I have two young cuttings that I took from my 5 foot tree. I rooted both in water for about two months before moving them to soil. The one in the rear is doing well. Before putting it in soil, it only had 1 full size leaf and 1 bud. In the past month, it's grown two leaves and has a couple buds ready to open. I can also see vigorous root growth. However, the cutting in the front isn't doing so well. After it had grown a root about an inch long, I moved it to soil. It too had one leaf and one bud like the other. However, it soon dropped it's only leaf and I figure it died. Then it produced a bud and a leaf came out. It seemed fine. Today, the small fresh green leaf dropped. It wasn't turning any other colors and looked fine. It just fell off on its own. It still has another bud that looks like it's going to open. Any ideas what would cause that? Hasn't been moved or over watered. It gets plenty of indirect sun. I understand not every cutting will live, but it seemed to be doing fine. Thanks.
Young Ficus Benjamina Cutting Leaf Drop
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
The only thing I can think of (and this may be reaching) and maybe the photo is deceiving me, is that perhaps your cutting was not long and/or wide enough? The general recommendation is that they should be about ½ to ¾ inches thick and 8-12 inches long. How many nodes were on the cutting - there should be at least 3. Also, I noticed a lot of water droplets on your good cutting - be sure not to over water - that could cause root rot (which would cause dropped leaves).
However, like you said, not every cutting will live. I would celebrate the success you are having with the other one and I would let the fledgling one keep going - it just may surprise you and make a comeback.
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The cutting was about 6" long and 1/8" think. I haven't had any luck with larger cuttings at all. The newer, not covered in bark yet-cuttings seem to root best for me.
The water droplets you see are in fact water. From misting. I mist all of my focus trees a few times daily. The soil does not get over watered though. I mist just the leaves.