Why do ficus Benjamin’s leaves fall? care

One of the most popular indoor plants, Benjamin’s ficus has become so common that the plant is perceived by most flower growers as completely problem-free. But when buying ficus as reliable and almost maintenance-free, we often face considerable disappointment. Indeed, in fact, it cannot be attributed to especially resistant indoor plants. He is unpretentious, suitable for beginners, but does not forgive big mistakes in leaving. And not only does it not please with growth, but also massively sheds leaves for any problem. Fortunately, if you quickly fix the errors, Benjamin’s ficus quickly recovers.

Why do ficus Benjamin’s leaves fall?

The beloved small-leaved ficus does not need a presentation. Its evergreen leaves with a pointed tip are 2 to 12 cm long, strong trunks with brown bark, thin, most often hanging twigs and rich dark green colors are well known to everyone.

Benjamin’s ficus is very diverse. There are varieties with smaller and larger, unusual and variegated, decorated with a border or spots of white, cream and yellow leaves. But it is not by chance that all of them are considered the most suitable for apartments, urban conditions, premises of any size, as a universal interior decoration that can delight for decades.

This type of ficus is really enviable unpretentious and hardy, but not invulnerable. He will easily forgive small mistakes and short-term problems, but serious mistakes cause him a rather sharp negative reaction. Since Benjamin’s ficus reacts to almost all difficulties by dropping leaves, you need to carefully analyze the care and growing conditions in order to find differences from the standard required for the plant. And take a closer look at additional signs.

Let’s try to figure out why Benjamin’s ficus sheds leaves? How to cope with its exposure, restore the splendor of the crown and save your beloved evergreen?

Reason # 1. Cold drafts

Unlike many types of large-leaved ficuses, Benjamin’s ficus is quite sensitive to drafts, especially in autumn and winter.

How to fix the problem:

  • protect the plant during ventilation, cover it from air currents or take it out of the room;
  • move the ficus away from opening doors and window sashes (for example, to a bright corner of the room).

Read also our article Choosing the perfect indoor ficus.

Reason # 2. Lack of light

The ability of Benjamin’s ficus to endure shading is determined by the variety: green-leaved ficuses are quite hardy and can withstand slight shading, while variegated ones will not retain their color with a lack of light. But even the most persistent, from a young age, ficuses accustomed to secluded lighting only on artificial lighting and in the depths of the rooms will not be able to take root. The maximum shade they can withstand is light partial shade.

Ficuses are especially sensitive to insufficient lighting in winter, when plants need to be moved closer to windows. Before the start of partial shedding of leaves, the ficuses stretch, become smaller, lose their color, but if the first signals were ignored, it will not do without damage to the leaf mass.

How to fix the problem:

  • move the ficus closer to the window;
  • move to a lighter room with south-facing windows;
  • organize supplementary lighting.

Benjamin's ficuses really do not like hot and dry air from heating devices.
Benjamin’s ficuses really do not like hot and dry air from heating devices. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Maja Dumat

Reason number 3. The proximity of batteries and the operation of air conditioners

Benjamin’s ficuses, especially variegated varieties, in the middle of autumn, even with perfect care, can quickly lose their leaves. They really do not like the hot and dry air from heating devices; placing ficuses near radiators and fireplaces is not a good idea. And the older the plant, the more sharply it reacts to the beginning of the heating season.

Air conditioners are also often unfavorable for ficuses: a constant flow of air that differs from the usual and stable temperature can be perceived by the plant as too much stress.

How to fix the problem:

  • during the operation of heating systems, move the ficus to a new place or protect with a screen from the air currents of the batteries;
  • increase air humidity by frequent spraying, installing pallets with wet pebbles or hanging a battery with a damp cloth;
  • move away from the air conditioner.

Reason number 4. Unstable temperatures, hypothermia and fever

The ideal temperature for Benjamin’s ficus is a stable, soft and almost unchanging environment of cool living rooms – from 16 to 21 degrees. They adapt well enough to high temperatures, but they do not like extremes.

Hypothermia, too large drops, a temperature rise above 23 degrees makes the plant more sensitive to failures in care and air humidity. That is why ficuses often suffer in kitchens, where they are exposed to too frequent changes in temperature and overheating. And if you make other mistakes at the same time, the ficus can shed the leaves.

How to fix the problem:

  • move the ficus to rooms with a stable temperature;
  • increase the humidity in the heat and place the plant on substrates or stands in cold rooms;
  • avoid mistakes in watering.

Reason number 5. Droughts for too long

Ficus Benjamin can forgive several missed irrigations and short-term drying out of the soil. But if the problems recur constantly, the plant is left with a completely dry substrate for several days, the ficus will inevitably begin to shed its leaves.

How to fix the problem:

  • use automatic irrigation systems;
  • monitor the degree of drying out of the soil, preventing it from completely drying out;
  • water the plants more regularly and delegate watering for the time of departure to friends.

With a completely dry substrate, Benjamin's ficus will inevitably begin to shed its leaves
With a completely dry substrate, Benjamin’s ficus will inevitably begin to shed its leaves

Reason number 6. Stagnant water and root decay

Despite the moisture-loving nature, the need to carry out rather intensive watering in the summer, ficuses do not tolerate dampness. As a result of overflow, the leaves droop and quickly fall off. Water should not remain in the pan even in summer for more than 5 minutes, because a short-term stagnation of water in the lower part of the substrate leads to the beginning of decay of the roots. Even in summer, it is better not to overdo it with watering, but for the winter they must be reduced, starting from autumn using less and less water and watering less often.

How to fix the problem:

  • check how the soil dries by touch or using indicators, allowing 3-5 cm of the substrate to dry at the top;
  • drain water from the pallets immediately;
  • install automatic irrigation systems.

Reason number 7. Soil depletion

Benjamin’s ficuses grow actively and intensively; in spring and summer they consume not only a lot of water, but also need a constantly high soil nutritional value. Without fertilizers, the resources of the substrate are quickly depleted, the plant stops growing, deforms, quickly sheds old leaves and reluctantly grows young ones.

How to fix the problem:

  • to carry out top dressing in spring and summer 1 time in 2 weeks, if growth continues, then in autumn and winter with a frequency of 1 time in 6 weeks;
  • observe the dosage indicated on the package.

Also read our article on the 8 best indoor filter plants.

Reason number 8. Substance imbalance

Ficuses are decorative deciduous plants that require a special ratio of microelements. Their needs can be satisfied only by complex-component fertilizers with a slightly higher proportion of nitrogen and all trace elements (iron, molybdenum, copper, manganese, calcium, zinc).

How to fix the problem:

  • choose special fertilizers for ficuses or at least decorative deciduous plants;
  • do not experiment with home fertilizers and organics with untested characteristics;
  • use fertilizers strictly according to the instructions, without increasing the frequency and concentration.

The needs of ficus Benjamin can only be satisfied with complex fertilizers
The needs of ficus Benjamin can be satisfied only by complex-component fertilizers

Reason number 9. Diseases and pests

With good care and under the right conditions, Benjamin’s ficus rarely gets sick. But in the heat, with very dry air, lack of basic hygiene, proximity to infected plants, constant problems with watering and improper feeding, even this ficus will suffer from diseases and pests.

Benjamin’s ficuses are affected:

  • scabbards;
  • thrips;
  • mealybugs;
  • spider mites;
  • leaf spots;
  • rot;
  • a sooty mushroom.

And the fight against infection is always the same. The plant must be isolated, washed thoroughly with soapy water, and the causes that led to infection must be eliminated (adjust care).

Treatment with special means is indispensable. In case of pests on Benjamin’s ficus, it is better not to pull with the use of insecticides (systemic drugs, for example, Actellik or Karbofos). When damaged by rot and spotting, plants are treated with systemic fungicides.

Other reasons

Other reasons can lead to leaf fall, although less often. Benjamin Ficus should not be grown in a dense, airtight substrate without a high drainage layer at the bottom of the pots. The plant reacts painfully to too frequent transplantation (if the roots were not allowed to fill the entire space of the previous container), the lack of replacement of the topsoil in years without transplantation, complete removal of the substrate and washing of the roots (except in cases of rot damage).

Do not blame the lack of pruning for dropping leaves: it can be done in the spring, forming a crown, but without it, the plant can also be grown successfully.

  • , title : 'The Ultimate FICUS BENJAMINA Care Guide (Weeping Fig Plant Care)
    The Ultimate FICUS BENJAMINA Care Guide (Weeping Fig Plant Care)

Anna Evans

Author âś“ Farmer

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