Benjamin Loosing leaves

Stephen Jankalski CEREOID at
Sat Jul 1 21:34:14 EST 2000

Oh Bobby,

You're such a prissy little fuss pot.

It's nice to know that you has appointed yourself as an official second
guesser and psychic plant problem solver!

If I said the sky was blue, you would still insist that I was wrong.

(I won't stoop to your level of juvenile vulgarity and say you are full of

You must sell a lot of Ficus benjamina out of the back of your truck!

"Bob Kirk" <reikirk at> wrote in message
news:8jlgs2$kim at
> "Stephen Jankalski" <CEREOID at>
> (smarting from having his ass kicked on rec.gardens, of all places, for
> his unfortunate tendency to think knowing something about a subject -
> perhaps even quite a lot - excuses him from having to actually read the
> posts he's replying to) snarls:
> > <blah>
> >>I have a benjamin... and it looses leaves.
> >>Can you give me some instructions how to really well take care of the
> >>benjamin. What to look for and how to cure what symptoms?... like
> >>leaves, falling leaves, yellow leaves
> >>                                             Thank you >>Michael
>    Rippled leaves aren't a symptom, that's just what kind of leaves it
> usually has. Or maybe not: there are probably ten thousand cultivars of
> this in the world, but right offhand I wouldn't worry about it unless it
> specifically precedes loss of the individual leaf.
>   As for yellow or falling leaves - F. benjamina is notorious for this,
> usually in response to being moved indoors/outdoors, or even, say, the sun
> disappearing or reappearing from behind another building an hour or two
> earlier/later as the seasons change.
>   It will grow new ones, don't worry. JANKALSKI IS FULL OF CRAP (as we say
> in the academy).  This is arguably the best interiorscape tree there is,
> coming in there either right before or after the widely-available lance
> leaved Ficus alii (may be F. species 'alii', don't recall).
>   Rubber tree or fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus elastica/lyrata) are very good as
> well, but too coarse to be grown as small plants: figure on a 10-12 gallon
> pot minimum and more space than you probably have.
>    Weeping fig, on the other hand, will grow a very effective small tree
> in a pot half that size, and more importantly, can be pruned at will to
> keep it in the space you want it. As for care - in soilless potting medium
> and a pot with drainage I can't imagine how anyone could kill it. Put it
> now in the largest pot you will want it in. Keep it somewhere between
> soggy and dessicated - e.g., water when the "soil" is dry an inch down.
> Apply soluble fertilizer per directions, but hold that and water less
> until new growth appears. Once you've got the tree you want, fertilizing
> 2-3 times a year is plenty.
>    All that said, none of these is the most >interesting< plant in either
> the interior or landscape, but there are plenty of challenges out there
> when you begin to seek them.
>    Far & away the likeliest noncultural problem to arise would be scale
> insects - and far from not being any bargain, commodity plants like this
> are such wonderful bargains that if you can't lose a pest with 2-3 sprays
> of horticultural oil I'd just execute it and start over.

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