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How to Save A Dying Ficus Tree: 5 Steps to Revive Your Ficus Tree

Your beautiful Ficus tree is dulling away. You see its leaves changing colors.

And they’re shedding to the ground. You’re worried if it’s dying.

We understand how stressful that’s for you.

How to save a dying Ficus tree?

First, identify what factors are causing your Ficus to die. Ficus trees need proper environmental factors to grow. Provide your Ficus tree with adequate indirect light. Water them in appropriate amounts. Provide adequate nutrition through compost. If there are rotten roots, repot the Ficus tree.  

But, to do that, you need to know the details. If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, read on!

What’s Causing Your Ficus Tree to Die: 6 Reasons

Ficus is one of the most common categories of indoor plants. With a magnificent crown, rubbery limbs, and beautiful green leaves. If provided optimum care, they grow to beautiful lengths.

Ficus trees do not adapt well to cold, new changes, and bugs. Ficus trees get stressed and may start shedding leaves. However, don’t rush to place it in your sunroom just yet.

Here are 6 possible reasons that might be killing your Ficus tree:

  1. Excess Sunlight

Ficus trees require indirect lighting. That is shady lighting. Too much direct sunlight can cause your ficus trees to get sunburn. That further leads to leaves turning brown.

  1. Lack of Water

Every tree requires an adequate amount of water. Giving your plants too little or too much water is wrong.

When Ficus trees receive little water, soil dries up and their leaves curl. If the situation persists, their leaves turn yellow. And eventually, they shed. 

  1. Rotten Roots

Excess water can cause both roots and lower stems to rot.

Ficus trees die fast when there are rotten roots. Because, along with this issue, microbes of the soil can cause decomposition. Then, roots decay and kill your plant.

And how would you know if your Ficus tree has rotten roots? It’s when the leaves are dry, in spite of daily watering. Keep your Ficus trees away from broken water valves.

  1. Nutritional Deficiency

Malnutrition can cause untimely deaths in every living being. It can cause your ficus tree to not have proper growth. 

Also, leaves shedding and discoloration are also common symptoms. But, there are other symptoms for lack of each nutrient. 

We have a table simplifying it for you:

Deficiency of Symptoms
ZincBronze splotches in new leaves
PotassiumBrowning at leaf edges
ManganeseLeaves yellowing in-between veins
NitrogenFull leaf becomes yellow in color
CalciumNew leaves become paler than older ones
PhosphorusPurple spots
  1. Changing Environment:

Every living creature adapts to its own surroundings. But abruptly changing its environment can be difficult to adjust to.

Ficus trees drop leaves if the new environment, humidity, and temperature doesn’t suit it. Change in the last two factors is hard on any indoor plant.

Adjust your heater according to your indoor plants before moving.

  1. Grass and Weeds

Your Ficus tree or its pot may have grass and weeds around. These attract pests which can hinder your trees’ growth process.

Other symptoms of a dying Ficus tree are – tiny foliage and sticky leaves dripping liquid.

How to Save Your Ficus Tree

Now that we have identified the causes, we move on to the solutions. Take action according to the exact cause. That can save your Ficus trees.

Here are 3 steps to saving your dying Ficus tree:

Step 1: Check & Cut off Dying Limbs & Leaves

It is important to check what part of the tree is dead. Sometimes, leaves may be dead but not the limbs.

Try bending the limbs. See if it snaps off. You can also try to scratch the bark. If it turns out to be fresh green, it hasn’t dried and died yet.

Next, cut off the dead leaves. And limbs that are dry. But cut the limbs up to the trunk only. Use shears to do this. You also should remove grass and weeds.

Step 2: Move Away from Direct Sunlight

If your Ficus tree was kept under direct sunlight, move them. Ficus trees require indirect lighting. 

They are better suited for cooler temperatures and moderate sunlight. Ficus plants shouldn’t be in a room where the temperature is under 55-60 ℉.

Step 3: Repotting

Your Ficus may or may not have rotten roots. If they do, you need to report them. 

But if they are dulling away already, repotting is the best option.

Use gloves to re-pot because Ficus trees have toxic sap. It can burn your skin. In case you’re confused about what’s the right gardening glove, we have a few suggestions:

Product 1
Product 2

The right tools will allow you to smoothly re-pot plants. Now, onto repotting.

Lift your Ficus tree out of its old pot. Gently remove any excess soil in combining motions. Ensure that all tiny root hairs and big roots are undamaged.

Caution: The soil should stay attached to the major roots of the tree.

After moving to the new pot, water your tree according to the next step. If you’re reusing the old pot, clean it with mild soap and water. Before repotting.

Step 4: Checking Soil

Now, it’s time to check the soil. It shouldn’t feel sandy. Or overly moist enough to cling onto your finger.

Step 5: Watering

Here are two cases to consider for your Ficus tree: lack of water and excess water.

Watering your plants adequately and routinely is the answer.

If your tree was dehydrated, make sure water doesn’t pool around it. After the soil absorbs the water, check for dry areas. If you find any, pour water of 1-inch depth there. Add additional soil if roots are visible.

And if the case was of excess water, repotting should solve it. Water the tree once a week.

Caring for your Ficus tree the right way can prevent the frequent need of reviving them.


Do Ficus trees grow fast?

Answer: Their growth depends on their environment. If given the right conditions, they will grow fast. But that can be troublesome. As you would have to trim and prune them often.

How long do Ficus trees live?

Answer: If they are taken well care of, they can survive from anywhere between 10 to 20 years. It may vary between species.

Are the roots of Ficus trees invasive?

Answer: Yes. Both Ficus and rubber trees are known for their invasive roots. They can grow up to 30 meters. It’s best to plant Ficus trees indoors.


That’s all from us. We hope now you know how to save a dying Ficus tree.

Always check for temperature, water, and soil conditions for your plants’ healthy growing. Your care for them will shine through their growth. If you still face difficulties, seek help from gardening shops.

Here’s a tip – avoid herbicides that have triclopyr.