Question: ficus at the end of life
Good morning I read on your site how to keep the ficus in the house and I realized that I got it all wrong, from the position (near the front door) to the temperature changes (in these days I took it out in direct sunlight ) and now it looks bad, has lost almost all its leaves and has some dry branches; can you still recover or no longer have hope?
Answer: ficus at the end of life
despite the ficus giving the impression of being delicate plants, in nature they are vigorous trees, and even if grown in pots, they tend to recover even when they are treated really badly.
First of all, look for a home that is suitable for your ficus, well lit, but not subject to temperature fluctuations, away from drafts and sources of direct heat and from sun rays that can burn it. In nature these plants live in direct sunlight, but your ficus has lived some years of its life in a greenhouse, where it has never seen the sun in its face; so if you really want to try to grow it in the sun, you will have to do it by exposing it to the sun's rays gradually, and it is not said that the plant likes it.
When you have found the right place for your ficus, prune it, removing all the dry and ruined twigs and the dead leaves; in this way you will stimulate the plant to produce new shoots.
Finally you will have to get used to watering your ficus regularly, always checking that the soil is able to dry completely between two waterings. The best way to understand if the substrate is dry is to immerse the fingers of one hand: if we feel it fresh and moist, we postpone watering for at least 24 hours; if instead it is dry we water abundantly.
In any case, avoid leaving water in the saucer for a long time; if after having watered you notice that the saucer remains full of water, lift it and empty it.
From March to September, also supply your plant with a good fertilizer for green plants, mixed with the water used for watering, every 12-15 days.
Given that now your ficus is ill, in the nursery or at the garden center you can find excellent products to use in these emergency cases; these are fertilizers to be used only once, which help the plant to reactivate its vegetative cycle, to be used in cases like yours, with suffering plants due to incorrect cultivation treatments.
Don't worry too much if the plant for at least another two or three weeks will continue to appear to be suffering, because the recovery after such stress is never sudden, you realize that your plant is in a recovery period, like a being human convalescing after surgery; in a couple of months your plant will return beautiful and luxuriant.
I immediately warn you that, although the ficus are vigorous plants, it is not said that your plant will recover 100%; if it continues to deteriorate, don't get too angry. In extreme cases, top the stem, and hope that such a drastic treatment is followed by a luxuriant recovery, due to the total absence of leaves.