Q. When I brought my houseplants in for the winter, my weeping fig
dropped most, if not all, of its leaves. I just got it last spring,
and it grew very happily on my porch. I am concerned that I left it
out too long, but I brought it indoors in early September, long
before we had a frost. The leaves seem to have grown back now, but I
was afraid it was dying. Why did it lose so many leaves?
figs (Ficus benjamina) are famous for dropping leaves when
moved from one location to another. They are the drama queens of the
plant world in that regard. It does not have to be a drastic move,
such as from outdoors to indoors. Moving a weeping fig across a room
can have the same effect.
Ficus and Cooler weather
It is true that
tender houseplants can be damaged by cool weather in fall. Some can
show signs of damage at 50 degrees. However, you moved your fig
indoors early enough that temperature should not have been an issue.
Low light levels
are very sensitive to changing light levels, and respond with a
dramatic loss of leaves. Plants actually produce different types of
leaves depending on how much sun they receive. Sun leaves tend to be
smaller and thicker, with a thicker cuticle to protect against
excessive moisture loss. Shade leaves are thinner and tend to have a
larger surface area to help capture as much light as possible.
indoors for a Ficus
figs grow best in a very bright room. Placing them close to a south
or west-facing window is ideal through the winter months in the
area. If you keep them indoors in the summer, be sure to filter
south or west-facing sun with a sheer curtain, or the leaves may
scorch. If you take them outdoors for the summer, be sure they
receive morning sun and shade from the hot afternoon sun.
Poinsettia care after Christmas