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Weeping fig

I have recently acquired a weeping fig. It desperately needed repotting, which I did about 2 months ago. The soil developed a thick covering of white mould/fungus and the leaves started to yellow and fall off. I repotted it again, carefully removing all the "infected" soil and replacing it with freshly purchased potting mix. The fungus hasn't returned but the tree is still losing a lot of leaves — it's nearly bald! I've moved it away from any direct light and draught but I don't seem to be making any progress.


There is a white fungus that grows in potting mix and does not affect plants, although it can look unsightly, and over time will disappear.

The white mould could also be mealy bug in the potting mix — they are much harder to control. For this, you will need to drench the potting mix with Malathion or Maldison and let the plant sit in a saucer for at least half and hour so that the potting mix becomes saturated. It is best to do this outside as Maldison has an unpleasant smell.

Trim the plant back by about a third to encourage new bushy growth. As temperatures start to warm up, you will find that growth will start to move. A repeat drench may be required.

UnitecAdvice by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor of Resource Management.

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous website of  TVNZ News

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Last updated: June 27, 2005