Hello, they gave me a ficus in December 2011 but in the months it is losing all the leaves in the lower part. The upper part, on the other hand, causes leaves to sprout that extend very upwards. The problem is that it is clearly losing the typical shape of the ficus and the low branches are all dry without even a leaf. I keep it indoors in the room in the light (although not direct but through the curtains) and I give it a drink when touching the ground I notice that it is dry. Every morning I open the window for twenty minutes. Unfortunately I leave the house at 8:00 am and come back at 8:00 pm and I cannot do otherwise. What should I do? Thanks so much!

Ficus bonsai

Dear Claudia,

from symptoms it seems that your ficus receives a poor amount of light; in fact from your description it seems that the plant is subject to a phenomenon called etiolation: the plant develops in search of light, increasing in an anomalous way in height, losing part of the vegetation in the lower part, and also increasing the space between the internodes; in addition to this the open window is causing the leaves to fall.The ficus need a good brightness, and in fact should be kept in the brightest area of ​​the house, possibly away from the windows, because the sudden changes in temperature cause the loss of foliage, even sudden. Also keep your ficus away from direct heat sources, such as stoves, fireplaces, radiators, and also away from any nodes of the underfloor heating. In short, you should look for an area with a lot of light, but where the climate remains constant during the day. I usually keep my ficus attached to the wall which is right in front of a large window that I open very rarely; when I open this window to ventilate, I move the ficus to the other room for a few hours, so that they do not suffer the sudden change in temperature, which in winter can be very strong. Being a bonsai, this operation shouldn’t be too difficult. The other big problem with ficus is the ambient humidity: these plants love a cool and humid climate; therefore we will have to vaporize the foliage often, especially in winter, when the heating system dries the air; but also in summer if we turn on the air conditioning, then consider that your ficus comes from a greenhouse where it had everything a plant could want: fertilizer every 12-15 days, regular watering when the soil is dry, lots of light, excellent ambient humidity. Plants often take months to adapt to an environment that is so different from the one in which they were produced and grown for the first months of life.To encourage the development of foliage even in the lower part of the canopy, try to shorten the twigs that grow. found at the top; and every 12-15 days mix the irrigation water with fertilizer for green plants.If you think that the air in your house is very dry, try placing the pot in a large pot cover, on the bottom of which you will put about 5 -6 cm of expanded clay, always immersed in water, which evaporating will increase the amount of humidity in the air.

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Ficus dried branches – Bonsai Questions and Answers

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