Brown Spots on Ficus Leaves
I have 3 variegated Ficus ‘Sylvie' trees. Over the winter they each developed brown spots in the middle and along the edges of the leaves. The spots are not crusty and can't be scraped off and the brown goes all the way through the leaf. Please help.
This variegated cultivar of the more common rubber tree (Ficus elastica ‘Sylvie') is quite a beauty. The brown spots you describe sound like a fungal leaf spot disease. Start by evaluating the growing conditions. The low light of winter often means plant growth slows and you need to water less often. Those keeping their homes warm my still need to water their plants frequently. In either case let the soil moisture not the calendar be your guide. Water plants thoroughly so the excess runs out the bottom. I place pebbles in the saucer of my large plants. The excess water collects in the pebbles, the plant sits on the pebbles above the water and I do not have to pour off the excess. Better for the plant and less work for me. Wait until the top few inches of soil are crumbly and only slightly moist before watering again. I found adjusting the method and frequency of watering is usually sufficient to clear up the problem. If this does not work then you may need to repot, trimming away any rotten roots and replanting the Ficus in a container (with drainage holes) only slightly larger than the rootball.
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