THE AGRONOMIST ANSWERS ON HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR PLANTS
WHAT TO DO FOR WINTER FOR MY FICUS BENJAMINA?
QUESTION OF GIULIA
Our ficus is about 15 years old and up to four months ago it was; cultivated in hydroculture in pots with a diameter of about 40 cm. Seeing it suffering at home (always), with loss of latex on the floor and numerous leaves, it was moved outside in a shaded area and repotted in the ground. It is now in good condition. Given its size now, for the arrival of winter I have two possibilities: either leave it where it is with appropriate protection (temperature in winter here in Trieste even below zero) or put it in an unheated garage but with a window.
Having no other possibilities, I ask for advice for a practical solution and thank you in advance.
I congratulate you on your ficus (would you send me a photo?). Considering its size, you were right to move it around the garden. If you have the possibility to adopt suitable protections for the winter frost it is preferable to leave it outside. The plant is very large and placed in a pot, even if large, it would always suffer.
Let me know.
Dr. Maria Giovanna Davoli
P.S. Can I groped to keep it also in pots outside?
Hi Giulia, yours Ficus it's just beautiful.
I believe that the sufferings you saw in your ficus were dictated by a lack of soil, i.e. a pot (and therefore a quantity of earth) too small for its size. Certainly the optimal solution for the plant is to transplant it into the ground but if you really want to enjoy its beauty and be able to move it periodically, you can also keep it in a pot but it must be of adequate size for the plant (what appears in the photo is very small) and follow a regular fertilization plan (follow the instructions in the fertilization paragraph intechnical data sheet of Ficus) if you don't want to make the plant suffer.
A tip: don't keep plants in plastic pots. The reason you have to keep plants in clay pots is that plastic doesn't let the earth breathe. The amount of air entering the earth from the upper exposure surface alone is not sufficient for good cultivation and plant health.
See you soon and if you have any problems you know where to find me.
Dr. M. G. Davoli