Rotate Ficus Benjamina?

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by HennekenLTD, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. HennekenLTD

    HennekenLTD New Member

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    Need some help with my Weeping Fig... purchased it from a greenhouse in September/October and was told be prepared to lose leaves as it adjusts to its new environment. It has loss about 50% of its leaves since bringing it home, but have noticed that it’s mostly on one side. Should I be rotating so it gets even light? If so, how often?

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    I have been careful not to over water and use a moisture tool to only water when the 1st inch of soil is DRY. It’s in room which faces North in Coquitlam, so it’s not getting a ton of light. I purchased a fluorescent “grow” lamp but am not sure if it’s helping or if I should move it to a window (which also faces North).

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    Have thought about just leaving it and ditching the lamp and allowing it to adjust to its new environment, but really just need some guidance.

    Hoping someone can help!
     
  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    It's probably not getting enough light. Try moving it as close to the window as possible. Even so I think it would be problematic because of the height of the tree.
     
  3. HennekenLTD

    HennekenLTD New Member

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    Ok thanks for the advice. I’m guessing the grow lamp I purchased isn’t as effective as being next to the window?
     
  4. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    In my many years' experience growing Ficus benjamina, success is achieved through trial and error. The one I have now is about 5 feet tall and has been growing right next to a south-facing window but looks good only on the window side. It has been losing an excessive number of leaves for at least 2 years. I've been reluctant to rotate it because Fb doesn't always take kindly to moving but I think it would benefit from a grow light on the shady side (and probably re-potting).

    I sounds like you've got the watering regimine down pat. You don't mention fertilizing and I hope you're not giving it any until it stabilizes. I would encourage you to move your plant close to the window and continue with the grow lamp because it is very possible that it is not getting as much light as it did previously. It can take a while for a sensitive plant like Ficus benjamina to adjust to new surroundings. Giving it more light and more time will hopefully allow it to thrive.

    If you have time, it would be interesting to hear back from you in a few months.
     
  5. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I would give the window a try before using the grow light, although it wouldn't hurt to do so. It is often said that this plant should not be moved because of the risk of leaf drop but I would not take that to include rotating the container in place.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
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  6. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    This is the first I have heard a knowledgeable person say so. Starting about 6 months ago, I did rotate mine every week, 90 degrees at a time, for a couple of months and it did continue with its leaf drop so I quit. I will start doing that again because I know it's not getting enough light on the side away from the window. For whatever reason, the leaf drop has abated.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
  7. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I'm no expert but it seems unreasonable that such a minor change would have any significant effect on the plant. Perhaps your leaf drop was due to some other factor. Please do report back on what happens going forward.
     
  8. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    I will. I've been procrastinating about repotting it although I think that would likely be a good idea . . . just so much work! I know 2 instances of healthy 12-foot-plus Ficus benjamina that were never repotted - one in a friend's house and the other in my father's. My father's tree was growing in a corner of his indoor pool room, not all that bright as I recall but great humidity. That's what I mean by trial and error - there doesn't seem to be a formula for growing Fb successfully.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
  9. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Take care to separate the two events with some time so that any leaf drop can't be attributed to the repotting. This plant is pretty resilient; I have a friend with one that has suffered multiple leaf drops but which has managed to bounce back after each one. Perhaps it's the luck of the draw. I've had a couple of these in the past, variegated and non-variegated, and did not have a problem with leaf drop.
     
  10. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    Good advice; I will repot soon and take it from there. A healthy Ficus benjamina is a beautiful thing!
     

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