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help me save Benjamin ?

mystic mystic at lcc.net
Sun Jul 9 19:08:52 EST 2000

Mario Desiderio wrote:
> Hello,
> I have a big Benjamin planted in a vase, it is almost 2 meters tall, not
> so many leaves,
> it frequently looses many leaves during winter and regain in summer.
> This summer new leaves tried to come out, but not so many survive, why ?
> Now it is getting even worst it is loosing many leaves specially 2 of
> the 3 main stems of the plant.
> Also these 2 stems in worst condition the skin is coming off ? why ?

Sounds like overwatering or sunburn.  Ficus always lose leaves when they
experience environmental change (seasons change or you move them inside
or outside), but the leaves should be coming back better than you

> What can I do ?
> The plant is outside in a balcony and it gets direct sun only late
> afternoon.

Late afternoon sun is not the best in the summer.  Can you move the
plant behind something like a screen so that it gets filtered sunlight? 
You might want to repot it, then cut it back by 1/3.  It may have
fungus, it may be sunburnt. 
> How much watering it needs ?

 Such a large ficus should be watered when the top inch of soil in the
pot is dry and not before  -- maybe 2 liters of water a week during the
growing season, or more if its windy or very hot.
> Thanks,
> Mario

Hope this helps.  If it dies, try a patio palm tree.  They love late
afternoon sun.


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