save_goshi
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Why is my ginseng (Ficus) tree losing leaves?

Hello,
I recently acquired a 2 year old ginseng tree, and am not so sure how to take care of it properly. It has lost many leaves since I got it and I don't know why. Including the exposed roots (which is normal for this type of tree), the tree is approximately 8 inches tall. Can anyone help? Thanks :D

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bonsaiboy
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This website has good info on ficus trees: https://www.bonsaihunk.us/cultural.html
Try getting some pictures of the tree, because I cant say what to do until I have more info.
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save_goshi,

As bonsaiboy noted more information would really be helpful. Where do you keep the tree, inside or out. If outside where are you located? If inside what type of lighting are you providing?

It is not uncommon for ficus to drop their leaves when they are moved to a new environment. I would caution you against trying to water it back to health. A tree with reduced foliage will have a reduced need for water.

BTW, just to confirm we are talking about a Ficus, correct?

Norm

save_goshi
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I do believe it is a ginseng ficus. I just got it a few days ago, and I'm new at this. I've been keeping it outside in the day (it's around 80 outside these days, Northeastern USA) in the shade of the porch. It is always in indirect sunlight. At night I bring it back inside (around 76 degrees Fahrenheit). It has lost quite a bit of leaves. I have watered it once since I got it about 1/4 cup of water. I'm not sure if that's enough or too much/too little. Once a day I lightly mist it with water. I'm trying to learn all I can, but I can't find information specific enough to my tree. I also discovered there's an earth worm in its pot! I have no idea why or if that's good for the tree. The leaves that have fallen off are slightly yellowish-green. I don't know the type of soil. There are small pebbles on top of the soil (not glued). I do not know how to add a picture to this. Any help would be very appreciated! Thank you!

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save_goshi,
I do believe it is a ginseng ficus. I just got it a few days ago, and I'm new at this.
Ginseng Ficus are readily identified by the tuberous roots.
[img]https://www.gigusa.com/Green%20Plant/Bonsai/In_out%20Bonsai/GINSENG%20FICUS%20MD.jpg[/img]
I've been keeping it outside in the day (it's around 80 outside these days, Northeastern USA) in the shade of the porch. It is always in indirect sunlight. At night I bring it back inside (around 76 degrees Fahrenheit).
It is not necessary to move it about like that, find a good spot for it and let it stay there. You will need to bring it inside for the winter but that is still a few months away.
I have watered it once since I got it about 1/4 cup of water. I'm not sure if that's enough or too much/too little.
That is too little by the quantity but quantity should never be the issue. When you water do so copiously and then wait until it needs water again. A little water often is the wrong approach.
I also discovered there's an earth worm in its pot! I have no idea why or if that's good for the tree.
I get them if I leave my pots on the ground. I don't think they cause any direct harm but their castings tend to clog up the drainage which can be a problem.
I do not know how to add a picture to this.
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3724

Norm

save_goshi
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Thanks so much! It definitely is a ginseng ficus, then. I guess I'll keep it inside near a window. Will direct sunlight hurt it, or should I continue to keep it out of the direct light? I've found a lot of contradictory information on the internet...

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save_goshi,

I keep my Ficus outside in as much sun as I can until I absolutely have to bring them in. Ficus will tolerate low light but really thrive on full sun. As I mentioned before Ficus have a tendency to drop their leaves when moved to a new environment. New leaves, that are better suited to the new conditions, will grow back.

[url]https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Ficus.html[/url]

Norm

save_goshi
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Ok, at least it's reassuring to know dropping leaves is natural. My tree has probably dropped almost half its leaves, and that seems to be quite a bit to me. I have moved indoors before I knew that it needed a lot of sunlight. Will putting it outside now hurt it even more by changing its environment yet again? Thank you for all of your help so far; I really appreciate your willingness to help.

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bonsaiboy
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Is this tree grown in bonsai soil or potting soil? A ficus grown in potting soil will often tend to shed leafs. And, do the surface roots have a fat, smooth appearence, or are they wrinkled? From expiriance I know that the genseng ficus variety is prone to a root rot that travels up the root, eating away the wood and giving it a wrinkled look, and making it drop leafs. If this is the case, it would be a good idea to cut off the infected root(s).
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save_goshi,
I have moved indoors before I knew that it needed a lot of sunlight. Will putting it outside now hurt it even more by changing its environment yet again?
The owner of Bonsai Hunk keeps his inside year round but he has specialized lighting. Perhaps it would be best to leave things as they are now. You will likely be bringing it back inside in approximately 8-10 weeks anyway. I really can't say with any certainty what to do, there are pros and cons to both scenarios.

Norm

save_goshi
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The roots look rather smooth and fat; there are no wrinkles. I believe the tree is planted in potting soil. That's how it was when I bought it. I'll just keep it inside, then, and hope for the best. Thanks for everything!

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