus . I have been using indor plant food . Or sticks in the grown and sometimes I use miracle grow liquid.??
    Thanks
     

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  7. Margot

    Margot Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like your Ficus benjamina has a will to live so that's great. Keep in mind that in most areas of North America, these are houseplants and finicky ones at that. It can be grown outdoors year round only in USDA growing zones 10B and 11 which Cleveland is definitely not. Having said that, your fig could go outside for the warmer summer months although you should be prepared for significant leaf loss as it adjusts to a new environment and then when you bring it in again.

    Read over a couple of websites that tell about care of these fig trees such as: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/ficus/weeping-fig-trees-outside.htm

    Hold off on fertilizer until your plant is revived and stabilized . . . it's never a good idea to feed an ailing plant.
     
  8. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Jeanna. I like that you're thinking of fixing the overwatering problem, but trapping that excess moisture in a waterproof sack only makes it worse. It can not dry out at all, and the more-stagnant condition inside a bag leads to faster rotting & root death. So you need to get the roots dried out. First, the pot, does it have drainage holes and well-draining soil? Is there a saucer you could remove so the water drains out the bottom? What are your nighttime minimum temps like right now. If you have die-off due to overwatatering, then cold nights can make it worse.
    So if it was mine, and a 9' plant would be very valuable to me, I would get rid of the bag, get it good drainage (even if that meant propping it up and drilling holes from the bottom), use the big umbrella to reduce rainwater instead of the bag, and maaaybe even get a hand truck to cart it back indoors every night for awhile. It's time for some very drastic measures to save this one.
     
  9. Jeanna Nelson

    Jeanna Nelson New Member

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    Thank You so much Margot & Tom for all your advise. I will get a large umbrella for her. and drill more holes for drainage, it has two holes but not big enough.
    At night it has gotten as low as 55 right now.
    day temp around 70-80.
    so when it gets colder towards winter, I will have to bring her back in.
     

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