Loula
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:30 am

Ficus binnendijkii losing lots of leaves

I have just bought a new house and inherited some plants. One of which is a beautiful 5 foot tall Ficus binnendijkii.
We have recently moved the plant into the corner of our bedroom. It is not in direct sunlight and actually gets very little sunlight. It is next to a window but is not drafty.
However, it's losing several leaves a day (there is also new growth).
Some of the lost leaves look perfectly healthy. Long, green and shiny. Others are withered, grey and twisted.
I think initially I over watered it, but now I'm more sparse.
I have bought a water meter to try and gage the wetness of the soil, but on a scale of 1 to 10 I'm not sure how moist this plant should be kept or why it's losing its leaves.

Can anyone advise?
It's a beautiful plant and I would hate to lose it.

Thanks
Loula

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Kisal
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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

I'm not sure this is the final answer to your question, but my understanding is that all Ficus species tend to drop leaves when moved to a different location. I'll do some research later today about the species you have, but right now, I'm late for an appointment.

It sounds like you have it in a good location, so be careful not to overwater in an effort to compensate for the leaf drop. Too much water will only kill the roots. What it needs is time to adjust. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

Loula
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:30 am

Thanks so much for response.
Appreciate any help I can get :D

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Kisal
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Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to you. However, I have been researching your plant whenever I've had a few moments to spare. :)

Ficus binnendijkii is most closely related to Ficus benjamina (weeping fig), but doesn't tend to lose it's leaves quite so readily. One thing that will cause it to do so, though, is overwatering, so you want to be very careful about that. This species prefers to become somewhat dry between waterings, at least compared to the other members of Ficus. (You want to keep it a little drier than usual during the winter.) Check the soil about every 3 or 4 days, but water only when it's dry to about 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch below the surface. One procedure I've seen recommended is to water the plant, allow an hour or two for that water to be absorbed, and then water again. Also, you want to use water that is about room temperature, because cold water is another thing that will cause leaf drop. Never allow the pot stand in water.

Be sure to turn your plant every day or two, to ensure that all sides get equal light exposure. It likes quite bright light, but not direct sunlight. Insufficient light can also lead to leaf drop.

Ficus binnendijkii likes to be a bit potbound, too, so don't be too quick to repot it. The roots grow very slowly, and will sometimes even grow on top of the soil.

That's about all I have. I hope it proves useful to you. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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