I have had two Ficus trees for about 6 years now. I love having them on my deck during the warmer months. This year, we got them moved indoors several weeks before we had to turn the furnace on. That way, they were in, but still had some days of fresh air from open windows nearby. I found that this timely move has really cut down on the leaf drop.
Another problem I had with one of them was scale insect (I think that is why the plant was given to me, it was a heavy infestation, and they were going to toss it)
I have been very diligent with an application of a systemic pesticide(yea, sorry) every spring and fall. Also applications of horticulture oil, in fall before they come in. Having the plant outdoors helps so much, but you have to watch for signs of pests, and get em before they become a huge problem.
I wish I lived in a place that these Ficus could stay outdoors, they seem to thrive, but I think they are well worth the time and trouble I go to to have them in my home.
Bobsgirl, bringing the ficus in while you can still have the windows open is a great idea. I'm sure it's less of a shock to the plant. Mine has gotten too unwieldy to take outdoors anymore but it seems happy year-round inside. The only garden "pest" bothering it is my cat who nibbles the leaves. I agree, ficus are worth the trouble because they are so graceful and really bring nature indoors.
Thanks for the great article!
I have a lovely ficus that has not (knock on wood) dropped leaves during moves in and out of the house yet and has not shown any signs of disease or pests.
But then, Mr. Ficus goes on vacation every fall and comes back in the spring because a friend, who has a huge south facing window, likes having it visit and Ficus seems to love watching television at her house in the winter. Her cat likes to curl up in the pot for a snooze, but hasn't, so far, been inclined to dig in the pot.
I had thought that ficus were so finicky that they didn't like being moved even from one room to another, let alone from one house to another, but this ficus seems to do just fine.
A master gardener friend said that she repotted her ficus four times until, finally, it grew too big to wrestle in and out of her house! She ended up donating it to a local college.
I did top dress mine this year but may have to repot it in a slightly larger pot and try pruning it come spring.
Once it has acclimated to being outside again, of course!
Chloe is very pretty! You cannot tell in this photo, but Pickles is a manx, so he matches Chloe except for the tail.
Jazzy, Mr. Ficus may eventually have to decide if he wants to live with you or your friend. It's funny how big plants do seem like another person in the room. I inherited my ficus from my mom--it (he? she? not sure) came to her as a good-sized plant 35 years ago, so it has some history. It's been in the same big clay pot for probably 30 years--I just topdress. I trim it severely twice a year and it grows back in no time. It's a big job to even turn it, so I never move it.