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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:07 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Ficus Nitida Help Please!!!

Hi I just recieved this plant about 2 weeks ago. The tag says ficus nitida, Bonsai.

When I recieved it it was looking a little in dispare. The leaves had started to look slightly brown and had started falling off. I think the vehicle it was traveling in was in an accident. Although all of the soil is still in tact, the rock cover is half gone. Now I read that that should be removed anyway. Correct?

Since recieving the tree, I have watered it once and let the water drain through the bottom. Than it rained two days ago and I left it in the rain (it was approximatly 50-55 deg. F that day) and than brought it in when I returned from work and put it back in the sink with the drain plug out, which is where it now sits. The remaining of the leaves have turned brown(over this two week period) and have started to fall off. I put it in my bedroom because that is the warmest place in the house but maybe not the brightest. Although I do have a large sliding glass door and it faces north so it gets lots of indirect light. Should I move it to there?

I have several questions...

1. How do I bring it back? I love this tree and want it to survive!!!

2. Is it dead?

3. How do I care for it properly?

4. Temperature it should be kept at?

That should start me off for now. Thank you so very much for all of your help in advance :)

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A


Hello and welcome. First don't expect the old leaves to recover, if the they are brown and dry and the bulk of them have dropped the remainder probably will too. Ficus are pretty resilient and are capable of making a recovery from a total leaf drop. Your tree is likely not dead yet.

50-55 degrees is toward the low end of the range for this plant to be comfortable. Such temperatures are by no means fatal but in order to make a recovery it should be in a warmer and more stable environment. Find a good spot for it and stop moving it around. In many areas of the country Ficus are overwintered indoors.

Yes , I would remove the glued on pebbles, they were for shipping purposes and are not required now. They only get in the way of judging the moisture level in soil and proper watering.

So you let it go approximately 10 days without watering? If it was outside and cool it may not have needed to be watered, just curious. Please take the time to read the sticky thread about general care which has tips on watering, make sure to follow the links as well. The following links should help and if I missed anything don't hesitate to inquire again.



Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:07 pm
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

Norm's got you well covered. I just wanted to add that indirect sunlight is fine for a recovery, but once the plant is recovered it should be placed near to a window that, really, is facing anything but north. Alternatively, you might want to supplement the natural north light with a grow light of some type.

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