Ficus pumila die back
I have a large area of concrete wall which was beautifully covered with ficus pumila. Large areas of the wall are now unsightly due to dieback. What to do?? I have cut out large areas of dead wood in the hope new growth will be encouraged. Next step is to put new soil around the plants which have been in place for 15 years. Maybe other foliage which was planted at the same time is shading the wool too much? I would appreciate any comments, thanks. Ros from Brisbane
Assuming "ficus pumila" is the creeping fig that clings to walls like ivy, I can report s similar effect with a creeping fig that has taken over our old post and rail side fence in Brisbane. It too is exhibiting die back in largish patches. It is decades old and is quite heavy in parts but the surviving parts have thrown their usual long shoots (up to 60cms) which I will prune back soon. I will need to inspect the fence to see if the "dead" patches are connected to the living - don"t want to cut them off from the roots. I have other ficus growths that are surviving in light shade, but dense shade does see the leaves drop, with the branches seeming to seek out better light. Maybe water is an issue - it was dry here for a while. But I wouldn"t want to water ficus that is growing near the base of a wall - it is after all a fig tree albeit in a creeeping form and fig roots might well be a threat to foundations.