Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ficus Angst

My poor, dear ficus is finally nearing its end. After living with me in four different apartments this one is its final space.

The poor thing came home with me as a four braided trunk plant. It was adorably full and radiated life and clean air.

Last summer it caught spider mites and lost one of its trunks. (Should your plant catch this, remove from soil, wash *everything* with diluted dawn soap detergent, replant and give loads of sun.) I spent my days carrying it to patches of sun and it bounced back from a plant that with 4 remaining leaves to a thriving plant.

Then it struggled with root fungus all last week. I cut off dark roots, set it in water and tried to find sun for it in the middle of a January winter.

This morning I had to face reality and unbraid its 3 remaining stems and separate the only one with new foliage from the other 2 apparently dead ones. The trunks are brittle, branches that snapped off were cottony and sapless and there were white spots near the roots. I kept the two dying ones in water because I'm essentially an optimist and they do have some new root formations.

I found this picture of an unbraided ficus that brings me hope.

I promise if this wee sapling makes it to spring I will plant it in my brother's yard!

I know I'm exceptionally lucky to have my unhappy plants (this apartment's temp's have been brutal for all of them) be the saddest part of my day. Most people would have chucked the ficus last summer and been done with it.