7 reasons why ficus leaves fall off (and what to do about it)

We talk about the problems that cause ficus to shed leaves and how to deal with them. We give advice on the prevention of an unpleasant phenomenon.

7 причин, почему у фикуса опадают листья (и что с этим делать)

In its homeland, in Southeast Asia, ficus is considered a tree. All its varieties grow up to several meters tall. At home, the exotic is grown as bonsai, with low bushes or trees. It is appreciated for its high adaptability, rapid growth and decorative effect. The whole year the plant pleases with beautiful greenery, but in some cases it begins to turn yellow and shed foliage. Let’s analyze why the leaves of the ficus fall off and what to do in this case. 

All about the falling and yellowing of ficus leaves


How to understand that an exotic needs help

The handsome ficus takes pride of place in many home green corners. It is believed that it brings prosperity and good luck. About 50 varieties of exotic are grown in indoor conditions. You can choose a tall or compact specimen, with small or, conversely, large leaves. But they all need approximately the same conditions. If they are not observed, problems begin.

The first signs of leaf fall differ in different varieties. So, small- and large-leaved varieties like Benjamin, Anastasia or Golden King turn yellow at first. The leaf blades turn yellow very quickly, literally in a few hours. The process starts from the middle and spreads over the entire surface. All yellowed leaves fall off after a short time.

Exotics with leathery dense leaf plates such as Elastics or Microcarps “ask for help” differently. It all starts with the loss of turgor. The leaves become sluggish. Their tips gradually dry out and begin to break off. Then the edges darken, the entire leaf plate dries out, turns brown. The dried foliage subsequently falls off. Sometimes the process doesn’t stop there. Darken and dry branches, stems. 

7 причин, почему у фикуса опадают листья (и что с этим делать)

Why does ficus shed its leaves

Let’s list the main reasons why the leaves of ficus turn yellow and fall off. 

1. Dry air and high temperature

Almost all varieties of ficus trees do not tolerate dry heat. They need a moderately warm temperature, even in summer it should not exceed 24-26C. In winter, it is better to provide a moderate coolness to the bush. Dry air is another enemy of the exotic. In natural conditions, it lives in moist forests, so it does not tolerate dryness at all.

For the normal development of ficus, it needs a moderately moistened substrate, relative coolness and regular spraying. The latter can be replaced by wiping the leaves with a wet cloth. It is also good to put the pot on a pallet with wet pebbles or expanded clay, place it near a container with water, for example, near an aquarium. Elastic, Microcarpa, Natalia, lyre-shaped, arrow-shaped and dwarf are especially in need of this. 

2. A sharp change in the conditions of detention

Most exotics are unpretentious, but there are capricious varieties among them. They react literally to any impact: draught, turning on or off batteries, moving to another place. The “trigger” for leaf fall can even be an accidental push or a small blow to the pot. This, by the way, is one of the most common reasons why Benjamin’s ficus sheds its leaves. 

The most capricious varieties are considered to be Benjamin, Palmer, Microcarpa, rough and equally leafy. They have enough of a small impact to make the bush that pleased the owner with decorative greenery become naked in a few days. However, after a while it will grow leaves again. This should be taken into account when choosing a ficus tree variety. If it is not possible to fulfill all the whims of a green pet, it is better to choose the most unpretentious varieties. 

3. Incorrect lighting

Different varieties of exotics do not react equally to lighting. Among them there are shade-tolerant and light-loving varieties. The former prefer partial shade and will suffer if they are placed on a brightly lit windowsill or taken out under the direct rays of the sun. Foliage in such conditions will turn yellow, will be covered with brown dry spots. Even burns are not excluded. These varieties include fasting (aka cherry-shaped), sacred.

Another group of exotic plants, on the contrary, prefers brighter lighting. But it should not be too saturated. The best option is diffused light. Darkening will lead to yellowing and subsequent falling of foliage. This is characteristic of Benjamin, Elastica, Microcarpe and others. Before choosing a place for a bush, it is necessary to study its varietal features. Then there will be no problems with its cultivation. 

7 причин, почему у фикуса опадают листья (и что с этим делать)

4. Watering errors

Both overflow and underflow are equally undesirable for ficus. With regular waterlogging of the substrate, the root processes rot and die. This affects the state of the foliage and is the reason why the leaves of the ficus are twisted. Too dry soil mixture is also not good, the indoor tree will begin to dry, turn yellow. He may even die.

The best option for an exotic is a moderately moist substrate at any time of the year. However, there are some varieties, for example, figs, which are characterized by a resting phase. At this time, abundant watering is contraindicated for them. Most varieties, among them Elastic, sacred, dwarf, Benjamin, require constant moderate humidity. 

5. Lack of nutrients

Over time, any soil mixture is depleted. The lack of nutrients has a detrimental effect on the plant. It loses its decorative effect, the leaves turn yellow, gradually fall off. Moreover, new ones do not appear. This is another sign of soil depletion. Regular, but not very frequent fertilizing with any complex fertilizer will help. You can’t overdo it. An overabundance of useful substances is also undesirable. It is indicated by the drying tips of the leaves. 

From time to time, the bush needs a transplant. Otherwise, it will shed leaves. Soil depletion is corrected by fertilizing, but is not completely corrected. Every three to four years, the flower should be transplanted. Usually it is transferred to a pot with a fresh substrate. If it is clear that the roots are cramped in the old pot, a new one is chosen for a larger volume.

6. Low temperature

Some growers are confident in the cold resistance of the exotic, because he does not like heat. However, he also does not tolerate cold. Excessive coolness, 16-17C and below, undesirable for the plant. Especially if the soil mixture in his pot is constantly moistened. Wet and cold roots rot quickly. It is often impossible to save such an instance. 

Drafts are extremely undesirable. They cool the plant, which is unacceptable for it. You can not put a pot with a flower in winter near the glass or on a cold surface. An ice floor, for example, is not the best place for a ficus. The soil in the container will cool down quickly and cool the sensitive roots. In order not to harm the plant, when installed on cold surfaces, foam, felt, etc. should be placed under it. 

7 причин, почему у фикуса опадают листья (и что с этим делать)

7. Diseases and pests of ficus

Another reason for the problem with the leaves is some kind of disease.  It can be triggered by a fungal or bacterial pathogen. Most often, the exotic is sick with cercosporosis or anthracnose, infection with botrytis, root rot or sooty fungus is possible. Before treating the disease, it is necessary to make the correct diagnosis. 

It is necessary to carefully consider the bush, to identify other signs. These can be dry or wet dark spots on leaf plates or stems, drying of branches, etc. Only after that a fungicide or antibacterial agent is chosen, which is used to treat the bush. They do this not only for medicinal purposes. If the risk of infection is high, preventive treatment is also needed.   

Pests are also dangerous for the exotic. Their invasion may end in his death. The ficus tree is loved by scabies, aphids, nematodes, mealworms and thrips. Red and yellow spider mites are especially dangerous for him. It is possible to understand that the bush was attacked by pests, not only by yellowing and falling leaves. Small punctures and small dark spots will be visible on them. These are traces of insect activity. 

At the initial stages of infection, it is better to try low-toxic home remedies: wash the leaves with soap, sprinkle the ground with tobacco dust, spill the substrate with a solution of potassium permanganate, etc. If there are no fewer pests, chemicals are used. Special insecticides will help, the method of application is indicated on their packaging. 

How to prevent leaf fall

It is very unpleasant if leaves fall from a ficus tree. To prevent this from happening, you need to follow a few simple rules. 

7 причин, почему у фикуса опадают листья (и что с этим делать)

Decorative tree is beautiful and unpretentious. It is necessary to create favorable conditions for it, then it will delight with its bright greenery all year round.

Original content from the site