It can be very distressing to see your plant looking less than healthy, whatever the symptoms or the reason. If you have been wondering why are my ficus leaves curling, we have all the answers – and some solutions – for you right here.
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Why Are My Ficus Audrey Leaves Curling
There are a lot of reasons why your ficus audrey leaves may be curling, but thankfully there are solutions that can help it in the future.
- Too little water. Not enough to drink will cause your ficus audrey to give up! It needs to be kept consistently moist, so keep an eye on the watering.
- Over exposure to the sun. Although this plant likes a lot of light, it can have too much of a good thing. Excessive direct sunlight, especially in the afternoon, can scorch and damage the leaves.
- Magnesium deficiency. If it doesn’t have the right balance of nutrients, especially those used to support the leaves, your ficus audrey leaves may start to curl.
- Pest infestation. Scale insects can wreak havoc on your ficus audrey, so if you spot curling leaves then check thoroughly for signs of scale.
- Thrips. These tiny little insects are known to feed on leaves of ficus, and can cause a lot of damage. Treat infected leaves with an organic insecticide.
- Excessive watering. Although this plant likes to be kept moist, too much water can do as much damage as not enough! It’s a fine balance – try to only water when the top 2 inches of soil are dry.
Here’s a good video, showing you the different types of leaf curl and what you can do about them (it’s quite dramatic, be warned!)
How Do You Uncurl Audrey Ficus Leaves?
The first thing you need to do is to establish the cause of why your ficus audrey’s leaves are curling as I’ve explained above.
Generally speaking, once you have figured out what the problem is, you can take steps to remedy this and the problem will go away.
However, what about those leaves that are already curled up and unsightly? Can they be saved?
Sadly, the answer is usually a no. Once leaves have started curling up, the plant diverts its growth into more healthy specimens.
If it is a watering issue, you may find that curled up leaves unfurl into their former glory after a good drink.
Similarly with nutrient deficiencies, you can see a revival of the leaves once you have figured out what it is that they were lacking.
But if the problem is due to an insect infestation or sun damage, those leaves are usually pretty much done for.
The best thing you can do for the health of the whole plant is to remove these damaged leaves and allow the plant to focus on new, healthy growth.
How Do You Revive Audrey Ficus?
If your ficus audrey has a problem and looks as though it’s giving up, you must take action fairly urgently.
If the issue cannot be solved with a little extra or a little less water, or a dose of fertilizer, then you will need to take more drastic measures:
- Remove all the dead and dying leaves – you will have to take the healthy ones too if they show signs of insect infestation.
- Cut the limbs all the way back to the main trunk of the tree, to ensure that it will save its energy rather than putting it into unhealthy areas.
- Remove your ficus audrey from its pot, and wash the pot thoroughly with anti microbial soap and leave it to dry in the sun.
- Dispose of any leftover soil, and gently brush away excess soil from the root ball of your plant.
- Part fill the pot with fresh soil, place your ficus back into it and add more soil until the roots are completely covered.
- Water it in well (you may need to add more soil as you do this, as the water will compact it down).
- Make sure that you keep your ficus audrey in its favorite conditions – warm, humid, with plenty of morning sunlight and consistent watering, to keep it as healthy as it can be.
This useful article goes through a lot of the common ficus audrey problems, including leaf curling, and tells you what can be done about it.
Can Plants Recover From Leaf Curl?
As we have mentioned, recovery from leaf curl depends on the reasons for the leaf curl in the first place.
If your plants’ leaf curls are caused by over or underwatering, a change in your routine could fix the problem.
Leaf curls caused by insect infestations can sometimes be saved, as long as the leaves are not too damaged and the infestation is dealt with.
Sometimes, the treatment for infestations can be harmful to the plant, and certain fungicidal and pesticide sprays can cause leaf curl.
In this case, it will be much harder for your plant to recover its curled up leaves, and it may be best all round to simply remove them.
It is important to dispose of curled leaves properly, to avoid infecting any of your other plants – burning them is the best idea.
How Do You Get Rid Of Leaf Curls Naturally?
Keeping your garden natural is not only good for the plants, but also for the whole environment.
Dealing with problems such as leaf curl can generally be done naturally, without having to resort to harsh chemicals and poisons.
- For leaf curling that is caused by underwatering, you should notice an improvement in a few days or weeks after you have given your plant a good drink.
- Leaves that have curled due to too much sunlight may well revive themselves once the plant is removed from the direct, scorching sun.
- Having removed an insect infestation, you may notice that leaves are still curled – these are best removed, in case there are any lingering pests.
- Keeping your gardening regime as natural and healthy as it can be is a great way to avoid leaf curl
- Try to use only organic, natural herbicide and pesticides, so that the plants do not suffer, and the rest of the environment is kept healthy too.
- Dosing your plant with a little organic, all purpose fertilizer can be a very good way of reducing leaf curl.
- Epsom salts added to water can really help in the symptoms of leaf curl, as this adds essential magnesium.
Now that you have a better idea as to why your ficus leaves are curling, you can start to do something about it.
Get on top of the problem as soon as you spot it, for the best results in the long term for your beautiful tree.