Ficus Techniques : 75

Black and Damaged Leaves


by Jerry Meislik

Damaged leaves
Ficus tree, 2013

Cindy Caine writes,

"Hi Jerry,

My name is Cindy and I have recently come into a bonsai collection. They were my fathers and he passed but before he did I told him I would take care of his trees.. The thing is my dad was living in Florida and the trees had to make the trip up to Philadelphia, Pa. I was concerned about the shock for them as it has been 20-30 degrees here and they came from 75-80.

I built a room for them off the back of my house so they can live through the winter. I keep it between 55-60 in there. They all seem to be being doing ok however there is 1 that has developed black leaves and for all the books i read and all the research I've done I can not find anything like this. I have several of this same tree and none of the others have it.

I came across your site in my search and thought maybe you could help me. I knew I would lose a few trees but this one is one of my dads 2 favorites. I can not lose this one. I am going to attach a picture and appreciate any advice you have for me.

Thank you in advance."

Note blackened leaves

Cindy your dad's tree is quite nice and obviously very special to you. I think the black leaves seen only on some of the tree are the result of mechanical damage and also exposure to some low tempeartures.

I would keep the tree warm, above 65F, in bright light and water only when the soil gets dry an inch below the surface. Hopefully the tree will recover and begin growing soon. The old damaged leaves will in time fall off the tree and new leaves will form.

Good luck.


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