My rub­ber plant has lost its bounce!

Amateur Gardening - - Ask John Negus -

I’ve had this house­plant for about seven months. It was great but now has gone all life­less and droopy. What might be the prob­lem?

James Coul­ing, Portsmouth, Hamp­shire

I am sorry that your rub­ber plant (Fi­cus elas­tica dec­ora) is look­ing sad and droop­ing. I fear that its root sys­tem is suf­fer­ing. It may have been at­tacked by vine wee­vil lar­vae or you may have over­wa­tered it.

Check to see what might be wrong by gen­tly tap­ping the root ball from its pot and ex­am­in­ing the roots. If they are black and ap­pear to be dy­ing and the com­post is soggy, I’m afraid over­wa­ter­ing is to blame.

You can solve the prob­lem by re­plac­ing the com­post with fresh, adding a quarter part, by vol­ume, of grit to en­sure that wa­ter seeps away and that air freely cir­cu­lates.

If tiny brown-headed curved white grubs are vis­i­ble, then vine wee­vil has at­tacked. Over­come it by wash­ing the com­post from the roots to re­move lar­vae and eggs. Then re­set the plant in loam­based John Innes No3.

In­door plants can be at­tacked by vine wee­vil grubs

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