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Ficus Trees

Q.My ficus tree got sunburned while we were away, and the weather changed drastically here in Scotland to hot, sunny and dry.

Zone Scotland, UK | Anonymous added on July 6, 2019 | Answered

The ficus is kept in our conservatory where it has thrived, but this summer we are having an exceptionally warm and dry summer. Suddenly after being away for a week we came back to find the leaves had all turned dry, brittle and bleached. Can this tree be saved? What do I do?

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Answered on July 6, 2019

Water is life for a plant, so if it went dry while you were away that could be the primary reason for decline. I suspect more than one week of drought stress.

Sunburn is unlikely unless you moved it from inside a covered conservatory into the sunlight at the same time as it experienced water deficit.

Put the saucer back under the pot and give it a good soaking. Wait and see if it puts out new leaves from the stems and re-foliates.

By the way, from the photo I see girdling (circling) roots at the base. These can constrict and cut off uptake of water and nutrients. This could be part of the problem.

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