Owning a Ficus Audrey has been on my wishlist for a long time. But soon after getting it, I noticed that its leaves were curling.
‘’What am I doing wrong?’’- I wondered. So, I went through the resources I could find on the topic online and consulted with the nursery from where I got my plant. The good news is, my plant was saved! Later on, I decided to write an article to compile all the necessary data I found on the topic, and I’m posting it so that it can help more gardeners.
So, what exactly causes Ficus Audrey leaves to curl?
The main reason behind the curling of Ficus Audrey or Ficus benghalensis leaves are insufficient watering and over-exposure to direct sunlight. The symptom can be cured by watering it once a week and placing it in a lightened-up place, away from harsh sunlight.
But caring for a Ficus Audrey requires more knowledge than just watering it once in a while. There are many things to keep in mind, like how often to water it or where to place it. To know the easy and efficient ways of keeping your Ficus Audrey healthy and luscious, go through this article.
How to Prevent or Cure Curled Ficus Audrey Leaves?
Caring for a Ficus Audrey requires minimal effort. But if you choose the wrong caring method, it, of course, can lead to much damage to your plant. This section gives you a step-by-step guide on preventing or treating curled leaves, and as a bonus, improving their overall health.
The most essential step is ensuring that your plant is getting just enough sunlight. Since it is an indoor plant, choose a well-lit place away from the harsh rays of the sun during the summer and spring to prevent it from dehydrating. A window either facing east or north would be a great option for keeping your plant once in a while, as long as too much sunlight doesn’t get in.
During winter and autumn, one or two hours of exposure to sunlight can be beneficial for your Ficus Audrey.
The thing I love most about Ficus Audrey, other than the gorgeous outlook it brings to your home, is that it is way less fussy about watering than other large plants. However, it too requires the optimal amount of watering.
The best way to water this plant is when the top 1/3rd of its soil has completely dried out. You can check the soil moisture by sticking your fingers two inches down the soil. When the soil is dry, put enough water to completely hydrate it. A bit of overflowing is a sign that you’ve watered it adequately.
Depending on the weather conditions of your region, you might need to water it once a week during the spring and summer. In colder seasons, once in two weeks would be a sufficient amount of watering.
Maintaining the temperature
Ficus Audrey can be quite vulnerable to sudden changes in temperature. Thus, you would not want to damage its roots by feeding it tap water. Warm water is the best option you can go for. But in case that seems like too much hassle, let some tap water sit for 24 hours and only then, pour it into the soil.
The ideal temperature for the growth of Ficus Audrey is over 70° degrees Fahrenheit or 21° Celsius. But the temperature should never go below 60° degrees Fahrenheit or 15° Celsius. If you live in a particularly colder area, you might want to get a heat mat to ensure the proper warmth.
The proper growth of your Ficus Audrey requires a humid area. Therefore, you should most certainly use a pebble tray or other misting methods.
Keep the plant away from air-conditioned rooms, AC units, and open doors. The dry areas can cause many symptoms such as delayed growth, lessening the number of leaves, and the edges of the leaves browning.
Once in every four watering sessions, use fertilizers specialized for houseplants when the plant is in its growing period. For autumn and winter, fertilizing once in six waters is enough.
Make sure to dilute the fertilizers in plenty of water so that it doesn’t come off too strong for your plant.
To learn more about Ficus Audrey and other Ficus species, check out this video:
Other Symptoms Shown by Ficus Audrey:
The other issues include yellowing or browning of leaves, leaf loss, rotting root, slowed growth, etc. In this section, you will find the causes of all the possible symptoms your plant can show.
This is the most common culprit hindering this plant’s wellbeing, either caused by under-watering or too much sunlight. The symptoms include:
Yellowing lower leaves
Dried patches on the foliage
- Overhydration: If the soil has stayed moist for too long, or if the plant is typically overwatered, the rot can start to rot. Gardeners often don’t realize that a plant’s roots also depend on oxygen to thrive. When the soil is drenched, the oxygen starts going upwards, causing the root and ultimately the plant to die. The common symptoms are-
- Leaves yellowing faster than usual, especially the leaves closer to soil
- Slower growth
- A rotten and mushy root
- Spider mites: These tiny and almost transparent insects can suck out the chlorophyll from plants. You will know your plant is affected by spider mites when there are-
- Small webs under the leaves
- Grainy yellow bumps on the leaves
Trimming and Maintaining:
Cutting the dried up or yellow leaves and planting debris can help with the growth of Ficus Audrey. Blunt or rusted scissors can cause fungal and bacterial spreads, so choose a sharp tool and make clear cuts.
Do not cut through yellowed leaves, because this will only increase the chance of bacterial diseases.
Some Crucial Tips:
- Repotting once in every two years is enough. But be extra careful to not harm the roots.
- Check the fertilizers to ensure that your plant gets all the 13 vital nutrients required for its growth. Learn more about the nutrients in this article
- The leaves of Ficus Audrey can create a fuzzy layer, which, over the times, can accumulate dust. Use a moderately wet cloth to gently wipe the dusts off of the leaves.
- Check the leaves for bugs and insects like spider mites, blackfly, whitefly, aphids, mealybugs etc before each watering.
- The sap inside Ficus Audrey is poisonous, so wash your hand every time after handling the plant. Keep your children and pets out of the plants reach.
- Get a spray bottle to make the area around your plant more humid.
- How to revive a Ficus?
There is no way of reviving a plant once its root is truly dead. But if you find it on the verge of dying, you can try trimming off the dead leaves and repotting it.
While repotting, wash the pot with mild soap and use fresh specialized soil.
- How can I shape my Ficus Audrey?
Trim back the top of your tree to keep it of your desired height. Prune the branches that you want to grow taller, and trim the branches that are growing inwards or downwards.
- When should Ficus Audrey be pruned?
Winter is the best time to prune Ficus Audrey, since this is the dormancy period of this plant and during this time the plant is less prone to injury.