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Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:18 pm
Location: longview, wa
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my ficus tree is looking for advice - the cat peed in it...

I have a sad story to tell.... I have had great luck with a ficus tree for the past couple of years. People told me I was crazy to have it because they were hard to care for, the leaves would fall off, etc....

Well, over the New Year holiday we accidentally locked an outdoor cat inside while we were out of town. Initially, I was very happy that she had not peed on my bed or clothes. I thought she was so clever to use the tree. The first thing I did was to get the "clumps" out of the pot, took the tree outside, and ran several gallons of water through it. I was hoping the action would be like the rain and rinse the pee out. I then topped it off with some fresh soil and brought it back inside.

Here I am about 2 weeks later...and leaves are falling, falling, falling.... :(

Does anyone have any ideas about what might save my plant? Perhaps more rinsing, or totally new soil? Or is the poor thing a goner?!?

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Greener Thumb
Posts: 1596
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Summerville, GA, Zone 7a

I *think* cat pee is pretty high in ammonia.

I would suggest new soil myself, I'm not sure of what else you can do - hopefully someone else knows of an additive that would neutralize the ammonia.

The Helpful Gardener
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

How cold was the day it went outside? Did it move right back to the same place?

Lime would help a great deal; couple of tablespoons about the surface, water that in slowly and that will help counter the acidity...the addition of a few tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide to that watering is never a bad idea (we are beginning to use it professionally a good bit) and in this case a great idea to counter anaerobic conditions around the roots. Taking all the soil off now would be just as deadly, I'm afraid...


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