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Help! What Is This Plant From Father’s Funeral & How To Revive It?

Ask The Plant Expert:

I received this plant from my dad’s funeral. The tag on it only said “green plant” I’ve had it for 2 months and the leaves just continue to fall off. It was a very full plant. (The orange Gerber daisies are fake.) Do you think if the all of the leaves fall off eventually, that it is dead, or do you think I can save it? What type of fertilizer do you think I should use? (I have very little plant experience) – Jenny

Stressed Out Ficus

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:


It is difficult to tell from the pictures. My best guess would be a type of Ficus. It could be Ficus lyrata (Fiddle-leaf fig, Banjo fig) or Ficus pumila (climbing or creeping fig).

Ficus are funny. I once had a ficus we named Truman. In the 10 years that we had it, all the leaves fell off 3 times. Every time we corrected the problem and the plant flushed back out with new healthy leaves. Yours should do the same thing as long as the stems are still green.

To care for Ficus plants, you will need to keep the soil moderately moist and fertilize it once a month from April through August with a water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer. You can use a water soluble fertilizer like Miracle Gro or Peters.  I would wait until the plant has some new growth forming before I fertilized the plant. Keep the plant in a brightly lit area, but away from cold drafts. I would remove it from the foil wrapping, and make sure that it is in a container that allows for drainage. If you need to re-pot the plant use a humus-rich potting soil.

For more, check out our Ficus Care & Information Page.

Hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if I can help with anything else. [Read more…]