How to Save a Dying Ficus Tree (4 Reasons and Solutions)

Ficus trees are a common plant in many gardens. When rightly looked after, they can grow very large and have gorgeous bright green leaves. So we understand how depressing it may be when your tree begins to die.

Consequently, you must be intrigued- how to save a dying ficus tree?

You can save your Ficus tree by targeting its problems. These problems can be inadequate watering, excessive light, rotten roots, and deficiencies. By proper watering, relocating, repotting, and using compost, you can address the problems and save them. 

However, if you would read along, we have addressed each of these in detail for you.

Let’s grab our tools and begin!

How to Save A Dying Ficus Tree? (Reasons & Solutions)

how to save a dying ficus tree

Ficus trees, no matter what their size, tend to be very finicky. Slight fluctuations in environmental parameters can stress them out and cause them to die. 

Let’s take a look at each of them and see how you can save your dying ficus tree. 

Reasons 1. Lack Of Water 

Since the ficus tree is a relatively sensitive plant, the amount of water it gets is crucial. Your plant may perish if you give it too much or too little water.

If you provide little water, the soil will be dry and your leaves will curl up. If the dryness persists, the leaves will turn yellow and shed off. 

Water It Right!

How much water to give your ficus tree can be tricky to understand. There is, however, a simple solution.

Water your Ficus tree once a week. Before that, test the soil with your finger. It should not be so dry where the soil feels sandy. It shouldn’t be overly moist to the point where a lot of soil clings to your finger. 

Underwatered plants need strategic watering and they usually revive within a week. So, during watering, make sure there are no pools of water around the plant. 

After the water has been absorbed, look for dry regions. If there are any, pour a one-inch depth of water over those.

Reasons 2. Too Much Water Causing Rotten Roots

If you apply too much water, the roots and the lower portion of the stem may rot. This can cause your plant to shed its leaves and die. 

Rotten roots can cause your ficus tree to die fast. You’ll know the roots are rotten when the leaves and branches look dry despite regular watering. 

These along with the healthy microbes in the soil can trigger decomposition. When this happens, your roots will decay, killing the plant.

Repot The Plant

Repotting the plant is the best line of action here. If you’re repotting yourself, make sure to use gloves for this one. The ficus tree has a very toxic sap that can burn your skin.

Unsure about which gardening glove to get? Have a look at our options. Any of these options will offer you the necessary protection for the task.

Now that you’ve taken a look, let’s get back to repotting.

Lift the plant out of the old pot. Then gently, scrape off the excess soil using a soft combing motion. Make sure that none of the little root hairs or larger roots are damaged.  

Also, keep the soil attached to the major roots. Lastly, in a bigger pot transfer the plant and water using the tips mentioned above.

Reasons 3. Too Much Sunlight

Yes, too much sunlight is indeed a problem. Ficus trees are naturally suited to temperate and cooler climates, where they receive moderate sunlight. Your home garden needs to replicate that.

If there’s too much sunlight, especially direct sunlight, it can cause sunburn. This causes discoloration of the leaves and turns them brown. 

Shift To A Shady Spot

If you notice brown leaves, take immediate action. You should move the plant to a shaded location away from direct sunshine on a long-term basis.

If you’re keeping your Ficus tree right beside a window, it’s wise to remove it. Opt for naturally well-lit rooms and corners where there is no harsh sunlight for the long term.

Reasons 4. Nutrient Deficiency

This is the last major problem that can cause death. If your ficus plant isn’t getting enough nutrients from the soil, it won’t grow right.

The plant may eventually die as a result of malnutrition. Signs will include lots of shedding leaves along with discoloration on the leaves. This will vary depending on the different types of deficiency. To simplify the symptoms of these, take a look at the table below.

DeficiencyTell-Tale Signs
NitrogenEntire leaves turn yellow
PhosphorusPurple or brown spots
PotassiumLeaf edges turn brown
CalciumNewer leaves grow paler than older leaves
ManganeseYellow regions between the veins of leaves
ZincBronze colored splotches in younger leaves

Use Compost 

To fight the deficiency, you will need compost or fertilizer. Compost is a very good and versatile option because it’s made from organic wastes. 

So naturally, it has a diverse spectrum of nutrients. It’s suitable if your ficus tree has multiple deficiencies and can address them all.

You’ve made it this far, which is fantastic! We’re getting close to the end. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the lifespan of ficus trees?

Answer: If you take care of your ficus trees, they should last a while. This can vary between 10 to 20 years. 

Question: Are ficus trees fast-growing?

Answer: This will depend on the environment it’s in. With the right conditions, Ficus trees can grow fast. This can get problematic so regular trimming and pruning are crucial.

Question: Is Ficus an indoor or outdoor plant?

Answer: With the right conditions, the ficus can grow both indoors and outdoors. The only difference is, the ficus tree will flower and bear fruit outdoors. The lack of pollinators indoors is why it won’t bear fruits or flowers indoors.


And there you go. Now you know how to save your dying ficus tree.

Your ficus tree should recover quickly if you take proper care of it and its surroundings. Good luck, and please let us know if our advice was helpful!

1 thought on “How to Save a Dying Ficus Tree (4 Reasons and Solutions)”

  1. Pingback: How to plant a sweet potato: Useful tips and Recommendations

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *