Too much chicken manure used in planting ficus
I recently paid someone to move a ficus tree that was potted into the ground a few feet from its original location. They used some chicken manure I had and I didn't stop them before it was too late. (Almost a full bag, added on top of gardening soil!) It's two weeks later and the ficus is clearly stressed, leaves dropping and yellowing, as if it is burned. I know ficus don't like to be moved, but I'm positive in this case it is because too much manure was used in the planting hole and I'm not sure if I can dig it out and replace the void with native soil? Or should I amend it somehow? Obviously, I want to handle this quickly so some quick advice is requested. Thank you so much!
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Yes, indeed it does sound like your plant is suffering from fertilizer burn caused by too much raw nitrogen in the chicken manure.
Since it sounds like it would be difficult to move, I would recommend flushing the soil to leach the nitrogen out. Since it is a newly transplanted tree, it will help the tree anyway. Everyday, flood the area around the roots with water. Keep doing this until you see an improvement with the tree.
This article has more information:
* Update *
I flooded it ever other day or so after this post, and the tree continued to drop leaves until about half were gone. I kept the area raked so i could monitor new dropped leaves, and it appeared to stop losing leaves altogether. Now, the tree is holding steady with all green leaves, and seems to be making a healthy comeback.
And, for what it's worth, I DID place a sign around the trunk with the words, 'Love' and 'Healing'. :)
Thank you so much for the great advice!
Also - I should mention that since yesterday (when I posted this question) the tree took a dramatic turn for the worse, with leaves actually turning crispy and brown and much, much more leaf loss. I've just soaked the roots deeply, and will watch for any signs of improvement.
I also sent the tree healing energy and an intention of Reiki, for what it's worth. I may even place the word 'Healing' somewhere in the tree. At this point, I'm game for anything as this makes me very sad indeed.
Thank you sooo much Heather! I will definitely give this a try - keeping fingers crossed for a successful outcome!