Can a ficus get root rot?

markyscott

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Yes. What it takes is a shallow pot, heavy soil allowed to remain for too long and overwatering.

I purchased this one with hopes to resuscitate. It’s clearly in decline, having dropped most of its leaves since mid-summer.

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Scott
 

markyscott

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It’s been in my greenhouse for a week and leaves have continued to drop over that time. I’ve not had to water it a single time.

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On the plus side, buds are healthy at the tip.

Scott
 

markyscott

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What’s it planted in?
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Looks like a mix of arkolite and either potting soil or heavily decayed pine bark. Either way it’s a heavy soil that holds a ton of water. Water this twice a day on a timer and you’ve got yourself a whole heap of something.

Scott
 

markyscott

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I pulled it out of the pot and the extent of the damage is clear.

Almost no roots. And what is there is in significant decay.

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And no roots left in the pot, either.
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Scott
 

markyscott

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Working on the bottom of the rootball, I have to cut in extensively to get back to living tissue. Almost everything on the outside of the rootball is in decay.

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I carefully remove or cut away all the decay and cut each root back to living tissue.

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I scrape away all the old organic material from the nooks and crannies and wash the debris away with a firm stream of water. I want a clean start.

S
 

markyscott

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Then back in the pot. No organic. My regular mix (this one is one part Clay King, one part akadama, one part scoria and two parts pumice) cut with an equal part pure pumice. Nothing less than 1/4”. Pumice both holds a lot of water plus it has the highest air-filled porosity is any component i use. Aeration is the key right now.

Then a thorough watering.

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Scott
 

markyscott

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I would normally never work on a ficus like this in the dead of winter. Reasons were
  1. The tree probably wouldn’t have made it until spring unless in intervened.
  2. I have a greenhouse and a heating mat
  3. I live in Houston
The greenhouse is warm today.
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Heating mat in place.
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Tree in the greenhouse under natural + supplemental LED lighting. DC660054-29D3-42F2-9FBC-C48DE44D0C81.jpeg

Fingers crossed. It’s basically a big cutting at this point.

Scott
 
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cbroad

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Could you tent it somehow to alleviate any more stress? How humid does your greenhouse stay this time of year? I would hate to lose something that nice...
 

markyscott

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Could you tent it somehow to alleviate any more stress? How humid does your greenhouse stay this time of year? I would hate to lose something that nice...

Humidity stays pretty high in the greenhouse. Bottom heat should help. I think it will make it, but we’ll see.

Scott
 

Victorim

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I think your subconscious allowed this just for some winter action ;)

Good luck. If I had to put money on it, I'd say it will pull through. Great documenting as normal.
 

LanceMac10

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New leaves by the Super Bowl, I figure....you can call this one "Brady's Hail Mary"

Extra shot of Pumice is a pretty good idea. Heat mat? Spoiled little sucker!;):D:D:D:D:D:D


Good luck!!:cool:
 

markyscott

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You also can start growing weed or marihuana. It's a nice tree, but that effort!! Respect to you.

It’s only work if you don’t like it.

And why would I give up on the super lucrative bonsai business to get into something as marginally profitable as that? I’d be turning my back on a bonsai bonanza!

S
 

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