Scored a Freebie .....need advice.

just.wing.it

Deadwood Head
Messages
12,141
Reaction score
17,434
Location
Just South of the Mason Dixon
USDA Zone
6B
Someone was trashing this Ficus Benjamina....it looks like its been outdoors through a few frosts....
Many yellowing leaves and some leaves have black spots.
But still has green leaves too.
It looks like a fused clump of smaller trees....

I've never had a Benji..... but I'm assuming that it's able to be treated like a Microcarpa...???

Is there anything I should do before springtime?
My initial thought is to let it be until spring or summer when it starts growing, then chop it down and repot.

Advice is greatly appreciated, thanks.
IMG_20211230_162450.jpg
 

Colorado

Omono
Messages
1,633
Reaction score
3,394
Location
Denver, Colorado
USDA Zone
5b
If you have the space and the patience, your plan to wait until summer to chop and repot is good. Some say that Benjamina won’t back bud reliably if cut to a stump and recommend leaving a little green when you cut back. I always found them to back bud pretty well.

If it were me, I’d be tempted to just do it now and it would probably respond just fine. These are pretty tough trees.
 

just.wing.it

Deadwood Head
Messages
12,141
Reaction score
17,434
Location
Just South of the Mason Dixon
USDA Zone
6B
If you have the space and the patience, your plan to wait until summer to chop and repot is good. Some say that Benjamina won’t back bud reliably if cut to a stump and recommend leaving a little green when you cut back. I always found them to back bud pretty well.

If it were me, I’d be tempted to just do it now and it would probably respond just fine. These are pretty tough trees.
I remember reading that, now that you say it...
Thanks for the heads up.
I'll probably wait.
Might just remove obviously dead parts for now.
 

MHBonsai

Shohin
Messages
421
Reaction score
848
Location
Nashville, TN
USDA Zone
7a
They will back bud some from nothing if they are super healthy and you hit them hard enough. I’m my experience. But it’s still a risk.

They respond reliably if you just be sure to leave a healthy growing tip. I really like benjaminas. They grow scary fast when you get them happy. Check out my thread on my big freebie. Have fun!
 

just.wing.it

Deadwood Head
Messages
12,141
Reaction score
17,434
Location
Just South of the Mason Dixon
USDA Zone
6B
They will back bud some from nothing if they are super healthy and you hit them hard enough. I’m my experience. But it’s still a risk.

They respond reliably if you just be sure to leave a healthy growing tip. I really like benjaminas. They grow scary fast when you get them happy. Check out my thread on my big freebie. Have fun!
Will do!
 
Messages
207
Reaction score
201
Location
Italy
USDA Zone
9b
It seems that several people have had a good response to chopping benjaminas, and that is great. I do want to offer my opposite experience however to make sure that you have an additional data point.

I lost a large, healthy benjamina because I treated it like a microcarpa and expected it to backbud from bare wood. It didn't. I would advise to leave some green when chopping to be on the safe(r) side.
 

ShadyStump

Masterpiece
Messages
2,497
Reaction score
3,618
Location
Southern Colorado, USA
USDA Zone
6a
Haven't had my Benji's more than 6 months maybe, and have yet to try cutting to bare wood, but I've not noticed much backbudding on old wood after trimming.
I'd leave some green, and wait until it looks healthy and growing to do it.
 

penumbra

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
6,909
Reaction score
11,091
Location
Front Royal, VA
USDA Zone
6
The cultivars of Benji can back bud prolifically. I cut them all back to wood with no leaves from time to time and they have done well for me. Occasionally I loose a small branch.
 

amcoffeegirl

Masterpiece
Messages
2,590
Reaction score
4,296
Location
IOWA
USDA Zone
5b
My only advice to add is if it looks like you are going to lose it and you really want to save it then set it on a seedling mat to keep the roots warm.
in my experience these don’t need as much water as some of the other ficus. Of course that does depend on the soil and amount of roots that it has too.
 

Tinker

Seed
Messages
4
Reaction score
3
Location
Dansville, New York
USDA Zone
6a
Someone was trashing this Ficus Benjamina....it looks like its been outdoors through a few frosts....
Many yellowing leaves and some leaves have black spots.
But still has green leaves too.
It looks like a fused clump of smaller trees....

I've never had a Benji..... but I'm assuming that it's able to be treated like a Microcarpa...???

Is there anything I should do before springtime?
My initial thought is to let it be until spring or summer when it starts growing, then chop it down and repot.

Advice is greatly appreciated, thanks.
View attachment 413916
Have you checked for any signs of infestation? By the way it grew, looks like it just had over grown and got away from who ever tossed it? I would be interested in seeing what you can do with this poor tree. I have the other ficus that tolerates alot. I believe I never had a benjamina ficus. Hope your free llttle tree shows you some signs of taking hold again with all the care you give it. Would you show us again once you see some good results. Glad you stopped to rescue the little tree.
 

just.wing.it

Deadwood Head
Messages
12,141
Reaction score
17,434
Location
Just South of the Mason Dixon
USDA Zone
6B
Have you checked for any signs of infestation? By the way it grew, looks like it just had over grown and got away from who ever tossed it? I would be interested in seeing what you can do with this poor tree. I have the other ficus that tolerates alot. I believe I never had a benjamina ficus. Hope your free llttle tree shows you some signs of taking hold again with all the care you give it. Would you show us again once you see some good results. Glad you stopped to rescue the little tree.
I cut off all the dead stuff and nasty leaves. I saw some dead scale bugs, dunno how old they were... I'll be sure to keep updates coming.
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom