A sick fic(us)

This is a fused trunk style Ficus houseplant that has been sitting in my workplace since I joined 9 years ago.  It’s always just sat out of sight in a corner of a foyer , never receiving much attention from anyone I guess but seemingly doing ok.  Perhaps the caretaker gives it a watering now and again.  However I noticed recently that it’s in very bad health.




Before. April 2015

Drainage was non existent and the roots were bound in constantly wet peaty soil.  I’ve very little experience with indoor trees and the only other ficus I looked after was 5 or 6 years ago when starting out in bonsai and I kept the thing in my bathroom so it could appreciate the humidity.  Didn’t realise the importance of drainage though and I killed it.  So, I took pity on this thing and it’s probably going to die anyway so I’m not losing anything by having a go.  I chopped the major roots and combed out as much old soil as I could.  I replanted it in a reduced height flower pot using grit and cat litter.


After. April 2015

I then put pebbles in the bottom of the white ceramic pot( it doesn’t have any drainage holes)it was originally in to create a reservoir for water.  The actual tree now sits atop the mound of pebbles and hopefully shall suffer no more waterlogging.  It’s now at the back of the classroom in work and I try to mist it daily and expose it to good light.  Time will tell.  Any advice would be appreciated 😉



13 thoughts on “A sick fic(us)

  1. Honestly, I think it’ll bounce back just fine. Ficus are super resilient and the repotting will be just what it needs. I had one that was in the same state and when I repotted it it did just fine. Do you have any organic material in the soil? You may want to add some. Adding a humidity tray would also be a good idea. Good job rescuing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with the 1st part of Jamie’s post. You could have bare rooted it. Two kinds of soil sometimes cause the troubles. The sunny spot might be beneficial now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice one Ben, the main thing Ficus need is Sunligfht and warmth. They thrive in a more freedraining medium and once established should be fertilised very regularly. I personally would have no humidty tray , do away with “any water sitting under the pot/soil level and allow the soil medium to dry out somewhat before watering. They appreciate dryer soil than wet. Direct sunlight is a must for at least part of the day, even though ficus can survive in Low light areas , they usually do not thrive and as a result of less Sun ,backbudding with not be great. This looks like Cultivar Benjamina from what I can see,which also do not like total defoliation or respond great to hard chopping of trunks. Take care, regards Craig


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