Why Benjamin's ficus sheds leaves - drafts, moving, little light
Do you know what is the most popular search query on Google for the word "ficus"? The most common tags are "Ficus Benjamin" and "Ficus Benjamin sheds leaves"". This means that, no matter how many pages about this plant exist on the Internet, amateur flower growers will still have questions related to the care of Benjamin's ficus. On our website, in one of the articles - "Caring for Benjamin's ficus at home" - we talked in detail about the cultivation of ficus, but today we decided to pay attention not to care, but to the problems associated with it. And the most common trouble that happens is the falling of the leaves of the ficus.
The Prince and the Pea
It is fair to say that any of the Ficus species can shed leaves, but Benjamin people suffer from this more often than others. This is just a "prince and a pea", not a flower, and the reason for his capriciousness is that he is a typical inhabitant of the tropics: a lover of humid air, diffused sunlight and warmth. In addition, unlike other species, Benjamin's ficus has smaller, which means weaker leaves, painfully tolerating too dry air or waterlogged soil. This ficus immediately responds to drafts, a sudden change in lighting or location. So, when buying Ficus Benjamin, keep these features in mind, and if the plant begins to lose foliage, try to correctly determine the cause of the leaf fall. So, let's take a closer look, why does Ficus Benjamin shed its leaves?
Why does Benjamin's ficus shed its leaves
A change of scenery
No matter how offensive it may be, it happens like this: you bought Benjamin's ficus in a store, brought it home, and after a few days he began to lose leaves. Why? Because this plant really does not like a change of scenery. Even moving a pot with it from one room to another can stress the ficus.
What to do? If you buy Ficus Benjamin in a greenhouse or a store where special devices provide a high level of humidity and illumination, you will have to arrange the same resort at home - buy a humidifier and artificial lighting lamps. Or buy Ficus Benjamin in a regular flower shop, the premises of which do not have special devices for the long-term maintenance of plants from the tropics. Moreover, make a purchase not in winter, but in the warm season, otherwise, while you take the ficus home, it can get stress from the temperature drop.
In advance, choose the right place for it in your apartment and do not transfer it from one room to another.
Lack of lighting
Ficus Benjamin is very picky about light. Even with proper care in winter, its leaves can become paler and begin to fall off. So if you decide to grow this flower, immediately worry about additional lighting. In winter, you can't do without it. And in general, immediately place it in the most well-lit place of the room - best of all in front of the south window. But! In no case under direct rays, that is, not on the windowsill itself, but near the window with translucent tulle. Light is needed diffused, but lighting should be long in time - 10-12 hours a day.
Ficus Benjamin does not tolerate drafts and reacts to them with the loss of leaves. So place it away from air currents when ventilating. Temperature drops are also contraindicated for all types of ficuses, and even more so for Benjamin Ficus.
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Why do ficus have problems with leaves
Ficuses are the favorite houseplants of most flower growers. They are unpretentious to care for, they are easy to root and propagate at home. Also, ficus is widely used in folk medicine; tincture of its leaves successfully treats many diseases of the upper respiratory tract and sciatica.
Why do ficus have problems with leaves
This evergreen flower adapts well to new conditions, so it is often used to decorate office interiors and government lobbies. Despite the docility of character, many owners of this home flower periodically face the question of why the ficus sheds its leaves.
It is also worth noting that not all types of ficuses are inclined to report poor health in this way, most often the owners of the ficus Benjamin (Nitida) and the rubber one are faced with the problem of leaf fall. It is these species that tolerate the dryness of the apartment air and irregular watering worst of all. There are many reasons why the leaves of a flower crumble. Having correctly identified the reason why the plant throws off the leaves in this case, you can save the flower and return it to its previous appearance.
To avoid yellowed foliage, first of all, you should provide the ficus with maximum care. It should contain a balanced watering regime, a warm and bright room, as well as mineral fertilizing. Often, the home content of different types of flowers may differ from each other.
So, Benjamin's Ficus needs more sunlight, but even such a light-loving flower needs shade in the middle of the day. Watering these plants has a certain routine: the soil must have time to completely dry out. Ampel ficus species require an increased amount of moisture in the air and frequent watering. It is recommended to put expanded clay into a pallet of these types and periodically moisten it.
In addition, there are a number of preventive measures to help keep foliage from turning yellow:
- Once a month, the ficus crown should be treated with soapy water. This procedure is especially important for plants that are on an open loggia or growing outdoors.
- After purchasing a flower, quarantine should be observed for some time. This will help to identify diseases in the flower and protect other plants from infection, which can cause yellowing of the leaves.
- Sanitary pruning should be carried out on time, dry foliage should be removed and the tips of the shoots should be equalized. The lower processes should be cut off completely, as they can creep along the ground and take root.
- It is necessary to maintain the distance between the pots, even if the flowers in them are of the same type. When too crowded, plants begin to wilt and lose foliage.
- Ficus transplant should not happen too often. It is recommended to do this no more than 2 times a year. To renew the soil of an adult plant, experienced florists remove only the top layer of the soil.
- The optimal place for growing the ficus should be chosen in order to limit the number of permutations of the pot.
How to save a flower?
To reanimate a pet will require diligence in performing some actions:
- Replace potting soil completely.
- Carry out sanitary pruning of dry stems.
- Moisten the trunk and crown in a solution of biofungicide.
- A week after transplanting, add top dressing to the soil.
- Ensure constant admission of fresh air and sunlight.
If leaf fall occurs during the cold season, replace only the topsoil, spray the tree several times a day with a spray bottle, increase the number of light sources and avoid drafts. As soon as spring comes, conduct intensive therapy.
Large succulent ficus leaves are attractive to many harmful insects. Pests of the ficus "Benjamin" are: mushroom gnats, true and false scale insects, nematodes, spider mites, thrips, mealybugs and aphids.
It is almost impossible to see microscopic pests without magnifying devices. But the traces of their activity are very characteristic and easily recognized.
On the leaves of infected ficus, dotted specks of light color are formed, and all ground parts are covered with many thinnest cobwebs. Such plants stop developing, lose their decorative effect due to yellowing and falling leaves, begin to wither and ache.
It looks like an oval plaque in beige, chestnut or gray. It can be knocked off the surface of the sheet with a needle. Since the body is protected by a waxy shield, it can only be destroyed with systemic insecticides that penetrate the body through plant sap.
Photo: scale insect on ficus "Benjamin"
Small pests with an oval body that resemble flies. They are difficult to see due to their nondescript colors - steel, black or brown. They settle in large colonies and feed on the sap of the plant, greatly inhibiting its growth.
In addition, they carry many viral diseases and stain the ground parts with their secretions, attracting fungus.
Small pests with an oval body covered with a whitish coating, reminiscent of starch or flour. Two types of discharge are left - a sweetish liquid that attracts a sooty fungus and cotton-like lumps in which eggs are placed.
Hello Natalia! My friend had a ficus growing, everything was fine, but when moving to another apartment, the conditions of detention changed, the ficus did not have enough light, stood in the back of the room, there was no way to put it closer to the window, and as a result, the leaves began to dry, curl and fall off. The plant is almost bald, there are a few leaves on the side at the top and a few on the branch below (the ficus is about a meter high). I felt very sorry for him, I took the stench for "reanimation". I looked at the lump, there is no smell of rot, the roots seem to be alive. I wrapped the lump in a newspaper, it seemed that the lump was damp, but the newspaper did not even get wet, so I put it right in a pot without drainage, mixed peat-Bionika with perlite, spilled zircon. I sprayed it with epin. I put the ficus on a bright diffused light. I spray it with plain water every day and ventilate the hood. 1 week has passed, so far without any changes. During this time, 3 more leaves fell off, but already whole, green ones. Am I doing everything right? Or can you remove the bag, sprinkle it with plain water more often and gradually expose it to the sun? I understand that the plant will not recover so quickly, it takes a long time, but will it recover? I'd like to know your opinion. Thanks in advance.
Irina, if the roots did not bother, if they are not damaged, then it is more important for the ficus to receive bright light than to be under a hood. Place in the sun, remove the cap, but if possible, spray often with plain warm water.
Good morning Natalia! I didn’t bother the roots, I carefully transferred them into another pot. Let's hope that the ficusus will get well. Thank you for all the advice. Thank you.
Good evening, Natalia. I am again to you for help. Ficus is doing something very bad, I do everything as you said: I took off the cap, put it in the sun, spray it with water 5-6 times a day, in the evenings I illuminate it with a 15W LED lamp (pink light), I water it with zircon once a week. noticed that on the trunk in one place the bark was leaving, knocked off, and there something greenish (in color like mold), scratched, everything was removed, the trunk was hard, light. I tried to cut the branches again, but still no juice. The leaves almost all fell off, there were a few pieces left below, and even those sluggish and frail. Maybe take it out of the pot again and examine the roots? Does it make sense to spray it so often with water if the bark is already breaking away? or spray with epin again? (sprayed 2 weeks ago). Can I saw off the trunk to where the leaves are? What do you recommend? Is Ficus even alive? So I want him to "go out". What else can you do? Thanks in advance.
Irina, very little time has passed. Do not overmoisten the soil, then you can not look at the roots. Their unnecessary anxiety is not needed now. You can shorten the trunk, but not quite according to the existing leaves, but simply by cutting the trunk by about half. Plants are inert, they endure for a long time, but then they recover in the same way for a long time. And they have a point of no return, when the plant seems to be still alive, but it cannot get out of the disease even after treatment with stimulants. Let's hope that this point has not been crossed yet.
Thank you Natalia for your necessary advice and recommendations. I also really hope that the ficus will get out. As will be further, I will unsubscribe you. Thank you
Natalia, hello. I want to share my joy with you - on the only remaining branch of the ficus, 8 new leaves have appeared! I shortened the barrel, bought another LED lamp (only 30W), I light it up in the morning and evening. But I am still worried about the trunk itself, above this branch (photo 3). The trunk is dry and the bark is coming off. Will it go down where the leaves are? Can still cut off? And pull the twig itself to the trunk? I'm afraid it will break, she's so thin. And in general, can we already assume that the ficus is recovering? Or is it too early to judge by one branch? I would like to hear your opinion. Thank you in advance.
Irina, most likely, only this twig survived, everything above dried up. You can saw off the top if everything is clearly dry there. It will hardly begin to sink down, just what has perished will dry up to the end. Often, a clear border is obtained on the svola, and this does not go below it. When trimming, be careful not to loosen the svol.
Hello Natalia! Unfortunately, the plant died. As you advised, I sawed off the trunk, there were already 33 leaves on the branch. But at the end of May, I noticed that the twig had stopped growing, began to feel the remaining trunk (stump), and, just as it had been from above, the bark was moving away from the trunk itself. I also wanted to pour it with zircon, but in a hurry I confused it with an epin and poured it. After 10 days, the whole branch dried up, I chopped off the bark, there was mold on the trunk of the plant under it. When I took it out of the pot, the lump was damp and the roots were black. Maybe I flooded it? Although watering was every 10-12 days 200-250 ml. It’s a pity that I didn’t save.
Thank you Natalia for all your advice and help!
Irina, the ficus had few chances of survival. There is always a balance between roots and crown. If the roots suffer, then the crown decreases sharply. If the crown suffers, then the roots will also sharply decrease.
Why do ficus leaves turn yellow?
If ficus leaves suddenly turn yellow, there may be various reasons. Usually a virus or iron deficiency. In both cases, the responsibility lies with the excessive moisture to which the plant is sensitive.
When a virus attacks a plant, the first yellow spots appear on the leaves. As the disease progresses, whole leaves turn yellow. The viral illness usually occurs during cold and humid summers or as a result of stress caused by over-watering. It is necessary to reduce the amount of water supplied and avoid stagnation.
Loss of leaves is not a reason to throw out the plant, you need to study the rules of care. Ficus does not feel well in the company of smokers. If the plant is in a room where cigarettes are smoked, it may be the first cause of leaf shedding.
A common cause of yellowing is a lack of fertilizer, especially iron, which can be the result of stagnant water or too small a pot. Plant the plant in fresh soil, and reduce the amount of water. The water should not stand in the pot.
Why do ficus leaves fall: find out the reason
Ficus is a popular plant for growing at home. Caring for such a flower is simple, but sometimes it has a phenomenon of leaf falling off. Why do ficus leaves fall, and what should be done in such a situation, this article will tell.
Why does the ficus shed its leaves
Today, a wide variety of ficus varieties are grown at home.This beautiful and unpretentious plant is considered an excellent choice for any home or apartment. But the idyll can be disturbed by the fact that the flower began to shed its leaves. If this happened, then it is necessary to identify the cause of this phenomenon, otherwise your ficus may die soon.
There are many reasons for dropping leaves. Therefore, a careful analysis of the situation is necessary in order to determine the main reason why leaves began to fall off the plant. Consider each group of reasons for the appearance of leaf fall.
Changing growing conditions
Most often, the reason why leaves fall off of a ficus lies in changing growing conditions. Indeed, even for people changing their place of residence is a kind of stress, for a plant it can be a real disaster.
Often, the leaves fall off the ficus immediately after the pot has been brought from the store. This is due to the fact that in a flower shop the plant was grown under completely different conditions, which are significantly different from home ones. If the cause of leaf fall lies in stress, then it is necessary to recreate its usual growing conditions for the flower.
In addition, a similar phenomenon can occur if you move the pot to a new place. For example, move the pot from north to south. Transplanting a flower into a new pot may also result in slight leaf fall. You don't need to do anything in such a situation, since after a while the plant independently adapts to the changed growing conditions. If this does not happen, then you should simply return the pot to the previous growing place.
Please note that the ficus loves a lighted, but slightly darkened place. It is not recommended here both strong darkening and direct sunlight on the flower. In the latter case, sunburn may occur, which will lead to leaf fall. To determine whether the reason lies in the changed growing conditions, it is necessary:
- find out the temperature regime of the new growing place
- identify the presence or absence of drafts
- check if the pot is dark enough.
If, in a situation of leaf falling, even slight deviations from the growing conditions are found, the flower should be immediately returned to its old place.
In addition to growing conditions, natural causes can also affect the condition of the plant. For example, if your ficus began to shed leaves, then the reason may lie in a physiological natural process, i.e. aging. Every biological organism will sooner or later come to the natural end of life - death. In plants, physiological aging is exactly accompanied by leaf fall.
In this case, you should know that each individual sheet has its own life span. In ficus, this parameter is on average about three years. After that, the leaf blade turns yellow, dies and falls off. Of course, such a situation is characterized by isolated cases, and the mass character can be observed only in rare situations. Due to aging, the leaves begin to turn yellow and fall off from below. After the leaf blade has fallen off, the trunk at the bottom begins to stiffen and become crusty. So, in the presence of such a situation, nothing needs to be done. But if yellowing also affects the top of the flower, then the reason is completely different.
Temperature and watering
If your flower began to shed its leaves, and you could not tolerate it and it is young enough, then the reason will lie in improper care. Ficus leaves turn yellow and fall off due to improper care for the following points:
- irrigation disturbance
- change in temperature.
The most common reason for leaf dropping in ficus lies in its excessive waterlogging. Watering the flower is carried out only when the soil is completely dry. To check the dryness of the soil, use a wooden stick: if the soil sticks to it, then no watering is carried out. This flower should be watered a little less often than other indoor plants. If you have poured it over, then for the next two weeks, you do not need to add water to the pot.
In order for watering to be optimal, when transplanting a flower into a new pot, it is necessary to put expanded clay or clay shards at the bottom of the container to improve drainage. Having created a good drainage system, you do not have to worry about water stagnating in the soil. If you overflowed the plant and because of this its leaves began to fall off, you will have to carry out a transplant, since otherwise the root system will begin to rot and the ficus will soon die.
Separately, it should be noted that watering the ficus is carried out with a moderate amount of water at room temperature. For example, very cold water when watering can cause the leaves to shed.
Another reason why the ficus can begin to shed its leaves is a violation of the temperature regime. It is a tropical plant that loves warmth. But at the same time, the flower cannot tolerate prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. It is best to create a stable temperature regime for the flower, without fluctuations. Remember, it is not recommended to place the pot in the immediate vicinity of heaters and fans. The latter is due to the fact that ficus (small-leaved and other varieties) does not like drafts.
Video "We save plants from pests and diseases"
Pests and diseases
Not only the above reasons, but also insect pests, can lead to leaf dropping and yellowing. The following pests can be found on ficus:
- spider mite
To identify unauthorized inhabitants on a flower, it is necessary to carefully check the soil and leaves (especially on the underside) for larvae or adults. In this case, the appearance of cobwebs, sticky plaque and damage to the leaf plate will serve as indirect signs of the presence of pests.
By their activity, insect pests damage the leaf blade, contributing to yellowing and further leaf fall. In addition, insects can serve as carriers of various diseases (especially of a fungal nature). As a result, when infected by insects, the ficus can become infected with powdery mildew, root rot and other fungal infections.
If pests and signs of disease are found on a flower, it is necessary:
- treat the plant with special means
- remove infected leaves
- to achieve the best effect, repeat the treatment with the products after a few days.
If these manipulations are not done, then the flower may die. The cause of the appearance of insect pests is any disturbance in the care, especially from the side of the water regime. With frequent overflows of soil, pests are likely to appear on the plant.
Prevention of leaf shedding
To avoid the situation of leaf fall in ficus, the following preventive measures must be observed:
- correct water regime
- the pot should be in a light, but slightly darkened place. If things are bad with natural light, then you need to use a fluorescent lamp for backlighting.
- temperature regime should be within 18-20 ° С
- avoidance of drafts
- carry out periodic transplants every few years
- apply top dressing in spring and summer. This will avoid soil depletion and create an optimal set of micro- and macroelements in the soil for ficus.
To prevent the development of stress in the plant, it must be treated with anti-stress drugs (Epin, etc.) before transferring it to a new growing site. In addition, you need to periodically inspect the flower for the appearance of pests on it. If they are found, spraying the leaves and soil with special means is imperative. Observing the simple rules of care, you can grow a beautiful, strong and healthy ficus that will live in your home for many years.
Video "Why does the ficus shed its leaves?"
To understand the causes of this problem, the video below will be useful to watch. It contains useful tips and tricks.
Indoor evergreens in autumn
Have evergreenx plants, the replacement of old leaves also occurs, but it is gradual, throughout the year. Under unfavorable conditions, this process can accelerate, which is why it is in the fall that a more significant loss of leaves is observed. Strong leaf fall in evergreens is not an adaptation mechanism; it always serves as a signal for early measures to improve conditions in order to prevent their death. This group recovers with difficulty after the loss of most of the leaves.
Reasons for falling leaves in the fall in evergreens:
- Lack of light when kept warm. If little energy is produced (in conditions of a lack of light), but a lot is spent (in a warm room), the plant gradually depletes, sometimes "eats" itself. And for the sake of preserving the top with the growth point, the plant is forced to shed some of the leaves, first the lower ones, and then the rest.
- Cooling the coma, watering with cold water leads to the loss of the ability to absorb water by the roots, the plant begins to wilt with a damp coma, and leaf fall may begin. This phenomenon is often observed in the fall and winter, when the pot is on a cold windowsill or on the floor. Sometimes the difference between the temperature at the bottom of the pot and in the middle of the room is more than 10-15 degrees. Cooling the coma to +15 o C - for some, and up to +10 o C - for many indoor plants is already critical. Use water no colder than the room temperature for irrigation. It is unacceptable to cover plants with ice or water with cold water.
- An incorrect watering regime also leads to a loss of turgor by the leaves, which provokes leaf fall. Insufficient watering will directly lead to drought, and excessive watering will lead to disease and poor work of the roots, they cannot absorb water without oxygen, which will also result in a lack of water in the plant tissues. In autumn, with a decrease in ambient temperature and a decrease in illumination, the growth rate decreases, and, accordingly, the need for water decreases. It is very important to prevent waterlogging, in time, according to changes in conditions, to reduce the frequency and abundance of watering.
- Sharp temperature fluctuations, strong sudden cooling, cold drafts often lead to leaf fall.
- Dry indoor air during the heating season. In some plants, stomata close to prevent too much water loss through evaporation at low air humidity. Carbon dioxide ceases to enter the leaf, and this leads to disruption of photosynthesis.
- Tick infestation as a result of poor living conditions. Dry air and other reasons leading to the loss of turgor by the leaves (cooling of the roots, overdrying or waterlogging, salting of the soil) will contribute to their rapid reproduction - weakened cell walls become easily accessible to the tick. And the higher the temperature in the room, the faster the mite multiplies. By sucking out the cell sap, the parasites cause rapid yellowing and death of the leaves.
Evergreens often prone to leaf fall
Azalea (Rhododendron, Azalea). Indoor varieties are not deciduous, the upper dense leaves in the form of a whorl on the crown of the shoot remain for the winter. Leaf fall can begin with overdrying or waterlogging of the soil, warm winter content, from irrigation with cold water or icing, from dry air.
Hibiscus chinese (Hibiscusrosa-sinensis) - a massive loss of leaves begins from a lack of light, a spider mite defeat, from hypothermia.
Variegated codiaum (Codiaeum variegatum) - his leaf fall begins from sudden changes in temperature, cold drafts, lack of light, improper watering.
Ficus Benjamin (Ficus benjamina, Ficus nitida), rubber ficus (Ficus elastica),small-fruited ficus (Ficus microcarpa), dull ficus (Ficus retusa) will begin to shed leaves with a lack of light, improper watering and hypothermia of the roots.
Common myrtle (Myrtus communis)will react by massively dropping leaves to the high temperature of the content, improper watering (overdrying or waterlogging) and lack of light.
Citrus crops (Citrus) - leaf fall can begin during wintering in a warm room, especially in conditions of lack of light, as well as with sharp, more than 10 degrees during the day, temperature changes.
At the onset of leaf fall, normalize the conditions of detention:
- Place the plant under light.
- Reduce the temperature of the content, for subtropical species it is + 10 ... + 14 о С, for thermophilic tropical species it is about + 16 ... + 18 о С. This will slow down the metabolism of plants, reduce energy losses, and reduce the activity of ticks.
- Make sure with a thermometer that the roots are not overcooled.
- Adjust the frequency and amount of watering according to the environment and plant requirements.
What not to do with leaf fall in autumn and winter:
- It is not worth replanting - this is unnecessary and unnecessary stress for the plant. Usually, the transplant in this case ends with the death of the plant.
- To feed - the reason for falling leaves is not starvation. Diseased plants cannot fully assimilate the introduced nutrients, they will accumulate in the soil and can cause poisoning.