Ficus Diseases

Informational table showing disease name, symptoms, pathogen/cause, and management of Ficus diseases.
Disease Symptoms Pathogen/Cause Management
Anthracnose Greasy-appearing spots yellow and then die and have a yellow halo. Glomerella (Colletotrichum) Avoid overhead watering. Apply a fungicide to protect plants.
Bacterial Leaf Spot Ficus benjamina Angular yellow spots are limited in size by veins. Spots become brown and leaves fall. Xanthomonas campestris Purchase plants free of the disease. Avoid overhead watering.
Branch Dieback Ficus benjamina Leaves wilt, die, and fall. Small and eventually large branches die. Wood under the bark is black. Phomopsis Maintain even soil moisture. Prune branches when they are small. Protect plants from injury.
Cold Injury Ficus elastica Mature leaves have large brown blotches. Young leaves appear puckered or distorted and brown. Temperatures below 40° F. Management: Do not place plants near air conditioners. Maintain temperatures above 40° F.
Foliar Nematode Ficus elastica Areas between the leaf veins yellow and die. Aphelenchoides Discard infected plants. Remove infected leaves from plants not severely affected and avoid overhead watering.
Leaf Drop Ficus benjamina Leaves yellow and fall. Low soil moisture and low relative humidity. Maintain even soil moisture.

Foliage plant diseases - Foliage plant diseases caused by living things such as fungi, bacteria and foliar nematodes generally begin during production. Once the plant is place in the final indoor location, the low humidity conditions are very unfavorable for continued disease development and spread UNLESS the plant is frequently watered in a manner that wets the leaves. Therefore, it is best to water plants in a way that keeps water off the leaves.

Prepared by Gary W. Moorman, Professor of Plant Pathology

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Ficus Diseases

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