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NancyH, Handywoman
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  Have a flair for color and style and share my life with a restoration cabinetmaker
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ficus tree has lost all leaves

Customer Question

I have the tree indoors for about 5 yrs without a problem.It recently shed all leaves
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
From varying sites on the web I compiled this information-
Often it is a change in light or temperature that causes leaf loss. At the base of each leaf is a corky area called the abscission layer. When the leaf is healthy, fluids, with nutrients, flow freely across the layer.
The growth regulator responsible for keeping the layer permeable is auxin. When something happens to interrupt the flow of auxin across the abscission layer, the layer becomes impermeable & the leaf drops off.
Most common causes are temperature & decreasing photoperiod (less light).
Over or underwatering can be an issue too.
If buds at the tips of branches are still green, that indicates a light/temperature issue.
If buds are dark or brittle, it's most likely a watering problem.
Remember, you'll need to water less frequently while the plant is (partially) defoliated.
While you are checking the plant for buds also look it over for insects as there are insect infestations that can cause the plant serious problems. If you have brought any new plants in recently they may have brought an infection with them.
Hope this helps you!