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My first Ficus Benjamina, leaves are dropping

Posted by KarasNT none (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 18, 13 at 15:39

I bought a ficus benjamina about three weeks ago. It was a little one, about 10 cm (4 inches) tall, found in a supermarket. On the walk home, it was kept in the cold (it's winter where I live) for a good 20 minutes. The place it stood for about a week was on a north side windowsill, and it didn't drop any leaves. After one week I decided to repot it into something larger, where it could grow untroubled. After uprooting the ficus I had the pleasant surprise to discover that I actually bought three plants, which I transplanted then in three separate pots. The soil is Compo Sana for green plants and palms. I added to each pot about 3 cm (1 inch) of clay balls before putting the potting mix in. I shook the plants quite a bit to get the old soil off the roots (which in hindsight was not a good idea, since I read that they're quite stressful plants) and also cut them a little shorter before putting them in the new soil. After that I let them sit two days, without watering the new soil. the first few days they seemed fine, after which two of the three plants started to shrivel up and drop their bottom leaves. The one that hold its ground had the worse spot, getting even less light (which I found strange).
I'd like to mention that under the window sill lies a radiator (so it's quite warm for the plants around 25 degrees celsius). They don't get much light, since they sit next to a north window.
At this point I really don't know what to do to make them come back to life and I don't really know if I watered them too much or too little. As I said, one of the plants is still going strong and even showing signs of growth.
I put up a picture of my three plants for clarification.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: My first Ficus Benjamina, leaves are dropping

PS.: I also transplanted two cuzmania minor pups at the same time with the ficuses and used the same soil (they also sit on the same window sill) and they seem to thrive ad grow by the day. They grew by about 20% since I put them in their own pots.

RE: My first Ficus Benjamina, leaves are dropping

What are the stakes for?

RE: My first Ficus Benjamina, leaves are dropping

The ficus which can be seen in the middle of the first image died a few days after posting my first message in this thread. The one in the back of the first image is really thriving now. Since it was the healthiest, I decided to give it special care. It was quite frustrating to see them barely survive, so I read about anything on ficus benjamina care I could get my hands on and made it a challenge for me to get the healthier one to grow.

It had artificial lighting as a supplemental light source for the past two weeks and it's like the plant exploded with new growth. In the end it seems like it was a matter of light, which it apparently was just waiting for. It's growing like crazy now. If there are interested people here, I could post some new pictures.

RE: My first Ficus Benjamina, leaves are dropping

For one pots are way too gigantic for such a small young plants, soil will be always soggy, that could cause roots to rot. Also what do you need top cover of leca-clay for? It prevents soil from aerating and worsens the situation even more.
Benjamina lose leaves pretty easily due to stress and all kinds of other reasons, so one would expect them to lose some leaves after transplantation.
To improve the situation put a glass/clear plastic jar over the plants after transplantation for day or 2, it will be their personal greenhouse and allow for plants to get through the stress easier. Also spraying with anti-stress solutions help.

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