Ficus problems: the expert responds on Ficus diseases
THE AGRONOMIST ANSWERS ON HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR PLANTS
DIFFERENT PROBLEMS WITH MY FICUS BENJAMINA
QUESTION FROM MARCO
hello I am marco
it is I have a ficus beniamina for three and a half years and always been healthy ... then in this winter .. yes and progressively felling leaves ... more and more rending immediately I thought it is winter and natural .. then it continued too heavily and I worried .. I looked at the sheets and I didn't understand the shoots were drying up ... and I didn't understand turning and turning on the internet ... I found this site ... first problem identified the cochineal ... under practically all the leaves that white wax ... I did the cleaning .... a month ago .... but no sign of recovery .. slight pruning to the tops to make it thicker .... nothing ... no positive sign .. ..I had read about the possibility that his roots were too wet ... but I didn't think he could have made this mistake .... in my last transfer I had put a lot of stones on the bottom of the new pot to avoid stagnation ... it's instead today I pulled out of the pot to the plant and there was the state of the compact bottom in an indescribable mush le ... I was shocked I tried to remove this earth as much as possible ... without anyway affecting the vital core of the plant ... I changed to the earth without anyway giving it any specific product ...
these are my questions:
1) what can i do to help her recover quickly? products? what do you suggest me?
2) what I did will suffice do I have to extract it again? and give him as I have read on some site a specific product for the roots?
3) did I put a normal soil for plants and flowers? will it be okay? which composition is better?
4) I painfully had to amputate a large branch ... I hope it starts again from below ... on the cut I put some wax ... hot casting ..
5) what else to say I accept all kinds of advice ...
ps another one who has many more years in the office that loses a lot of yellow leaves that have black dots on the upper side also had the scale insects I treated it but no good sign ... it can have damage to the roots too ?
at the bottom it has a slightly damp trunk as if it had rising damp
waiting for your advice hello and thanks ....
Hi Marco, let's proceed with order.
First, take into account that the summer is starting and therefore yours Ficusnow he is waking up from the winter "hibernation". So if you haven't seen any obvious signs of recovery, it's not serious. The important thing is that he has not observed any other negative symptoms.
You don't tell me anything about the state of the roots when you took it out of the pot. Were there rotten roots? And if there were, what did you do? Did you take them off? If there were, you should have cut them with a very sharp and well disinfected blade and then put a broad spectrum fungicidal powder in order to prevent or cure any diseases due to fungi that when water stagnation occurs, it is very easy for arrive. What have you done?
If you cut the rotten roots, did you wait at least a week before wetting the earth to give the wounds time to heal?
Another question: did you use a clay pot? Because terracotta allows the earth to breathe, something that does not happen with plastic pots and therefore they often help with our "watering messes".
Why did you use any type of soil and did you not inquire about the type of soil to use? Personally I am very wary of universal soils and I never use them. To the Ficus a peaty soil is fine with the addition of a little soil of leaves that lighten the substrate making it more airy. The Ficus it absolutely does not want a compact soil, it must be very permeable and fertile and possibly slightly acidic (ph between 5-6 are welcome) even if for this last point, all in all luckily for us it adapts easily to neutral soils. But they do not compromise on the permeability of the soil.
At the bottom of the pot should be placed at least two centimeters of gravel, expanded clay or pieces of earthenware so that they do not obstruct the drain hole (which I think is what happened to you) which should be checked periodically.
In the face of what has been said, you decide if it is necessary to proceed with the repotting again.
Now, tips for post-repotting.
When watering, let the soil dry on surfaces between waterings, the substrate you have to leave it moist, not wet and no water in the saucer. Now that summer comes, since the Ficus they are plants of tropical origin and love humid, put the pot on a saucer where you will put expanded clay or pebbles and always keep a little water but arrange everything so that the bottom of the pot never enters in contact with water. This solution (which orchidophiles know very well) will help you create a humid microclimate and your own Ficus will thank you.
Since you have just repotted, do not give fertilizers for at least a month. The new soil already has sufficient supplies of mineral elements.
For the other Ficus, didn't you check the earth and the roots? How long have you not repotted it? Have you eliminated all the mealybugs there too? Are you sure there are no aphids?
One last thing: in nature there are no "fast things", plants are living beings and have their own times. If you fix yours Ficus as I told you you will see that it will recover "quickly" but according to "its quick logic". The important thing is that the plant is well.
Let me know.
Dr. M. G. Davoli