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Brown and yellow leaves on ficus

I've kept my focus lyrata Bambino away from draughts but it's been losing leaves . What is wrong with it? Thanks.

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,556
    Bumping up in case houseplant folk are around …
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,285
    edited October 2021
    Hi @lizzykincaide, leaf drop in these plants can be a symptom of overwatering.  Just water when the compost feels dry down to the first knuckle on your index finger, then water it thoroughly and let the pot drain fully before replacing it in its covering pot.  I also mist my plant daily as it enjoys high humidity. Your plant looks quite healthy apart from a couple of leaves -  don't worry about the newly emerging top leaf, that's how they look until the chlorophyll develops fully. I know it's a bit disconcerting seeing those brown spots but they will soon fade.  These plants can be a bit fickle, they like good levels of light but not direct sun. You have done the right thing keeping it away from draughts.  In winter it is common for a couple of leaves to drop as light levels reduce, so this and perhaps overwatering could explain your leaf drop. I hope this helps.
  • lizzykincaidelizzykincaide Croydon Posts: 88
    Hi @lizzykincaide, leaf drop in these plants can be a symptom of overwatering.  Just water when the compost feels dry down to the first knuckle on your index finger, then water it thoroughly and let the pot drain fully before replacing it in its covering pot.  I also mist my plant daily as it enjoys high humidity. Your plant looks quite healthy apart from a couple of leaves -  don't worry about the newly emerging top leaf, that's how they look until the chlorophyll develops fully. I know it's a bit disconcerting seeing those brown spots but they will soon fade.  These plants can be a bit fickle, they like good levels of light but not direct sun. You have done the right thing keeping it away from draughts.  In winter it is common for a couple of leaves to drop as light levels reduce, so this and perhaps overwatering could explain your leaf drop. I hope this helps.
    Thank you, this is really helpful. I haven't been misting so will do that and reduce watering.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,907
    I am doubtful misting does much of anything, and may be a bit harmful.  It only bumps up the humidity for the few minutes the water drops are in the air and on the leaves.. then it just goes back to the humidity of the rest of the room.  AND I read somewhere about how raindrops on leaves and a sudden rise in humidity can cause the holes in leaves that are part of photosynthesis to close up.  And pebble trays are also useless, as the humidity does not raise to pot level.  

    Don't know the truth of the science, as I am not a scientist.. but it sounds convincing.  

    I grow a fiddle leaf fig indoors in Utah, in an arid desert.. and I don't mist or use a pebble tray.  My leaves are great, down to good watering I think, as described above.  
    Utah, USA.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,285
    Hi @Blue Onion, you are right, this is certainly a debatable subject!  If you accept that the benefits are temporary, as detailed in the link below, misting can help some plants, particularly if they are grouped together to create a microclimate.  Humidity levels fluctuate outdoors naturally anyway, particularly in the UK!  Should You Mist Your Indoor Plants? - LogicalGardener
  • lizzykincaidelizzykincaide Croydon Posts: 88
    Thanks for the links to the blogs. Most of my plants are grouped anyway so I'll reduce watering for now and just see what happens.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,907
    Sticking a finger in and feeling for damp is really the best way.  I also fill a watering can and leave it sitting under the sink to use for watering.  Any chlorine will have evaporated and the water will be room temp.  Mine has grown too tall to take to the sink, but I have it sitting over grave inside a decorative ceramic pot (still in it's original plastic pot).. I use a few cups of water over it about once a week or so.  Any excess flows into the gravel below, and evaporates (because of the low humidity in my part of the world).  

    Is your soil free-draining?  Do you dump out any water remaining in the saucer?  Not to wet and not too dry.. only 'just right'.  
    Utah, USA.
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